Monday, June 16, 2014


17-year-old Vito (Scott Marlowe) does odd jobs over the summer for his father, the superintendant of an apartment building. One sweltering August day, he goes up to fix the air conditioning unit in Iris' apartment. Iris (Lola Albright), an attractive woman in her 30s, is being kept—so we assume—by her friend Juley (Herschel Bernardi). She's retired from the stripping business but has agreed to do a favor for her ex-husband by taking a strip tease job for a week in a club where he supplies the talent. But when she starts flirting with Vito, he doesn’t know any of this—he just knows that she's hot and interested, and he’s young and horny. Nothing happens until the next day when she answers the door braless, in a clinging blouse and tight shiny pants. Then something happens, and briefly, the two are a happy, sexy couple until real life catches up to them, climaxing (so to speak) when he catches her stripping act, is revolted, and calls her a whore.

To us today, this psychodrama is average soap opera material, but in its day, this was probably somewhat daring material. Iris has problems but because of the times, they are not explicitly explained—Juley seems to have been her lover at one time, but they are platonic friends now, even though that frustrates him. It’s not clear if she's what would have been called a "nymphomaniac," or if she has just been, shall we say, underserved by men in the past, and Vito serves her just fine. Of course, a happy ending is not in the cards here, but neither is a tragic ending. Marlowe was almost 30 when the movie was made, but he makes a fairly convincing teenager, all gangly twitchiness and puppy-dog attitude. I was thinking he would have made a good Tony in WEST SIDE STORY. Albright, best known as the sexy singer in the Peter Gunn TV series, takes her character seriously (even if she doesn't get much help from the screenplay) and creates someone likeable rather than evil or perverted—and of course, today, she'd just be considered a healthy "cougar." The low-budget black & white look of the film gives it a nicely gritty feel. [DVD]

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