Newest Reviews
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Body Parts
Newest Articles
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
  Flesh is Weak, The Fallen WomanBuy this film here.
Year: 1957
Director: Don Chaffey
Stars: John Derek, Milly Vitale, William Franklyn, Martin Benson, Freda Jackson, Norman Wooland, Harold Lang, Patricia Jessel, John Paul, Denis Shaw, Joe Robinson, Roger Snowdon, Patricia Plunkett, Vera Day, Shirley Anne Field
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Marissa Cooper (Milly Vitale) has just gotten off the bus in the big smoke of London and she’s looking for work. Unfortunately, she’s so green that she sticks out a mile among the more experienced denizens of the city, and quickly grabs the attention of unpleasant sorts who approach her in a café as she pores over the appointments pages of the newspaper. They persuade her that they could get her a job with decent money and all she has to do is party all night with the social elite in an exclusive club called The Golden Bucket; it sounds simple enough, and Marissa doesn’t see what the catch could be, so she agrees. But on her first night, she finds herself dancing and drinking with overbearing businessmen and has to be saved from one by a dashing American, Tony Giani (John Derek)…

Don’t trust him, Marissa! The Flesh is Weak was an early attempt by a British film to tackle the issue of prostitutes and their controlling pimps, a subject that had largely been addressed obliquely before, but as social realism became voguish in the fifties (it had before that, to be fair, but not to this anti-escapist extent) problem pictures of a style that Hollywood had been flexing its relevancy muscles with – drug addiction, juvenile delinquency, corruption and so on – were aped by British films. Much of these were created by low budget studios, and Eros was the one responsible for this, not the cheapest around but by no means the most expensive either, though they had managed to secure the services of a proper American star.

John Derek was he, and he looked to be relishing the opportunity to play the villain as his work from the other side of the Pond cast him as the good guy, with his role in The Ten Commandments his most celebrated. He would soon show off a different side to his talents (assuming you thought he had a talent for acting, that is), when he eschewed the career of the pretty boy movie star and branched out into directing, usually casting his wife of the moment as a much lusted after sex object: Bo Derek was probably his biggest success there. Some might say that his part as a manipulative pimp here had given him ideas, but that would be rather crass, especially as he didn’t completely convince as an out and out evildoer.

Bizarrely, the one pulling Tony’s strings would appear to be his brother, Angelo, I say bizarrely because he was played by Martin Benson, an esteemed character actor who was not exactly a heartthrob like Derek, and chose to put on an accent for his reading, but not an American accent, an Italian accent which not coincidentally the leading lady Vitale sported an authentic version of, only her surname in the story was Cooper. So with accents all over the place, it was better to concentrate on the plot which may have been keen to highlight a very pressing issue, with every variation of wrongdoing and exploitation they could get away with in the late nineteen-fifties, but there was an atmosphere of sleaze, as if the film was itching to portray just what it was that happened in the bedrooms between the ladies of the night and their clients.

Nudity was a no-no back then unless it was in an art film (or an “art” film) from the Continent, so Milly remained fully clothed, leaving the problems a victim such as she would face. Even there a sense of copping out a little pervaded, for example the first time she faced a client she takes off the street he turned out to be such a nice guy, pressured into visiting by his workmates to salve a messy breakup with his ex-girlfriend, that he makes his excuses and leaves before even taking off his jacket though not before giving her the money anyway. Elsewhere, Milly is not so lucky, as Tony and his cohorts grow ever more threatening and the police are circling, preferring to pick off the women rather than aiming for the big boys. She has a knight in shining armour in the shape of investigative journalist Lloyd Buxton (William Franklyn) who may not offer any romance, but he is crusading on behalf of her and those like her, which ultimately draws her trials to a close (literal court trials, in some cases). When films from the late sixties onwards tackled this subject, they became more titillating, so if nothing else it was interesting to watch it approached with a thriller, film noir edge while still retaining a frank attitude, not that it looked anything but rather cheap and seedy. Music by Tristram Carey.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1514 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film


Don Chaffey  (1917 - 1990)

British director best known for directing fantasy favourites Jason and the Argonauts and One Million Years B.C, both of which featured groundbreaking Ray Harryhausen effects. Chaffey also directed Hammer’s Viking Queen, but much of his work was in television, both in the UK (The Prisoner, Man In a Suitcase) and, later, the US (Charlie’s Angels, CHiPs, Airwolf). Also made kids’ favourites Greyfriars Bobby and Pete's Dragon for Disney.

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M


Last Updated: