13 user 5 critic

Playgirl After Dark (1960)

Too Hot to Handle (original title)
A French reporter working on a steamy story about the secret strip joints found in London's Soho district becomes involved in the lives of the owner and star of a famous club.


Terence Young


Herbert Kretzmer (screenplay), Harry Lee (original idea)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jayne Mansfield ... Midnight Franklin
Leo Genn ... Johnny Solo
Karlheinz Böhm ... Robert Jouvel (as Carl Boehm)
Danik Patisson Danik Patisson ... Lilliane Decker
Christopher Lee ... Novak
Kai Fischer ... Cynthia
Patrick Holt ... Inspector West
Martin Boddey ... Mr. Arpels
Sheldon Lawrence Sheldon Lawrence ... Diamonds Dielli
Barbara Windsor ... Ponytail
John Salew John Salew ... Moeller
Tom Bowman Tom Bowman ... Flash Gordon
Ian Fleming ... Pawnbroker
Penny Morrell Penny Morrell ... Terry
Katherine Keeton Katherine Keeton ... Melody


In London's Soho, Johnny Solo runs the Pink Flamingo Club. He's tough to intimidate. So when he starts getting threats and demands for protection, he fights back. Behind the takeover plot is a competitor, Diamonds Dielli. Midnight Franklin, who's Johnny's girlfriend and one of the club's headliners, wants to get Johnny out of the business. In the background are a sadistic client, an underage chorus girl, a wisecracking siren who's not averse to rough trade, a visiting journalist, and a dancer who guards her past. Can Johnny win the struggle with Diamonds, and can Midnight get him out of harm's way? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The sizzler you read about in Playboy magazine! It strips the secrets from the intimate key clubs. See more »


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English | German

Release Date:

16 April 1960 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Playgirl After Dark See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Eastmancolor)| Black and White (TV prints)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Barbara Windsor's screentime was severely cut, on the instructions of Jayne Mansfield. See more »


Johnny Solo: I had a friend once, Diamond. It didn't take.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The British film is in color and runs at circa 104 minutes. The USA copy, intended for TV broadcast, is in b&w and cut to 93 minutes. VHS and DVD copies are all based on the USA version. See more »


Referenced in Terence Young: Bond Vivant (2000) See more »


Too Hot To Handle
Music and Lyrics by Eric Spear
Performed by Jayne Mansfield (uncredited) and an uncredited vocal group over main titles
See more »

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User Reviews

TOO HOT TO HANDLE {Black-&-White Version} (Terence Young, 1960) **1/2
10 August 2015 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

According to the IMDb, apart from the delightful Jack Conway-Clark Gable-Myrna Loy screwball comedy from 1938, there are 5 more movies that go by the name of TOO HOT TO HANDLE. The film under review (retitled PLAYGIRL AFTER DARK in the U.S.) is the would-be steamy noir-ish Jayne Mansfield vehicle made in Britain and co-starring actors who normally are above this sort of thing – Leo Genn, Carl Boehm and Christopher Lee – but which decidedly help in raising it above the rut of contemporaneous quota-quickie gangland thrillers; indeed, Patrick Holt – whom I recently watched in a film from that very ilk, SERENA (1962) – even plays the Police Inspector here!

The American "Blonde Bombshell" plays Midnight Franklin, the star attraction of a Soho strip club called "The Pink Flamingo"; suave Genn is her boss whom he affectionately calls "12 O'Clock" and she has feelings for; Boehm (in his second British film) plays an inquisitive journalist reporting on the sordid London nightlife – typically he falls for one of the girls but, surprisingly, it is not the leading lady but gloomy Danik Patisson; and Lee is Novak, Genn's double-faced right-hand man/MC. Another well-known figure (pun intended) that is featured further down in the cast list but whose violent demise plays a pivotal role in the film's climax with respect to the major characters' fate is future "Carry On" star Barbara Windsor.

Indeed, the film's unhappy ending – in which most characters show their true (and uglier) colours – is its real trump card…more so than the much-touted "hot" numbers of Miss Mansfield; speaking of which, unfortunately, not only is the print I watched shorn of colour (which is how it is widely available today – probably a disservice to the great Otto Heller's original lensing – and which, arguably, also enhances its ties with the aforementioned sub-genre)…but her two songs are bereft of sound, too!! Luckily enough, the sequences are intact – if still just as monochromatic and chaste – when looked up individually on "You Tube" (which is where I came across the film in the first place) and, apparently, TOO HOT TO HANDLE is available in colour on a German DVD.

Incidentally, while the film may have been intended as a dramatic showcase for its shapely star, she had fared much better in Paul Wendkos' debut, the superior noir THE BURGLAR (1957), which I have caught up with just the other day; besides, while it may seem odd that a film originally shot in colour would "exist" solely in a black-and-white print, this is the 10th such instance I have come across in my film collection alone…

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