37 user 20 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.


Alan Myerson


Dan Greenburg (novel), Dan Greenburg (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »




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


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


The bedroom is a fun classroom ... EMMANUELLE's star is the teacher. See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


First of three consecutive movies produced by producer R. Ben Efraim with the word "Private" in the title. The three movies, arguably an unrelated trilogy of sorts, are [in order] Private Lessons (1981), Private School (1983) and Private Resort (1985). Efraim also produced the two "in-name only" sequels to Private Lessons (1981), 1993's Private Lessons II (1993) and 1994's Private Lessons: Another Story (1994). See more »


After Nicole tells Philly to close the door to her room but before she sits down on the bed, a crew member can be seen pulling something out of the way beyond the door. See more »


Lester: What? What are you going to do? Tell me, what you're going to do, sweet pants?
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 »


Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »


Next Time You See Her
Performed by Eric Clapton
Composed by Eric Clapton
Publisher: Stigwood Music
Courtesy of: RSO Records, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

A Great Little Fireside Film
11 August 1999 | by CrizSee all my reviews

This excellent, though aging badly, film, is well worth digging out of the dusty shelves of your video store. It's definitely not highbrow fare, but this story of an earnest 15 year old's relationship with his sexy French housekeeper is certainly watchable.

Although the subject matter is actually quite serious, many moments in the movie will have you laughing out loud. Patrick Piccininni is priceless as the best friend of the 15 year old Phillip, who eggs him on. Eric Brown is even better as Phillip, who isn't quite sure how to respond to his housekeeper's advances.

"Private Lessons" is more than just a reversed-role "Lolita"--it's far more entertaining to watch. It does, however, join a whole series of fairly predictable teen guy-and-teacher/housekeeper movies like "My Tutor". What I especially like about this film, though, is that it doesn't have the heavy air of moral judgment hanging around it. The characters are depicted as perfectly-capable agents of their own will, which is extremely refreshing. It was hard to watch "Private Lessons", though, without looking back on my teen years and longing to be in Phillip's shoes!

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Release Date:

10 June 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Philly See more »

Filming Locations:

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA See more »


Box Office


$2,800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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