A night in the life of a cynical prostitute forms the basis of Ken Russell's portrait of the world's oldest profession.

Director:

Ken Russell

Writers:

David Hines (play), Ken Russell (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Theresa Russell ... Liz
Benjamin Mouton ... Blake
Antonio Fargas ... Rasta
Elizabeth Morehead ... Katie
Daniel Quinn ... Brutal Man
Sanjay Chandani ... Indian (as Sanjay)
Jason Saucier ... Bill
Michael Crabtree ... Man in Car
Jered Barclay Jered Barclay ... Dead Trick in Car
Doug MacHugh Doug MacHugh ... Man in Diner
Amanda Goodwin ... Martha, Liz's Girlfriend
Frank Smith Frank Smith ... Charlie
Jason Kristofer ... Shy Kid in Van
Robert O'Reilly ... Younger Man in Car
Ginger Lynn ... Wounded Girl (as Ginger Lynn Allen)
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Storyline

The prostitute Liz works on the streets of Los Angeles. She recalls her life in flashback, when she marries an alcoholic man. She leaves him with their son. Then she works as waitress in a diner until the day a man introduces her to prostitution. Later she is raped by at least five men and the pimp Blake "protects" her. Liz tries to escape from Blake and befriends the prostitute Katie; however Blake chases her. On the streets, she befriends the homeless Rasta (Antonio Fargas) that helps her when she needs. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This is no bedtime story See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

NC-17 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The surly Maitre D played in the restaurant by a credited 'Bob Prupas', appears to have the same voice - and mannerisms - as the film's director, Ken Russell, himself. See more »

Goofs

When Liz gives the finger to the anal-sex enthusiast in the opening scene, a person is walking through the tunnel toward her. When she turns around a moment later, the pedestrian disappears. See more »

Quotes

Liz: [Liz finds Sanjay using a bicycle pump on his tire] Oh, you got a flat. Need help pumping it up?
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Crazy Credits

Credits have MCMLXXXXI for 1991, should read MCMXCI. See more »

Alternate Versions

The aforementioned European version, running 92 minutes was also released in North America on VHS, with an "unrated" label. See more »


Soundtracks

LET ME BE YOUR FANTASY
Performed by Girls Club
Written by E. Esquilan and R. Ricardo
Produced by R. Ricardo
Courtesy of Select Records
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User Reviews

 
Sex sells....
2 January 2008 | by mcfly-31See all my reviews

Russell's often cited, perfect retort to "Pretty Woman" deals with a Los Angeles streetwalker and her myriad of seedy misadventures as a woman of the night...and day. Based from a stage play, it pretty much works like that, but basically set outdoors.

Russell (Theresa, that is), directs monologues at the camera in between interaction with various figures in her life. Be it her Brooks Brothers pimp (who looks more like a yuppie banker) or a pair of dopey foreigners she co-mingles with. Odd that Russell (the director) would choose not one, but two men of far-away descent for the female Russell to play off of. The first being what seems to be a Jamaican (though played by African-American actor Fargas) for midnight chats, and a clichéd Arab who says cutesy things like "Will you be doing it without a rubber thing?".

Russell's story darts about in different fashions, from flashbacks to in-the-moment pick-ups from customers. At one point director Russell even cuts to the pimp cruising the streets and waxing philosophical to the camera as well. Those expecting something gratuitous to munch popcorn to need to look elsewhere. Whoring is not glamorized here, with gang rapes, slashed hookers, and hateful tricks full of salty language. Once in a while (director) Russell lightens things up with throwaway gags (no pun) including a comical caning and a shoe-fetish nutbar who even comes with a small script.

Physically, Russell is an effective choice for Liz, perhaps a little too pretty, but does sport a big butt and a few extra pounds. What distracts more is Russell's exceedingly uneven performance, one of the more mixed I've ever seen. Crossing an Elvira voice with a jr. high intellect, she captures your attention, though not always winningly. Part of the problem is the all-too-apparent dubbing of her voice for the street scenes. In order to remove the horns and whooshing of cars, her re-reading of lines is sometimes painful to listen to. Her quieter moments of pre-prostitution life work better, she being portrayed more as innocent and naive. Along with those scenes being shot indoors.

The film sometimes lapses into inappropriate satire or bawdiness, then will slug you with broken fingers and slashed throats. It doesn't always work, but holds your attention. Sort of a reworking of Russell's far superior 1984 work, "Crimes of Passion", with the same wise-assed hooker approach. Though that film was more straight-forward, and a had a three-character triangle of obsession, marital commentary, and redemption. Here the femme Russell is pretty much by herself, leading a more one-note lifestyle. Seek out "Crimes" for the better movie; seek out "Whore" for a gritty reality check.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 October 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

If You Can't Say It... Just See It See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$165,534, 6 October 1991

Gross USA:

$1,008,404

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,008,404
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R Rated)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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