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American Desire (1981)

X | | Adult | 1981 (USA)
Story about a couple whose erotic energy is beginning to dim and what they do about it.



(story), (screenplay) (as Alberto Ferro) | 1 more credit »
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Cast overview:
Veronica Hart ...
Sheila Welles
Bob (as Robert Bolla)
Mai Lin ...
Mai Lin
Jake Teague ...
Alan Welles (as Alan Clement)
George Payne ...
George Wilder
Mistress Candice ...
The Kinky Call Girl
Lysa Thatcher ...
The Young Hitchhiking Girl (as Lisa Adams)
Roy Stuart ...
The Stranger
Dave Ruby ...
The Construction Worker


Story about a couple whose erotic energy is beginning to dim and what they do about it.

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1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Climax  »

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Variety is the Spice of Life
19 March 2008 | by (Brugge, Belgium) – See all my reviews

Algerian-born self-proclaimed Euro Porn King Lasse Braun (a/k/a Alberto Ferro as well as "Falcon Stuart") made his fame as a superior "loop" director in the late '60s and early '70s, shooting some of the most amazingly intense intercourse featurettes then – or since – semi-legally available, working across the globe in those countries whose relaxed censorship laws allowed him to strut his stuff free of authoritative hassle. He branched out into full length features with PENETRATION a/k/a FRENCH BLUE and SENSATIONS, his crowning achievement lensed in the notoriously liberated Dutch capital of Amsterdam. All sorts of trouble with producers, distributors as well as, eventually, the occasional government – exhaustively detailed on his admittedly awesome if self-aggrandizing site www.lasse-braun.com – finally brought him to the United States, fortunately still in thrall of its pornographic "Golden Age" as the '80s beckoned. On the surface, American DESIRE appears to be formulaic in the extreme, the even then already tired tale of a married couple jointly deciding "to see other people" in order to spice up their unadventurous sex life. It's a good measure of Braun's genius as a fornication filmmaker and, credit where it's due, the excellence of his star cast that such doesn't even begin to register as a hindrance to the hardcore heaven that awaits the ardent aficionado within.

Bob and Sheila Welles (Robert Kerman and Veronica Hart, one of the finest tandems in titillation cinema) are stuck in a rut. He suggests fooling around. She balks at the idea. Rest assured, she will change her mind. Attempting adultery, Bob calls on the "specialized" services of Mistress Candice (in a rare "regular" appearance outside of S&M porn, see also Robert Michaels' moderately entertaining TWILITE PINK) but gets more than he bargained for in a domination bit gone berserk and strictly played for laughs. Sheila goes to see her dad (Jake Teague, perfect for the part) for advice, only to find him otherwise occupied with his younger spouse (Mai Lin). Visiting the dilapidated house that once belonged to her grandfather, a famous author, she meets a handsome young scholar (gay porn crossover George Payne) interested in both the property and her, apparently. Unfortunately, Mai Lin gets her hands on him first, a situation only aggravated when dear old dad inquires whether Sheila would like to join in ! Bob gets lucky with a submissive hitchhiker (the formidable Lysa Thatcher from Howard Winters' magnificent NEON NIGHTS) to the strains of Vangelis' ominous "Alpha", one of several library tracks employed. Sheila dresses up to the nines and returns to the old house, hoping to find George but running into creepy current owner Roy Stuart instead. Assuring her she can walk away at any time, he seduces her in violent, semi-rape fashion. This sequence may sit uncomfortably with some viewers but it's a supremely erotic example of how to treat a non-PC sex fantasy (which is just that : a fantasy) on screen. Hungry for more, Sheila comes on to construction worker Dave Ruby (looking resplendent in hardhat) and their resulting threesome could strip the paint of them walls ! Bob and Sheila share their newfound carnal knowledge at film's closing, adding lusty Lysa to their now wide open marriage with a haunting song ("I'm Ready to Fly", composed by the aforementioned Roy Stuart, later to become a famous fetish photographer and subject of several Taschen art books) making their goodnight grope extra special.

Beautifully shot on location in New York and Connecticut by TV camera man Jack Malick, much emphasis is placed – obviously at Braun's insistence, as US porn was still relatively reticent at this stage – on graphic "monster shots" of almost grotesquely enlarged genitalia, especially on cinema screens. These are not interjected willy nilly but only when and if they can increase erotic effect, jolting jaded audiences out of their carnal complacency like a crash of cymbals at a symphony's crescendo. Braun continued to work stateside, probably his most productive period arriving half a decade later when he landed a six picture deal with Vidco with YOUNG NYMPHO, SECRET MISTRESS and – to a slightly lesser degree – FLASHER the unquestionable highlights of that lascivious lot, cementing his reputation as a Dirty Man for All Seasons. God bless his sweet salacious soul !

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