Routine Euro programmer from a softcore master director
I missed this fairly typical German import when it played the drive-in circuit in America (loaded with Schoolgirl Report features at the time) in the '70s, but Something Weird Video came through with a reissue for completeness sake.
Its director Rolf Thiele is justly famous for his classics in the softcore porn genre, notably the big hit "Grimm's Fairy Tales for Adults" but was actually a talented mainstream director capable of high- brow drama (with A-list casts) like his adaptation of Thomas Mann's "Tonio Kroger".
"The Love Keys" is hardly noteworthy at either extreme of the entertainment continuum, merely a time-killer of the sort that the mavericks of the New German Cinema (RWF, Herzog, Wenders, Kluge, etc.) rebelled against. Its star Horst Tappert is a performer I would often see in dubbed-in-English B-movies like the Edgar Wallace mysteries of the '60s.
Simple but effective story has cute blonde Rosy presented with a gift of her own door keys on her 17th birthday, but stuck with a 10pm curfew. The gimmick, which plants this movie firmly in the softcore porn genre of its day, is that she rents her key to dirty old men, just like a whore. Perhaps auteur Thiele was going after, in a smutty way, the territory memorably plowed by Billy Wilder in his trenchant classic "The Apartment", though I doubt it.
The resulting farce in which Rosie and her gal pal Inge (Jutta Speidel) bamboozle a series of guys raging up to a government minister climaxes in a funny slapstick ending with everyone carted off to jail.
This falls into the "naughty but nice" bucket, an enduring form of cinema I associate all the way back to Fernandel comedies but which in recent decades has unfortunately been replaced for mass audiences by the various forms of gross-out films ("Porky's", "American Pie", Farrelly Bros., Apatow, etc.).
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