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Caesar and Cleopatra (1976)
Contrary to other reviewer's claims, this is neither a BBC nor a US network production. It was made by Southern Television in Southampton, England, for the ITV commercial network. It's not one of Shaw's lighter works, and it was all I could do to sit through it. The acting is first-class, but the writing is verbose, and the finger was poised over the fast-forward button.
Tiffany Jones (1973)
Neither One Thing Nor The Other
The original Tiffany Jones newspaper strip won plaudits for its wit and style. Written and drawn by two female fashion journalists, it told of the exploits of a glamorous model, Tiffany, and her friends Jo and boyfriend Guy, and epitomised the free spirit of 'Swinging London'. Unfortunately this seems to have been completely jettisoned in this rather tedious adaptation. Instead poor Jo and Guy are relegated to a brief appearance at the start of the film, and then disappear for the duration. Tiffany gets embroiled in an attempt by a deposed foreign royal to overthrow the dictatorship which has taken over his country. The makers of the film seem unsure how seriously they should take the story, and how much sex and nudity (which is after all the only reason most people will be watching) to throw into the mix. One can only speculate what Fiona Richmond's producers, makers of probably the best looking sex films of the period, would have done with this story. Or how it would have been handled by the more low-brow creators of the 'Confessions' or 'Adventures' films; doubtless the clothing would have been lost with more panache than happens here. Anouska Hempel does not have the knowing sexuality of a Fiona, nor does she have the dizzy wide-eyed innocence which might also have worked. Instead she is reduced to reacting to everything that happens to her as if it was an everyday occurrence. The viewer is left with a feeling of regret for what might have been.
Fiona's in control
Many of the comments on this film seem to be that Fiona Richmond couldn't act, or she was wrong to play a schoolgirl etc. The point was that she KNEW all this. The character of Fiona was one that Julia Harrison (her real name) had created herself. She was fully aware of her limitations as an actress, and was in a conspiracy with her audience over this. She also wrote for Men Only magazine about 'road-testing' various men each month, and we, her readers, knew that she was actually sat in an office making it all up. This was part of her appeal, and of the whole joke. Perhaps you had to have been around at the time to get it.
The Amorous Milkman (1975)
Are You Getting Enough? I Certainly Had Enough!
As something of a fan of the low-budget British Sex-Com, I feel qualified to say that this is one of the worst of the genre. Derren Nesbit wrote, produced, directed and even made a Hitchcock-style appearance in it, so he must have been pleased with himself. Unfortunately he must also have been the only one. The lead actor, Brendan Price has none of the cheeky chappie charm possessed by Robin (Confessions) Askwith, letting the double entendres drop leadenly into the air. The rest of the cast, including comedy stalwarts like Diana Dors, Bill Fraser and Roy Kinnear look as though they can't wait to get off the set and compose angry letters to their agents for ever getting them involved in this film. But the absolute nadir is reached with the appearance of Alan Lake as a hairy-chested medallion-clad Don Juan figure who invites our hero to an orgy. Just when you think the film cannot go downhill any more, Dors accuses Price of rape, Lake instigates a beating; none of your cartoon violence here, this is the real thing, which does not fit well with the comedy of the rest of the film. The only positive thing one can say about this film is the end. There is one, and it comes none too soon.