Charlie, a young aristocrat in turn of the century England, meets a boy named Frank on the road to Portsmouth. What Charlie doesn't realize is that Frank is actually Frances, who's donned a disguise to escape working at a brothel. Charlie takes Frank/Frances into his home, and when he discovers her true identity, the two become lovers. He sends her to London to be trained by his mistress in the art of sex, but she learns much more about her identity as a woman. Before the opening credits, explicitly on-screen it reads: "Based on the famous Victorian erotic novel by an anonymous writer". Written by
The softcore sex film basically began in 1974 with Just Jaeckin's "Emmanuelle" and was intended to be a "classier" alternative to the hardcore XXX porn initiated by "Deep Throat" and its ilk (as opposed to the "sexploitation" film which are sex films that existed BEFORE hardcore porn was really legal). The original, mostly European softcore films of the 70's are often quite interesting, although it's questionable how "classy" some of them are (that's definitely not a word that applies to Joe D'Amato's appalling "Emanuelle in America" or even the big-budget but tasteless film "Caligula"). Like the sexploitation films before them, a number of softcore sex films were loosely based on erotic novels (some call them "one-handed novels") from the Victorian Era, a famously sexually repressive era that not surprisingly produced a whole lot of smut, but also ironically provided a veneer of "respectability" for a whole lot of later sex films.
This gender-bender softcore effort is based on the Victorian novel "Frank and I" about a nobleman who meets an orphaned schoolboy on the road and, for some reason, decides to "adopt" him and bring him up properly. But while administering a bare-ass whipping, he discovers a secret, which pretty much any viewer of this movie would have figured out a half hour earlier (trust me, this is NOT a spoiler). "Frank" is actually "Frances" and is played by Jennifer Inch, an elfin but relatively busty Canadian actress. After this discovery the movie is just a typical sex romp involving the nobleman, "Frances", and his alluring mistress (played by French actress Sophie Favier).
This movie came out in the early 80's era along with such films as "Joy", "Christina", and "Fanny Hill". Like a couple of those films it was written and produced by the notorious Harry Alan Towers. The 80's softcore films are generally less interesting than the 70's ones (but far, far more interesting than the worthless masturbation fodder they make today). I'd give this one points just for being warped, but really it plays things pretty safe, truth be told. The Italian film "The Seduction of Angela" used this same plot, but had the nobleman find out the secret when he tries to bugger the good-looking "boy" (although the actress in that looked a lot more like Sophia Loren than any "boy"). Intentionally or not, this movie retains some Victorian-era hypocrisy by making a potential gay pederast into a typical hetero stud. There are definitely some mixed messages here. . .
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?