Monday, 23 January 2012



There is a certain pleasure in watching older British movies that have nothing to do with the acting, writing, photography and so on. Many are a curious archive capsule of times lost and there's a strange nostalgic appeal in the cars, the clothes, the music and the attitudes; how people dressed, how they spoke, how they behaved. Certainly that's the main attraction of this sleazy and tacky sex movie in which everyone's thoroughly horrible, selfish, with more money than soul and are obsessed primarily with themselves and their own pleasures in the glitzy and hollow world of exclusive London discotheques in the late 1970s.

The Stud himself is Oliver Tobias, manager of a supposedly glamorous London club but with plans for a club of his own. But he doesn't have the money, and he's really just the plaything of wealthy but absurdly named Fontaine Khaled (Joan Collins), bored wife of an elderly businessman. For reasons that are presumably in the Jackie Collins novel that I obviously haven't read (and equally obviously am not going to), this charmless middle-aged Lothario gets the hots for Fontaine's sweet and innocent teenage stepdaughter, seducing her on the first evening.... but then starts falling in love with her! What with all the other women he's servicing, it's not surprising that he's literally shagged out and too tired to perform to his usual high standards at Fontaine's Christmas orgy in a Parisian swimming pool. But back in London, her unsuspecting husband has found the incriminating videotape of her and The Stud going at it like billy-o in a lift....

Don't misunderstand: The Stud is rubbish. I first saw it back in the 1980s on a pre-cert VHS; I didn't much like it then and I certainly don't like it now. Pretty much every single person in it you would cheerfully push down a mineshaft, the dialogue is awful, and the sex scenes are astonishingly artless and unarousing (yes, you get to see Joan Collins OBE naked a few times). The action stops more than once for long sequences of disco dancing at the club, and the sound mix on several other disco sequences means much of the dialogue is lost in the music. But it's still somewhat interesting for its nostalgia content and its depiction of gaudy, empty and rather pathetic lifestyles. There's a sequel, The Bitch, which I also saw on VHS more than 20 years ago and didn't much like, and which I'll probably still not like when they send that to me as well.


Two in one:

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