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Salesman
Nancy Lawson
Carol Linden
Anne Sward
Clarence Thomas
Roberta White
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Convention Girls Know How To Take Care Of A Man...In The Most Unconventional Ways. See more »

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Drama

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R
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June 1978 (USA)  »

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Surprisingly Altman-esquire Multi-Character Study
8 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Convention Girls Dir: Joseph Adler, 1978, 80 min.

Review by Anne Heller

Convention Girls is an adult romp set at a beach-side convention of the fictitious American Association of Doll Manufacturers. This Florida-made exploitation movie contains enough frank, realistic, at times mean-spirited dialogue and adult situations to make one think of the films of the great director Robert Altman (or John Cassavetes).

None of the women in Convention Girls could be called "girls" factually – yet the six principal ladies are just as hot and sexy as a group of high school cheerleaders – and get as much "action" as well. Three of the principal females are doll manufacturing firm executives and are very tough-minded and driven ladies, indeed. Of course, sex is rife between the male and female toy execs, who seemingly have never heard of a sexless or politically correct workplace.

One female doll designer finds herself having to strike deals with her ex-lover who fired her in order to keep funding for her own projects. She is constantly forced into emotional and verbal gymnastics to keep her funding.

A younger designer finds herself bullied by a corporate head who she is trying to sell her anatomically correct (and "hook-uppable") dolls. He tells her the dolls are worthless, he drops the $15,000 prototypes into the ocean below and then they have sex. And he wonders at the convention's end why she doesn't want to keep in touch with him and continue their affair!

One male executive's hooker "friend" commits suicide by slitting her wrists after their encounter – where she is made to feel less of a person due to her working class background. He ridicules her at length in bed during sexual afterglow about her boring and predictably tragic life then throws her out of the hotel room at 3 am sharp while she is crying because he doesn't need her anymore. Subsequently, she is found dead in her hotel room bathtub.

Another executive's wife has an affair with a sexy 22-year-old pool cleaner that seduces her and lures her to his houseboat. When she tries to "come clean" about the affair with her husband, he laughs at her, refusing to believe it is anything more than a jealous joke.

Convention Girls has all that an exploitation movie needs to be entertaining, provocative and stimulating to both genders. These female characters are well-developed physically, mentally and emotionally. Such fascinating character studies make Convention Girls a rare gem among low-budget cult classics.

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