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L'alcova (1985)

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An English soldier (Cliver) returns home from the Zulu war with the daughter of a tribal king (Gemser) as his slave (a gift that he was given for "saving" the kings life). The spoils of war... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Lilli Carati ...
Annie Belle ...
Laura Gemser ...
Al Cliver ...
Roberto Caruso ...


An English soldier (Cliver) returns home from the Zulu war with the daughter of a tribal king (Gemser) as his slave (a gift that he was given for "saving" the kings life). The spoils of war, ya know? While he's been gone, his wife has been having an affair with the female housekeeper (Belle). Not at all pleased with being a slave, the Ebony princess notices the mistress of the house engaging in a quick bit of foreplay with the housekeeper and plots her revenge starting with the seduction of the mistress. Jealousy spreads like wildfire and before you know it, she has turned the household into a lustful frenzy of sex and hatred. Written by lament

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

21 January 1985 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Alcove  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The credits claim the screenplay is based on a novel by a Judith Wexley. Several researchers have said they could find no trace of this novel, and it apparently does not exist. See more »


Wilma: You hypocritical sow!
Alessandra: I love you too, Mata Hari.
See more »

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User Reviews

A Joe D'Amato film for Tinto Brass fans
15 February 2010 | by (Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile) – See all my reviews

For some reason in the early to mid 80's Italian director Joe D'Amato stopped making his swinging 70's "Black Emanuelle" films and/or his gut-munching cannibal/zombie films and started trying to make the kind of classy softcore erotica more commonly associated with his fellow countryman, Tinto Brass. None of these films was entirely successful, but this one might have been the least unsuccessful. A military veteran (Al Cliver) returns from a WWII military campaign to his rural villa in Italy bringing with him an Abyssinian slave (Laura Gemser), who had been sold to him by her father. Although she starts out as timid and demure Arab woman in a burka it isn't long before she is (quite unbelievably) sun-bathing in the nude and seducing the bisexual lady of the house, the military man's second wife (Lili Karati). Soon she is running the entire household and it is up to a female servant/spurned lesbian lover of the wife (Annie Belle) and the military man's grown son to try to stop her.

The cast is a little weak since they are all softcore porn stars. Al Cliver was never much of an actor and since he is all of about thirty here, is none too convincing as a middle-aged veteran with an adult son. Laura Gemser was also not a great actress, but she was somewhat underrated and gives one of her more game performances here. Unfortunately, an Indonesian actress really has her work cut playing a North African character, and one goes who through some absolutely unbelievable changes in such a short movie. The real surprises here though are Lili Karati and Annie Bell. Karati started out as a Miss Italy runner-up and ended up in hardcore porn, but she was a modestly talented actress who gave a few decent performances (perhaps the most famous perhaps in Fernando DiLeo's "Being Twenty"). She acquits herself pretty well here. Annie Belle was simply not an actress. In her 70's roles like "End of Innocence" and "Laure" she allegedly played herself--a hardly legal Lolita with a bleach-blonde pixie cut who couldn't keep her clothes on for five minutes and would jump on anything with genitalia. (She was Al Cliver's real-life lover and the not-particularly-reliable David Hess claims to have had real sex with her during their scene in "House by the Edge of the Park"). Anyway, in this movie her pixie haircut and adolescent body are gone and she seems to be genuinely ACTING for once.

D'Amato gets as-good-as-can-be-expected performances from his porn star cast and as always his cinematography is above par (cinematography was D'Amatos first specialty and one he perhaps should have stuck with). He was also well known for his generally fast-moving sex scenes and his incredible lack of political correctness and good taste. Unfortunately, the sex scenes here are very LONG and the kind of standard, mostly tame lesbian stuff that manages to make even the impressive bodies of Gemser, Karati, and Belle seem pretty boring after awhile. There is SOME tasteless politically incorrect violence thrown into the mix, but not until the very end unfortunately (when the typical audience member would have long since shot his wad and fallen asleep). Of course,some do consider this one of D'Amato's better films. If you like his Tinto Brass-type stuff you might like this, but for me it could have really used some gut-munching cannibals or something.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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