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A Touch of the Other (1970)

 -  Crime | Drama
4.2
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Ratings: 4.2/10 from 5 users  
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Delger, "the man who gets things done", finds himself involved in London's vice world, in between sleeping with his two neighbours Elaine and Wendy, a masseuse who "can't give a man a massage without turning him on".

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(as Arnold Louis Miller)

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Title: A Touch of the Other (1970)

A Touch of the Other (1970) on IMDb 4.2/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
Kenneth Cope ...
Delger
Shirley Anne Field ...
Elaine
Hélène Françoise ...
Wendy
Timothy Craven ...
Webber
Vasco Koulolia ...
Hughes
Noel Davis ...
Max Ronieau
Renny Lister ...
Sheila
Sarah Kemp ...
Shirley (as Gypsie Kemp)
Paul Stassino ...
Connelly
Jon Laurimore ...
Det. Sgt. Masterson
Peter Bland ...
Sgt. Phillips
Vanda Godsell ...
Angela
Martin Wyldeck ...
Traylor
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Storyline

Delger, "the man who gets things done", finds himself involved in London's vice world, in between sleeping with his two neighbours Elaine and Wendy, a masseuse who "can't give a man a massage without turning him on".

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Crime | Drama

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Also Known As:

House of Hookers  »

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(Eastmancolor)
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 5 (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

I Can Get Things Done
Written by John Hawkins
Sung by Kenneth Cope
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User Reviews

aka House of Hookers
31 July 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A latter day effort from Primitive London director Arnold Louis Miller, A Touch of the Other (aka House of Hookers) stars Kenneth Cope as Delger, a cheeky chappie who goes around Soho advertising himself as "the man who gets things done". It not clear what this means, but judging by the Bogart picture in his office Delger appears to fancy himself as a private eye. His cryptic message however only results in the interest of Soho heavies who threaten to beat him up. It slowly, and rather confusingly is revealed that Delger has acquired his Soho office from its last occupant, a friend of his who he got out of dept to gangsters, and has now decided to investigate the bad guys further. When he is not following up on the case though Delger is bed hopping in-between his two neighbours, both of whom are prostitutes but offer him 'freebies'. Elaine (Shirley Anne Field) "gives French lessons without knowing a word of French" while Wendy (Helene Françoise) is a black masseuse who Delger refers to as "my coloured supplement". A vaguely coherent plot line finally emerges when Elaine and Wendy's pimp, an old queen nicknamed Lady Max, offers Delger the job of slipping a bribe to an ex-prostitute called Sheila (played by Cope's real life wife Renny Lister). Things don't exactly go to plan though, and the kinky finale involves -in this order- a mass catfight, women being tied up and a threesome.

A Touch of the Other, is well, a bit of an odd one, curiously entertaining despite (or perhaps because of) being terrible in most departments, and with a personality that is truly all over the place. Cope seems to be playing the film for comedy and having fun with his randy private eye wannabe character, but the 'underworld' elements of the film are played straight, and things get quite nasty at times, Delger is viciously beaten up in his office by a Milton Reid type while Lady Max is bloodily shot to death in bed (causing the poor actor to lose his wig in the process). Its not especially sexually explicit by 1970s standards, save for some minor nudity by secondary actors that got the film a write up in Cinema X, yet the atmosphere remains decidedly sleazy with the low, low budget no doubt necessitating the film be shot on authentic locations including a dingy Soho office (given so much screen time you wonder if it could possibly be Miller's own?) and a strip club, complete with girl and snake striptease act and a dwarf barman. The whole film feels curiously out of time, with swinging sixties type library music bursting onto the soundtrack at regular intervals, while Cope wears bright frilly shirts that look like they too belong in the Primitive London era ("Kenneth Cope's costumes supplied by Lord John, Carnaby Street, London" boast the credits) and Field and Françoise walk around in lingerie as if they were in a 1960s 8mm glamour film.

Miller's direction is as usual shockingly bad, on the level of very early Pete Walker, I'm thinking here of Walker's I Like Birds/School for Sex period. Walker can at least lay claim to being inexperienced when he made those films, Miller's direction here seems even more amateur than Secrets of a Windmill Girl made several years before. The only vaguely stylish bit is a freaky dream sequence where Delger imagines the film's main characters- and a man in drag- running towards him in slow-motion. (Miller would go on to direct the ultra-obscure Sex Farm, which was rejected by the BBFC in 1973, and produce the notorious "Growing Up", a sex education film for schools.) In a rare lead role Cope gamely tries his best (he also sings the comedy theme tune) but most of his dialogue seems nonsensical rather than funny "take your clothes off I want to talk to you…put them on again I can't hear you" he tells a confused Shirley Anne Field, and often Delger is irritating on an almost Alan Lake/David Galaxy level. For all of Cope's best comedic efforts though, the film's comedy highlight for my money belongs to an absolutely hopeless actor playing an elderly northern football fan who repeatedly stares at the camera and flubs his lines. Where on earth they got this actor from I don't know, but his character is written into the film as one of Shirley Anne Field's customers, who when asked why he is paying her entirely in spare change tells her its because his mates at the pub had a "whip round" for him to go to a prostitute. To add insult to injury, he refuses her offer of sex and asks if she could sew a button onto his coat instead!!!


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