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Films: F is for...

Fanny Hill

One of the last of the “golden era” soft-porn romps to feature past-it actors in desultory supporting roles, with Oliver Reed, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Shelley Winters, Alfred Marks and Liz Smith. We’re surprised C5 haven’t yet seen fit to dig out any Derek Ford films, as the Soho smut hound’s glitter-free directing career more or less encapsulates the shabby life cycle of the Brit sex romp industry. From the early ’70s Wife Swappers, shot in grisly mondo moc-doc style a la those ’60s US drive-in “some scenes will shock you!” B-movies, via laughable “pop expose” Groupie Girl, Ford was instrumental in moving the focus away from the (supposedly) shocking and onto the (supposedly) comic, with the slapstick vignette efforts Suburban Wives and Commuter Husbands, roping in such cash-strapped stalwarts as Robin ‘hotter mints’ Bailey, Queenie Watts and Frank Thornton, and linked by Gabrielle Drake touring Piccadilly in the back of a limo, which all but defined the genre. We’re sure his career zenith, namely the short lived “What’s Up…?” series of hospital-set Carry On rip-offs, featuring a star cast as long as your arm, are up for grabs in the disused warehouses Channel 5 seem to buy their midnight film supplies from, so how about it?

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  1. Willy Valley

    August 1, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    I think this is the only film to feature a Wilfrid Hyde-White sex scene, which is every bit as disturbing as that sounds. I know these films were supposed to be more funny than erotic, but that’s funny peculiar and not something anyone wanted to see. No wonder this type of thing died out.

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