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  Escort Girls Love For Sale
Year: 1975
Director: Donovan Winter
Stars: Maria O'Brien, David Dixon, Helen Christie, Richard Wren, Marika Mann, Gil Barber, Brian Jackson, Barbara Wise, Veronica Doran, Ken Gajadhar, David Brierly, James Hunter, Teresa Van Ross, Karen Boyes, Maxine Casson, Sarah Golding, Joy Harrison
Genre: Drama, Sex, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: It's nearly Christmas, and office accountant Hugh Lloyd (David Dixon) is working late after receiving his bonus for the year, but he's the last one in the building for a reason, for he has nowhere to go except home. After wandering the streets for a while, he decides to hire an escort for the evening, and visits the offices of the service to choose the girl he'd like. He's a rather timid man, and the head of the company ends up choosing the escort for him; he has nothing in mind but a nice meal and some conversation, but has a surprise in store...

Quite why this character is named after the British comic actor Hugh Lloyd is something of a mystery, unless writer and director Donovan Winter thought he had an appropriately Welsh-sounding name, but such were the mysteries of British independent filmmaking of the nineteen-seventies. Winter made his own contribution to this with a handful of serious-minded but exploitatively developed works, although here you would be forgiven for thinking the first half of the movie was shaping up to be a low key drama as much of it was taken up with mundane conversation, but that was the film lulling you into a false sense of security.

So if you ever wanted to see Ford Prefect from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (television version) naked, then here was your opportunity as Dixon's meek accountant does eventually get lucky with his escort (Maria O'Brien), strictly unprofessional but she liked him, which makes up for the earlier discussion about what to order on the menu which drags for for what seems like ten minutes. But it's not just Hugh's story we follow, as Winter conjured up a tapestry of late night London life, so we get to watch the tales of the rich and successful as well as the not-so successful, such as the comic relief Scotsmen down from Glasgow and complaining about the weak beer on offer.

Among the rich are a lady executive who hires, no, not an escort girl but an escort boy, not having time for a relationship and only wanting someone on her arm for occasions and to shag once she gets home. Then there's the businessman who once he gets his hired date to her home forces himself upon her, only to find that he's been set up (the way the "rape" is presented in sped-up motion is another example of Winter's curious lack of grasp on his tone). Also along for the ride is the socialite who hires a black man to accompany her to a party to put her bigoted friends' noses out of joint, with much would-be humorous fantasy shots of how they really see him, and the ladies eventually all giving him their phone numbers.

Until the cast begin taking their clothes off, this is achingly slow, and you're not sure if it's meant to be a comedy or not, but things pick up when the mood turns to sleaze. Take the Scotsmen: they too hire a couple of women for the night, and take them to a bar where the entertainment is a seriously overenthusiastic stripper who rubs a ratty-looking fox stole over herself, then massages her bits with butter until she seems to be enjoying herself far more than anyone else in the establishment, though the Scots look on dumbfounded. There's a theme about money driving the sexual desires of the characters, so much wealth is flaunted, or it is if you take Hugh's bonus into account, but as he's relatively the nicest person in the movie you don't begrudge him his hard to believe night of pleasure. Everyone else, whether by accident or design, come across as pretty strange, illustrating the gap between the sophistication it aspired to and the rather sour, seedy reality it ended up as.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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