Three young men, a scriptwriter, a producer and a director are called in by Benny U Murdoch, an exotic movie producer. He wants to make a new erotic movie starring a big woman - the "Eskimo...
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Three young men, a scriptwriter, a producer and a director are called in by Benny U Murdoch, an exotic movie producer. He wants to make a new erotic movie starring a big woman - the "Eskimo Nell" of the title. However problems start from the beginning, the scriptwriter is a virgin, a lover of penguins and hasn't a clue on how to write an erotic movie, each of the three main backers want a different type of movie - a western, an erotic and a kung-fu movie with different people in the main part. However problems really start for the three when Benny runs off with all the money and they have to make three different versions of the same film and try not to let the backers and stars know what has happened. And this is made harder when there is a clean-up-filth society breathing down their necks....Written by
Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>
Misrepresented As "X" Rated, Really Satire Of Film Making
Although touted as an "X" rated British sex comedy from the early 1970's this film is really a satire of adult film making. Obviously, given the subject matter, there is nudity but it is tame by contemporary standards. The presence of many mainstream British comedy actors correctly implies that this is largely a comedy.
A trio of would be film makers try to launch a production. Would be director Dennis Morrison (Michael Armstrong, who also wrote the film), would be producer Clive Potter (Terence Edmond) and would be screenwriter Harris Tweedle (Christoper Timothy) team up with low rent producer Benny U. Murdoch (Roy Kinnear). Murdoch hopes to make the movie, based on the naughty poem Eskimo Nell, with his favorite star Gladys Armitage (Diane Langton), she of the really big breasts, but first must raise the money. He has three interested parties who are each willing to put up a third of the money. Big Dick (Gordon Tanner) is a loud American producer who wants a "hard core" version, featuring a laundry list of perversions, and starring his "friend" Billie Harris (Beth Porter). Financier Ambrose Cream (Richard Caldicot) wants a kung fu musical version starring his "friend" Millicent Bindle (Prudence Drage). Similarly financier Vernon Peabody (Jeremy Hawke) wants a gay western version starring his "friend" Johnny (Raynor Burton). Its up to the trio, principally writer Tweedle, to come up with the three scripts required to raise the money. Unfortunately Benny U. Murdoch is not to be trusted with money. The trio, already on the hook to deliver three films, have to get money for a fourth version from Lady Longhorn (Rosalind Knight). She, the leader of a moral reform group, wants to produce a morally uplifting family film starring her children Hermione (Katy Manning) and Jeremy (Christopher Biggins). We then proceed to make four completely different versions on one budget! Lady Longhorn, proud of her version, arranges a Royal Performance. Obviously, with four distinctly different versions, one can foresee the misunderstandings arising from getting the correct print to the premiere.
Roy Kinnear is somewhat "over the top" in the best sense of the phrase. Michael Armstrong comes off best in his scenes showing the actual filming of the versions. In the early scenes Christopher Timothy presented as a virgin (in the sexual sense) "bird" lover (in the penquin sense) but there is no payoff. Gordon Tanner is constantly aggravated by his mindless "friend" Beth Porter. Rosalind Knight is fine, albeit in a typecast role, but her son Christopher Biggins is memorable. The balance of the performers are generally adequate.
The enjoyment of this film is likely to depend, in part, on your film knowledge. Anyone who has responded to the advertisements of the film's "X" rating will be disappointed by the tame topless displays. On the other hand anyone who is up on the "urban legends" of movie business will recognize many elements. The seedy producer (Benny U. Murdoch is a B.U.M.) trying to raise money from multiple backers (i.e. Mel Brook's The Producers). The writing of multiple versions of the scripts to turn one story into four films. The numerous "friends" of the potential backers. The performances (i.e. Beth Porter stealing her character from Jean Hagen in Singin' In The Rain) and take offs on actual characters (Gordon Tanner is a great Darryl Zanuck/Jack Warner, "Will you shut up and let me yell in peace!"). They even satirize the conventions of the "caper" movie in trying to get the right version of Eskimo Nell for the Royal Performance.
I probably rated the movie higher than the average man on the street because I recognized and appreciated elements such as these. I believe that the film is an acceptable "time waster" for any viewer but will be more fully appreciated by film buffs.
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