Wednesday, 15 February 2012



Just a few weeks after they sent me the absolute nonsense of The Stud, another load of old toot from Jackie Collins clunks into my mailbox. Again it's an amusing time capsule of the fashions and attitudes of the late 1970s, backed mainly with pop and disco music, and again there's a raft of familiar TV and movie faces stumbling through the terrible dialogue and story. If there's much difference between this movie and The Stud (and I'm hoping The Bitch turns up in the post sometime soon as well), it's that this one focuses on a despicable man rather than a morally hollow woman - though The Stud is nominally about the Oliver Tobias' character, it's really Joan Collins' film.

The principal married man in The World Is Full Of Married Men (which is a pretty nonsensical title) is Anthony Franciosa, a monumental philandering douchebag who's at it like billyo with aspiring actress Sherrie Lee Cronn (in her only film role) but shocked when his neglected wife Carroll Baker starts a relationship with pop singer Paul Nicholas. As that marriage crumbles, Franciosa settles in with Cronn but she's too wild and about twenty years too young for him: he breaks that one off as well before moving into the Dorchester Hotel and bedding a string of young dolly birds only to find he can't get it up any more except with his mousy secretary. Meanwhile Cronn follows her dream of movie stardom via the casting couch only to find she's expected to participate in a lesbian tryst and then an orgy of strangers....

If The Stud was rubbish (and let's not pretend it wasn't), this is no better: it plays like a double episode of an old TV soap opera with more sex and is even more ridiculous: there's even that horrible old cliche of the frumpy secretary taking her glasses off, letting her hair down and becoming a hot little number, which only lacks the astonished line "Why, Miss Field, you're beautiful!" The movie also plays as a "men are bastards" screed (Franciosa's character is indisputably a bastard), and there's no shortage of the double standard where married men can sleep around but married women can't. Georgina Hale and Gareth Hunt are enjoyable supports, the tacky clothes and home furnishings are fun, and Sherrie Lee Cronn spends half her time in various states of nudity. But it's still not very much of a movie. Bonnie Tyler performs the theme song at the start.



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