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Taking its cue from Luigi Comencini's 1974 art-house hit MIO DIO, COME SONO CADUTA IN BASSO (a/k/a TILL MARRIAGE DO US PART), this porno period piece is one of the more ambitious adult films on record. Produced and directed with great care by Bill Milling (a/k/a both director "Philip Drexler" and his producer alter ego "Bill Eagle") who made this between his surprisingly witty SATIN SUITE and his frivolous fantasy DELICIOUS, it does a good job of recreating the early 20th century and more specifically Hollywood depictions thereof, occasional anachronisms (such as electric lights !) notwithstanding.
The part of convent-bred rich girl Heather was a breakthrough role for talented thespian Veronica Hart, just hitting her stride following her supporting turns in Leon Gucci's Seka quartet (PRINCESS, TARA, CONFESSIONS OF SEKA & SEDUCTION OF CINDY), and she brings out every single nuance as her character evolves from dewy innocence to knowing worldliness. As stated in her father's will, she's to marry handsome young Frederick (Paul Thomas in an excellent, brooding portrayal worthy of Vincent Price in his Roger Corman/Edgar Allen Poe heyday), the gardener's son who it is disclosed by the spoilsport family attorney on their wedding night moments prior to consummation actually turns out to be her brother ! Unable to make love to his beautiful wife and sister, Frederick arranges for his bride to be erotically awakened without taking part in the act himself. The trusted chauffeur, well acted by Robert Bolla (who was to be Hart's partner on many a subsequent outing), will do just nicely instead. One stormy night, he gently seduces Heather in the barn as they shelter from the rain for one of the most thoroughly sensuous seductions of all time. Meanwhile, Frederick releases some pent-up tensions of his own with fiery cook Vanessa Del Rio and fledgling kitchen help Tracy (not late '80s actress Tracey) Adams, the dream girl from Larry Revene's FASCINATION, highlighted by some explosive back-door loving' courtesy of the Latina mega star.
Little-seen Nicole Scent lends her throaty voice and succulent slender frame to the part of maid Margaret, caught in flagrante with the Master and making up for it with the Mistress. She'd go on to play Jerry Butler's girlfriend in DELICIOUS and join the cupcake cast of Milling's lavish BLONDE GODDESS before disappearing from sight. Another now largely forgotten Golden Age actress worthy of mention is busty amazon Lisa Be, who would deliver a career performance in Cecil Howard's complex carnal confection SCOUNDRELS and provided solid support in movies ranging from Roberta Findlay's ill-fated LIQUID ASSETS to Fred Lincoln's exquisite THAT'S OUTRAGEOUS, portraying Heather's scandalous aunt losing her honor in flashback to sweet-talking soldier Ron Hudd and therefore called upon to instruct her young charge in the ways of the world. Ultimately, Heather and Frederick can no longer deny their passion for one another and agree to one night of incestuous lovemaking to be concluded by their suicide pact. But there's a kicker to all this high melodrama, provided by another fleshy flashback, this time involving Heather's mom as brought to lusty life by bug-eyed cutie Christie Ford, a performer forever attired in typical French maid's outfit in my mind due to her appearances as such in both Shaun Costello's AFTERNOON DELIGHTS and Ron Sullivan's A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND. With all the preceding heavy breathing and bodice-ripping, it's safe to say the remarkably cynical conclusion is not what you'd expect.
Great ambitions heighten expectations so, as a result, shortcomings tend to be magnified. While Milling demonstrates a good eye for detail, truth of the matter is that this is still a low budget effort by mainstream standards so rough spots in acting and production do rather stick out a bit. Of course, none of this should bother longtime adult fans who get to feast their eyes on a cult cast doing what they do best.
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