5.2/10
3,362
37 user 21 critic

Private Lessons (1981)

R | | Comedy | 10 June 1981 (USA)
An immigrant housemaid seduces a 15-year-old boy and later fakes her own death as part of his chauffeur's blackmail plot. Troubles arise when the two start to fall in love.

Director:

Alan Myerson

Writers:

Dan Greenburg (based on the novel: "Philly" by), Dan Greenburg (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sylvia Kristel ... Mallow
Howard Hesseman ... Lester
Eric Brown ... Philly
Patrick Piccininni Patrick Piccininni ... Sherman
Ed Begley Jr. ... Jack Travis
Pamela Jean Bryant ... Joyce (as Pamela Bryant)
Meridith Baer ... Miss Phipps
Ron Foster Ron Foster ... Fillmore
Peter Elbling ... Waiter
Beans Morocco Beans Morocco ... Green (as Dan Barrows)
Dan Greenburg Dan Greenburg ... Hotel Owner
Marian Gibson Marian Gibson ... Florence
Judy Helden Judy Helden ... Miss Kristel's Double
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Storyline

Phillip Filmore is a naive, 15-year-old, preoccupied with sex, who develops a crush on Nicole Mallow, the new 30-something, French housekeeper and sitter to look after him when Phillip's father is out of town for the summer on a "business" trip. But Mr. Filmore's unscrupulous chauffeur, Lester Lewis, takes advantage of Phillip's crush on Nicole to hire her to seduce the youth, then draws her into a plot to fake her own death in a blackmail scheme aimed to drain Phillip's trust fund. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What happens if you leave a 15 year old boy in the care of a beautiful housemaid? [UK DVD] See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie "started the teen sex film craze of the 1980s!" according to the DVD sleeve notes. See more »

Goofs

Philly's school, "Fredrick Douglass High School," misspells the name of Frederick Douglass (1818 - 1895). See more »

Quotes

Philly: Lots of people take baths with other people.
Sherman: Who?
Philly: The Japanese! You said so yourself. Maybe she's part Japanese?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version of the film shown on US broadcast television alters two scenes. The opening scene of a couple making out in car with only their legs showing has been replaced with a montage of scenes from later in the film when Philly and Lester are burying the body. The bathtub scene where Ms. Mallo takes a bath with Philly has been completely removed with the exception of a single question. In the original version, Ms. Mallow asks Philly if he would like to take a bath with her. He says "Yes" and the scenes continues. On television, he says "No" and the scene ends. See more »

Connections

References Dirty Harry (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

That's The Reason
Performed by Willie Nile
Composed by Willie Nile
Publisher: Lake Victoria Music
Courtesy of: Arista Records, Inc.
Played in the end credits
See more »

User Reviews

 
Private Lessons (1981) ***
8 February 2006 | by JoeKarlosiSee all my reviews

When a rich man leaves town for a business trip, he leaves his young 15-year-old son Philly (Eric Brown) at home in the care of his sexy foreign housemaid, Miss Mallow (Sylvia Kristel) and their sniveling chauffeur Lester (Howard Hesseman - 'Johnny Fever' of WKRP IN CINCINNATI). Like many red-blooded teenage boys, Philly and his young buddy Sherman are looking for cheap thrills by spying on sun bathing girls and dreaming of sex. What a surprise Philly's in for when Miss Mallow catches him watching her undress from outside the window one night and then invites him inside to get the best view. Soon, the maid is seducing the boy, and Philly begins to experience every adolescent male's fantasy - scoring with an older woman. The problem is, Miss Mallow and her partner Lester have other plans in store for this aspiring Casanova.

I first saw this unusually risqué teenage comedy/sex fantasy back in 1981 when I was 19, which was considerably older than the 15-year-old character is. But the dream was still something I could relate to, and when I saw that a DVD release was coming out I decided to revisit it and see how it stood up, so to speak, after 25 years. Turns out it's still fun, and Eric Brown is humorous as he stammers while trying to contain his excitement at seeing Sylvia Kristel (and her body double in some shots) naked. Kristel was popular doing this type of film in Europe, so it was interesting to see her in an American production doing something that would never be allowed at your local cineplex today. Not only are some of her sequences sensual, but there are a fair amount of laughs, some of them courtesy of Philly's pudgy know-it-all friend Sherman, and also from Howard Hesseman who has some funny moments being pushed around and humiliated by Ed Begley Jr! As is the case with many early '80s teen comedies, the soundtrack is pretty good too, and features music from Rod Stewart, Air Supply and John Cougar, among others.

The most easily obtainable version of this film I would guess is now the 2006 Lions Gate DVD, but purists should be warned that a couple of quick lower frontal nudity shots have been obscured on this release by an annoying white dot. Well, it's not like this is great art, and the movie doesn't really suffer from the brief obliteration. Besides, this was a forgotten cult classic of sorts and hard to locate for so long that it's just good to be able to view it again. I know some people get uptight about this daring film, especially in these days, but relax. It's just a fun little movie, if not a great one, and sometimes even has a little bit of charm to it as well. And it's nothing that many average teenage boys aren't thinking about already. *** out of ****


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 June 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Philly See more »

Filming Locations:

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$26,279,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$26,279,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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