HARVEY SWINGS is one of the more famous titles stemming from the late softcore sex era, and is back in prominence 40 years later thanks to two competing DVD reissues.
Director Stu Segall is a real pro, so we get a competent film, but it lacks the "real film" qualities of the best of his later work. It's essentially a drawing room comedy, but of the sexual variety.
Funny repartee proves far more enjoyable than the usual all-sex filler. Unfortunately, once the sex scenes begin in earnest the story is largely forgotten.
Harvey is a nerd who the viewer is rooting for: will he get laid? Evening's host is played by porn vet John Dullaghan, always a solid character actor, here fitted with unflattering hair style and overbearing personality.
A campy butler, way out of control, is essayed by a guy anticipating the look of Horatio Sanz on "Saturday Night Live". Harvey himself, uncredited, is a filled with tics and bits of business comic performance that anticipates the screen persona of SNL graduate Bill Murray. It's disconcerting but fun.
Three spectacularly alluring porn stars are dangled before Harvey: Donna Stanley, a busty beauty; Monica Gayle, one of the treasures of softcore, and fan favorite Suzanne Fields, on the verge of crossing over memorably into XXX realms.
This one is strictly softcore, with Fields competently simulating fellatio but hiding the evidence from the audience. She is accorded almost no dialog, hired instead for her sexual talents. She delivers split-beaver shots, just what the fans were looking for in 1970.
Film also displays male nudity, but strictly of the limp dick variety.
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