HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Deerskin
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1
First Cow
Undiscovered Tomb
Being Frank
Occupation: Rainfall
Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
Pariah
Weapon, The
Godzilla vs. Kong
Love and Monsters
Tove
Young Wives' Tale
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
   
 
  Hoffman Kept Woman
Year: 1970
Director: Alvin Rakoff
Stars: Peter Sellers, Sinéad Cusack, Jeremy Bulloch, Ruth Dunning, David Lodge
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Miss Smith (Sinéad Cusack) boards the train after waving her fiancé (Jeremy Bulloch) goodbye, but as he walks away, she looks upset for reasons that are more pressing than simply thanks to her going to see her grandmother and leaving him behind. This is indeed the case, as once on the train, she manoeuvres herself into the carriage on the parallel track and is soon making good her escape, taking a taxi to an apartment block in a well-off part of London where someone she has recently had to reassess her opinion of resides. He is her boss, Mr Hoffman (Peter Sellers), and when she shows up at her door he is delighted to see her - and quickly resorts to making sexual advances.

When the sexual revolution occurred in the late nineteen-sixties, it was all very well to be young and enjoying the benefits of the Pill and a more liberal attitude, but what if you were no longer in your twenties, or even your thirties, and beginning to wish you had been born somewhat later to get up to all those activities society was telling you was not for your participation as you were past your prime? Men in particular felt this longing for getting off with a dolly bird - or going further - and as they were the ones with disposable income, the entertainment aimed at them grew more explicit; this film, on the other hand, was fairly chaste, no matter how sleazy the dialogue got in places.

It was drawn from a novel by Ernest Gebler, who not only had adapted it here, but had done the same for an hour-long television play a few years earlier, that starring Donald Pleasence and Judy Cornwell. You imagine if this was a story worth telling, conveying in in a format that stretched out to nearly double the length of that TV episode was perhaps not the best way to go about it, and sure enough there were scenes that served no purpose other than to pad out the narrative and make Miss Smith's ordeal drag on even further, so that she is in Hoffman's company for almost a week. Quite why she is subjecting herself to this is not apparent until we are in the second hour.

Although we can guess her captor has some power over her amounting to blackmail, when this is confirmed we have already spent far too long with the heroine's psychological torture that she must give up her body to her boss lest the police get involved with her fiancé's affairs. She spends so much time fretting over what Hoffman has in store for her that the film grows actively unpleasant to watch, as what we are seeing amounts to a punishing prelude to rape, and the fact that we are supposed to eventually find him as sympathetic as her is troubling, to say the least. Nevertheless, this has a cult following of those who relish Sellers in a serious role - though it was billed as another of his comedies - which is not an opinion that was shared by Sellers himself, who detested the entire production.

Apparently, this needy, sexually frustrated creep who acts on that frustration was a character he felt to close to his own personality, and he really did not like that aspect of himself: this was the star who made brides of the far younger Britt Ekland and Lynne Frederick, lest we forget. In truth, the sexual drives of men over the age of forty are rarely depicted with the warmth witnessed in this movie, eventually at any rate, more usually either a matter of ridicule or something more sinister, and it was difficult to escape a sense of the latter with Hoffman. Some of the lines he came out with made your skin crawl: it would have been fine if Miss Smith was happy to go along with him, but for most of this she assuredly was not, and who could blame her considering the way he treated her, despite rarely laying a hand on her as she began to thaw in her feelings towards a man revealed as more pathetic than a threat. Still, not the most comfortable of experiences, and the cowering, timid, repulsed Miss Smith was a difficult image to shake. Music by Ron Grainer.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1064 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

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

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: