Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Overlooked Movies -- Pretty Maids All in a Row

When I read the novel Pretty Maids all in a Row in the '60s, I never dreamed it could be made into a movie, much less a movie with a major director (Roger Vadim), well-known stars (Rock Hudson [with porn 'stache!], Angie Dickinson, Roddy McDowall, Telly Savalas [absolutely playing Kojak], Keenan Wynn).  With a screenplay by producer Gene Roddenberry.  One thing I'm convinced of is that the movie could never be made now.  

Rock Hudson is a high-school guidance counselor who's sleeping with students (lots and lots of underage nudity and upskirt shots, not to mention sex scenes).  John David Carson is a student whom Hudson sets up with his teacher, Angie Dickinson (yes, nudity and sex).  Meanwhile someone's murdering cheerleaders and pinning notes to their panties.  The whole thing is so unPC that it's hard to believe even when you're watching it.  The '70s were a different world, for sure.  Oh, and it's a comedy.  With a song by the Osmonds (!).  Looking for something completely different?  This is it.

11 comments:

August West said...

The older I get the more I miss the 70s. And in the 70s I know I would never of said that.(Love the trailer: "A responsive student body")

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I must have seen this but only have the vaguest memory of it, whereas another Angie nude classic - this one - is another story.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Or maybe I read the book. I know I read others by Francis Pollini.

James Reasoner said...

I was in college when I read the book and then saw the movie. Yeah, the 70s were very different. But I seem to remember I thought both book and movie were okay.

Anonymous said...

I own the movie - Warner Archive - but completely missed that it was based on a book. I don't own Big Bad Mama, but probably should.

sas

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I'm shocked, Steve, shocked.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Saw this on cable a few months back. Didn't think much of it. Vadim was never much of a director. He mainly was successful due to his involvment with Briget Bardot. I remember having a pb copy of the book and reading it but can't recall what I thought of it.

Don Coffin said...

If you are really excited by the opportunity to see this movie:
https://vimeo.com/119158421

Max Allan Collins said...

What's most significant about this film is that it shows Gene Roddenberry really blowing his chance at the bigtime, misjudging everything his audience wanted from him (and providing evidence that his rep as a raving letch was perhaps not unearned). I love STAR TREK anyway, and I actually kind of like this film.

Bill Crider said...

I kind of like it, too. It has an appealing goofiness, but I have to be in the right mood to watch it.

Bill O said...

Certainly Roddenberry's intent was to divorce himself from all things Trek, so it isn't an error at all. This should've been a hit. Think Hudson's casting may have sent the wrong message, as it had earlier in Seconds. Both Hudson abd Roddenberry typecast in their respective ways.