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Journal of Love (1971)

| Adult

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(as Sybil Kidd)

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(as Sybil Kidd)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Andy Bellamy ...
Vera (as Barbara Martin)
Rene Bond ...
Lorna (as Diane Lee)
Keith Erickson ...
Dave (as Steve Cools)
Ric Lutze ...
Jack (as Robert Hannie)
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Andy Bellamy plays Cora, although her character is listed as Vera in the credits. See more »

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I Hereby Take Thee...Both ?!
3 October 2009 | by (Brugge, Belgium) – See all my reviews

Before he became "Anthony Spinelli", the late Sam Weston (indeed, brother of Hollywood comedian Jack) tried on a considerable number of pseudonyms for size, the most frequent being the no nonsense "Wes Brown" on early efforts like NIGHT CALLER and THE SEDUCTION OF LYN CARTER. Posthumously revealed as having been born Samuel Weinstein by similarly conflicted former porn gossip columnist turned "Rebel Without a Shul" Luke Ford, like so many he downplayed his Judean background for a life in pictures.

Said life started well prior to porn, playing bit parts on popular TV shows like DR. KILDARE and THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR. These served as stepping stone to producing a few intriguing low budget movies : GUN FEVER, a western from the point of view of the wronged Native Americans, and ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO, a then (1964) groundbreaking account of polite society's inability to come to terms with an interracial love match, easily the finest flick the underwhelming Larry Peerce ever made, containing one of character actress Barbara Barrie's standout turns. Though she won Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival and the film was nominated for Best Screenplay at the Oscars, this did not automatically put Weston on the Hollywood star map.

No, it wasn't until he jumped on the porn band wagon at the dawn of the '70s, just as the genre was breaking out of its ghetto and gaining a modicum of social acceptance, that he would find relative fame and fortune. Dabbling in 16mm, since adult was still primarily the province of shoebox storefront theaters until 1972 as Gerard Damiano's DEEP THROAT steamrolled into mainstream movie houses, he got his feet wet directing as female alter ego "Sybil Kidd" with the recently recovered DIARY OF A NYMPH, followed by JOURNAL OF LOVE, which in retrospect seems like a small scale dry run for his first 35mm endeavor TOUCH ME. Both concern the very "Love Generation" concept of group marriage but where the latter took a comparatively serious, even thoughtful approach to its possible pitfalls, the former plays it almost strictly for laughs.

According to his self-invented but mighty ominous sounding "Proposition 8", referring to the crucial eighth year of marriage right after the seven year itch has kicked in, a psychiatrist (only heard in voice-over) employs two couples as guinea pigs by having them spend a weekend together at his secluded hideaway where they will attempt to live merely as husbands and wives, no specification of who's what to whom. Luscious Lorna (superstar Rene Bond) is married to used car salesman Dave (porn pioneer Keith Erickson, the Father Confessor in Weston's subsequent sulfurous ACT OF CONFESSION), a balding prankster who's a constant embarrassment to her and himself. Cora (one shot hippie chick Barbara Martin) proves equally frustrated who, though betrothed to hunky systems analyst Jack (Bond's spouse and regular co-star Rick Lutze), can't reach sexual nirvana because her better half refuses to go pearl-diving !

As Cora and Dave agree to shop for groceries, Lorna and Jack make a bee line for the nearest bedroom. Rick and Rene always had terrific chemistry – best illustrated perhaps by their teaming up in Morris Deal's affectionate '50s spoofs HIGH SCHOOL FANTASIES and BEACH BLANKET BANGO – so it's no surprise that they perform the most scorching sex in the movie. In front of a mirrored closet, which must have been the height of interior decoration sophistication circa 1970, causing the occasional gaffe whenever a crew member stumbles into shot, Lorna teaches the terrified-looking Jack the finer points of male to female oral gratification. Afterwards, he starts sobbing uncontrollably, profusely thanking her for giving him the greatest experience of his entire life !

Proceedings play out exactly as you would expect. The put-upon partners are none too pleased with the situation and tear into each other by means of revenge, to the strains of Verdi's Il Trovatore, with Händel's Hallelujah chorus kicking in at the climax ! While Dave clearly gets his jollies, Cora still stops short of the Big O, which sends her packing until Lorna finally pushes her over the edge as she daintily demonstrates dining at the Y. As the boys obviously aren't going to follow their same sex example, all possible carnal combinations this four person cast can get into have been exhausted as they all agree that, while the proverbial good time was had by all, this whole communal connubial bliss thing just isn't for them.

Historical interest aside, as a fledgling endeavor by one of copulation cinema's foremost filmmakers, this ranks as pretty standard fare for the early explicit era though dialog (clearly scripted rather than improv) is often quite funny and surprisingly well-delivered. While Lutze and Erickson can convincingly play to type (smug Mr. Sensitivity and boorish loudmouth respectively), Bond stands out as she manages to create a complete character almost out of thin air, proving once more that she's among the industry's all time most underrated actresses.


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