Wednesday, 5 June 2013



Were British men in the late 1970s so frustrated and desperate that they'd sit through any amount of absolute drivel just to see some naked women? Never mind the writing, acting, direction, lighting, music, story, jokes - it's got boobs and bums in it! If you'd got a couple of floozies willing to take their clothes off, every other aspect of the film could go hang. If you'd got a big name like Mary Millington or Fiona Richmond, the work was done. What's the film about? It doesn't matter, Fiona Richmond is in it. Phwooooar. Nothing more is needed.

The end result is, of course, a film that's as sexy and erotic as a bag of tripe. It happened with Hardcore and it happened again with Let's Get Laid!, a lumpen sex farce-cum-thriller in which Richmond is paired with Robin Askwith, of all people. It's 1947 and demobbed squaddie Askwith discovers a body in the flat next door: the flat belongs to one of Britain's finest actresses (!) Richmond and the corpse turns out to be a top spy. Askwith is mistakenly identified as the murderer and chased by the police (led by comedy stalwart Graham Stark) as well as the gangsters (led by evil Anthony Steel) who want the mysterious gadget the dead man had smuggled out of East Berlin....

Every so often Richmond and/or one of the other women in the film will take their clothes off for a sex scene that couldn't be less of a turn-on if John Motson was commentating, or a ponderous fantasy/musical number (one particular melody is repeated throughout the film so often I was heartily sick of it by the time the end credits rolled). What comedy there is is pretty lame; most of it resolves around Askwith in drag, Askwith putting on a funny voice (he appears in two roles) and Askwith running around in his underpants, and it doesn't work. Nor does the climactic theatre chaos, in which Askwith has to appear in a cretinous West End musical with Richmond despite not knowing the words, while the villains fire guns at them from the flies.

This is rubbish. It's directed by James Kenelm Clarke (who made the video nasty Expose, again with Richmond, as well as Hardcore), the DP is a young Phil Meheux, and the hilarious gag in the title is that Askwith's character is Gordon Laid. To be honest, you'll have more fun figuring out the odd names Kenelm Clarke has saddled his characters with: Fenton Umfreville, Moncrieff Dovecraft, Goddard Ronaldshay. Are they anagrams? MI5 codewords? Post-war goalkeepers for Charlton Athletic? The movie's not funny, it's not sexy, it's not interesting, Richmond can't act (for what it's worth, since Let's Get Laid! isn't the kind of film you watch for the acting), it's stupid, boring and has no decent jokes in it. Let's Get Laid!? Let's not.


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