Playboy David Galaxy is a suspect in a robbery case and needs an alibi, and the only credible witness to his innocence won't help. He also has to prove his mettle with "the only woman in the world who's never had an orgasm."
A seedy striptease club in London's West End becomes the target for unpleasant crooks. The club's owners are blackmailed into paying out large wads of cash, but star attraction Mary Millington saves the day with her energetic stripping.
John M. East
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A health-resort where both the clients and the employees easily take their clothes off and have a litte fun is the setting of this hugely popular sex-comedy.Written by
Kristian Krokfoss <email@example.com>
A diminutive, baby-faced pornographer by the name of David Sullivan had become one of Britain's youngest millionaires by the mid-seventies as the publisher of a handful of top-shelf magazines which were as strong as the censorious values of the day would allow (one of which was called Whitehouse, simply to annoy the self-appointed media watchdog Mary Whitehouse, which should give you some idea of where Sullivan was shooting from) and the owner of a nationwide chain of sex shops. One of his star discoveries was Mary Millington, a bisexual blonde butcher's wife from Dorking whose enthusiastic performances in underground hardcore porn loops made her the closest thing Britain had to its very own Linda Lovelace, who had become an unlikely global star after the success of the notorious Deep Throat. Understandably, Sullivan was casting around for fresh arenas to conquer, and cinema seemed the next logical step - after all, even though they were uniformly dire, the Confessions... and Adventures... series of modest low-budget sex comedies had all turned a healthy profit. With the right vehicle for his protégé, Sullivan could make a fortune.
Enter George Harrison Marks, a nude photographer and purveyor of 8mm pornographic reels with a beatnik beard, a lively imagination and a taste for booze that would eventually cost him his life. Marks was no stranger to the cinema, either, having scored an unlikely hit with 1970's Nine Ages of Nakedness, and had written Come Play With Me as a prospective sequel - but his fondness for the bottle, an obscenity trial and bankruptcy meant it had to be abandoned. Meantime, Marks found steady work providing photo sets for Sullivan's magazines, and he took the opportunity to pitch his screenplay to his new employer. Never one to let the grass grow under his feet, Sullivan rushed the film into production and cooked up a series of extravagantly dishonest advertising campaigns which hoodwinked the public into thinking Come Play With Me would make Deep Throat look like kids' stuff.
As it turned out, however, Come Play With Me was a simple musical comedy with its roots in music hall, end-of-the-pier farce, seedy strip club revue and naughty seaside postcards, an over-extended Benny Hill sketch bereft of Hill's trademark inventive wordplay, visual flourishes and any last remnant of comic timing. With a few judicious trims here and there, there's no reason why it shouldn't be shown on BBC1 on a Sunday afternoon - unless, of course, being absolutely terrible counts as a reason. Don't allow the number of familiar faces and old favourites in the cast to lead you to think you'll be able to salvage anything worthwhile from this paltry shambles - as director and co- star, Marks repeatedly failed to get the best out of his motley crew of old troupers (witness former Dad's Army and Survivors star Talfryn Thomas visibly laughing in the middle of a take, for example) and Irene Handl was left to idly improvise most of her lines. Dear old Alfie Bass later told horror stories about Marks being drunk most of the time, and fans of Mary Millington were left disappointed by her skimpy amount of screen time, most of which finds her indulging in a hammy approximation of intercourse with a middle-aged client and a brief lesbian tryst with Penny Chisholm. (Millington's army of admirers would be much better served by Sullivan's next film, 1978's the Playbirds.) Still, Come Play With Me - surely one of the most unsavoury contributions to Royal Jubilee year - was an enormous hit, running constantly in one West End cinema for a whopping four years and spawning a stage revue which featured Bob Grant from TV's On the Buses as well as several unofficial sequels. Seen today, one wonders what all the fuss was about, of course, but then we'll probably be saying the same thing about Mrs Brown's Boys forty years from now.
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