4.8/10
121
6 user 6 critic

The Playbirds (1978)

R | | Drama | 1978 (UK)
Two detectives are drawn into the world of porn, while investigating murders of centrefolds...

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Bud Tobin), (screenplay) (as Robin O'Connor)
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.9/10 X  

A seedy striptease club in London's West End becomes the target for unpleasant crooks. The club's owners are blackmailed into paying out large wads of cash, but star attraction Mary Millington saves the day with her energetic stripping.

Director: Willy Roe
Stars: Mary Millington, Rosemary England, John M. East
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.4/10 X  

Playboy David Galaxy is a suspect in a robbery case and needs an alibi, and the only credible witness to his innocence won't help. He also has to prove his mettle with "the only woman in the world who's never had an orgasm."

Director: Willy Roe
Stars: Alan Lake, Glynn Edwards, Anthony Booth
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

A health-resort where both the clients and the employees easily take their clothes off and have a little fun is the setting of this sex-comedy.

Director: George Harrison Marks
Stars: Irene Handl, Alfie Bass, George Harrison Marks
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Albert Steptoe and his son Harold are junk dealers, complete with horse and cart to tour the neighbourhood. They also live amicably together at the junk yard. But Harold, who likes the ... See full summary »

Director: Cliff Owen
Stars: Wilfrid Brambell, Harry H. Corbett, Carolyn Seymour
Excalibur (1981)
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Merlin the magician helps Arthur Pendragon unite the Britons around the round table of Camelot even as forces conspire to tear it apart

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

Young Timmy starts as a window cleaner in the little company of his brother. Soon he learns that some female customers expect additional service. Young and curious as he is, he reluctantly ... See full summary »

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Robin Askwith, Anthony Booth, Sheila White
Eskimo Nell (1975)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

Three young men, a scriptwriter, a producer and a director are called in by Benny U Murdoch, an exotic movie producer. He wants to make a new erotic movie starring a big woman - the "Eskimo... See full summary »

Director: Martin Campbell
Stars: Michael Armstrong, Terence Edmond, Christopher Timothy
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A psychology teacher assigns his university class a project about personal fantasies.

Directors: Tudor Gates, Martin Campbell
Stars: George Baker, Monika Ringwald, John Benson
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

Virginal nerd Jon Pigeon works in a peculiar sex research institute in which patients run about the corridors naked, nude aerobics are encouraged and where no man is safe from a crotch ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph McGrath
Stars: Barry Andrews, James Booth, Sally Faulkner
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  
Director: Derek Ford
Stars: Christopher Mitchell, Julia Goodman, Harry H. Corbett
Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A rather incoherent post-breakup Sex Pistols "documentary", told from the point of view of Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, whose (arguable) position is that the Sex Pistols in particular ... See full summary »

Director: Julien Temple
Stars: Malcolm McLaren, Sid Vicious, Steve Jones
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary Millington ...
...
Chief Superintendent Holbourne
Gavin Campbell ...
Inspector Harry Morgan
Alan Lake ...
Harry Dougan
...
Assistant Police Commissioner
...
Jeremy
Kenny Lynch ...
Police Doctor
Suzy Mandel ...
Lena
...
Trainer
...
Dougan's Secretary
...
Ransome
Penny Spencer ...
W.P.C. Andrews
Michael Gradwell ...
Terry Day
Tony Kenyon ...
Dolby
Ron Flangan ...
Wilson (as Ron Flanagan)
Edit

Storyline

Two detectives are drawn into the world of porn, while investigating murders of centrefolds...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A murder thriller with thrilling bodies! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1978 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Playbird Murders  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

After being hurled into the swimming pool near the end of the movie by Alan Lake, Diane Foster was taken to hospital, having hit the bottom of the shallow end. The cast seen diving in were attempting a genuine rescue and was not scripted. The ambulance arriving when the scene cut to outside the house was real and was left in the movie. This was documented in a News of the World feature later. See more »

Goofs

During Lucy's photo shoot, whenever we see a close-up of the photographer, he is always aiming his camera downwards. Presumably these inserts where shot when Lucy was lying on the ground, but they are edited in such a way that it looks like he's photographing the floor while she is standing up. See more »

Connections

Featured in Mary Millington's True Blue Confessions (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Playbirds
By Johnny Worth (as John Worth) & David Whitaker
Sung by Johnny Worth (as John Worth)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

KIND OF interesting in spite of itself (a non-British perspective)
9 September 2008 | by See all my reviews

If you're British, this movie no doubt has a lot of baggage attached to it. Two of the lead actors committed suicide soon after, and it was made right at a time when the once vaunted independent British film industry basically imploded. If you're not British, however, this movie is. . .well, pretty damn weird actually. A fanatically religious, horse-obsessed maniac is killing the nude cover girls of "Playbird" magazine. The police are frustrated in their efforts to stop him, so they send a sexy police woman (Mary Millington) under the covers to crack her case--I mean, undercover to crack the case. If you just want to see a lot of naked dolly birds, you certainly won't be disappointed. There are numerous scenes of the magazine's photo shoots, most of which involve a hilarious satanic/witchcraft-oriented theme. And the police don't just take the first attractive volunteer for the undercover job--no, they have to have to "audition" ALL their female staff members for the job before settling on Millington. The movie is obviously sexist (which is par for the course), but it's also surprisingly unpleasant and borderline misogynist. All the girls are topless or naked when they're murdered, for instance (except for one girl whose mini-skirt conveniently rides up while she's being strangled). The most disturbing scene perhaps is one particular magazine pictorial of a naked "witch" being "burned" at the stake which goes horribly awry when the killer comes along and (literally) adds fuel to the fire.

What's most amazing about all this is that there really is (or at least, was) a "Playbird" magazine, and its publisher was the producer of this movie! It's certainly hard to imagine Hugh Hefner, or even Larry Flynt, producing a movie where his own centerfolds are slaughtered in such an often unpleasant manner. (Apparently, all the censorship of sex and violence in Britain over the years hasn't resulted in the sexual attitudes there being any more wholesome than anywhere else--perhaps the opposite). I would also guess the publisher/producer owned a race horse or had some great interest in horse racing--how else to explain the killer's bizarre obsession with horses, which otherwise seems pretty unrelated to anything (or maybe this movie was inspired by the Richard Burton film "Equus" the year before?).

The best (and perhaps only) reason to see this is that it is a good showcase for cult actress Mary Millington. Millington certainly had a nice body, and viewers (like numerous male and female characters in the movie) will become VERY familiar with it. Her generally awkward acting, however, gives no indication of why she became a such a cult figure. On the other hard, it's even more difficult to see why the British moral authorities considered her such a threat to society that they had to harass her to an early demise. I definitely would not recommend going through the time and expense I did to see this movie, but if you happen upon it, it's a good chance to see Millington in action and it's KIND OF interesting in spite of itself.


7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Watch the Latest Episode of "The IMDb Show"

Paul Scheer lets us in on a secret in The Disaster Artist and answers your questions. Plus, we explore the origins of midnight movies and take a look at IMDb's Top 10 Stars of 2017.

Watch the show