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1976, 1920x800

Laura Antonelli

Scoop's notes:

Visconti's films, like those of many of the great Italian directors, are an acquired taste. Over the years I have managed to acquire a taste for DeSica, Bertolucci, and Fellini, but never for Pasolini, Visconti or Antonioni.

Visconti's movies are all rated high at IMDb. In fact, L'Innocente is one of his lowest, at 7.4, but I'll be damned if I can explain why this or any of the others are considered to be so good, not even Death in Venice or Obsession, two films which critics love to name-drop. I suppose there must be some important part of my brain missing because I found this film unbearably tedious.

About Cherry

Ashley Hinshaw

and Momo Juniper Hurley are topless in About Cherry (2012).

Personal favourite, Heather Graham, shows some nice cleavage.

Some unidentified women are in their underwear.

Diane Farr

and Sensi Pearl look good.



Vera Nova

Hot Tub Time Machine


Jessica Pare film clip (collage below)

Crystal Lowe film clips (samples below)

Jennie Eggleton in Tear Me Apart (2016) in 720p

Kelly McGillis in Cat Chaser (1989)

This film actually started as a 180 minute X-rated film of an Elmore Leonard story, as directed by cinema bad boy Abel Ferrara, auteur of such timeless cinema masterpieces as Nine Lives of a Wet Pussy. The backers realized they weren't going to make a lot of money from Ferrara's arty, confusing, violent, slow, three-hour porn flick, so they took control of the film from Ferrara, and cut it. The producer's version, which was only released theatrically in England, was 98 minutes long, and still included a daring scene in which a naked Kelly McGillis spread her legs on camera. (See samples below)

That version appeared on VHS. The DVD unfortunately ended up with only an R-rated 90 minute film, in 4:3 aspect ratio, with a mediocre transfer. The additional cuts included the McGillis beaver shot, and most of a violent, bloody massacre of two naked men in a shower. The most irritating thing about the final version is that so much of the essential narrative has been cut from the original version that they had to add a hollow-sounding voice-over narration to make the thing comprehensible. The narration is so obviously "tagged on" that the mysterious voice is not even a character in the film, but an omniscient literary narrator! This could have been a major DVD, a contribution to cinema lore and scholarship. Instead, "it's got nuthin'". Not only is there no commentary and no director's cut, but they couldn't even come up with a widescreen version, or even with the deleted footage that resulted in the film's promotion (or demotion, if you will) from X to R.

Say what?

No director's cut?

You mean Ferrara didn't want to present a director's cut? According to insiders, he has a private "rough cut" copy of the three hour version, which he screens for visitors now and then. According to IMDb, Ferrara has even lent it out on occasion. I, for one, would like to see an arty three hour porn film starring Kelly McGillis. Of course, I also would like to be the first to welcome our new arty pornographic overlords.

No commentary?

You mean Ferrara didn't want to talk about how people took away his film? There were all sorts of juicy stories to share. To start with, Ferrara was having trouble adapting Elmore's novel to a script. In Ferrara’s original script, the first ten minutes consisted of two guys talking, and that scene was a verbatim transcription of the novel. He realized that such a scene can make for good exposition in a book, but gets audiences sleeping quickly in a theater. Ferrara wanted to make some changes, but wasn't sure what to do. His problems were complicated by his star, Peter Robocop Weller, who had script approval and didn't want any of Elmore's sharp dialogue altered. In desperation, Ferrara sent the script to Elmore himself, and asked him to help out with the first twenty pages. Elmore got the script and, being a typical author, re-wrote the entire thing. Ferrara got the script back and, being a typical director, didn't use what Elmore had written.

Lisa Bonet, Elizabeth Whitcraft and Charlotte Rampling in Angel Heart (1987) in 1080hd




Mickey Rourke has taken some grief in the past for his performances in roles that just seemed wrong for him, but I think he's terrific when he gets the right part, and he sure got it here. In 1955, Harry Angel, a lower-class stumblebum detective from Brooklyn, who is no NASA candidate, is hired by a stranger to find a singer missing since the war. The singer is believed to have breached a contract with the mysterious stranger. Along the way to this ostensibly simple assignment, Rourke finds a trail of grisly murders, confusing clues, beatings, black magic, and plenty of atmosphere in New Orleans, Harlem, and Coney Island. As time goes on, both he and we discover that he is searching for something else besides a singer - something sinister and somehow related to the detective himself.

It's a combination horror movie and detective film noir, and it's terrific, although the plot is incredibly complicated and confusing. As the genre requires, Angel gets beat up about every ten minutes, and neither he nor we are exactly sure why in some cases. What we do know is that Mr. Johnny Favorite, the missing singer, was one serious sleazebag who engaged in some blasphemously evil practices.

At one time I tried to figure out some of these unexplained details, so I read the prize-winning book upon which the film is based, then lent it to a friend to read. The name of the book is Falling Angel, and it was written in 1978, nearly a decade before the movie was released. It is available as an inexpensive paperback. Between the two of us, we had no more clue after reading and discussing the book than before we started it. I think you have to just accept that it is some dark evil stuff, and forget about trying to tie it down too tight. I can't say much more because the mystery is much more fun if you try to solve it along with Harry Angel.

Director Alan Parker really did an exceptional job on the atmospheric touches that keep the mystery mysterious and the horror horrible. The rusty mechanisms in Angel's recurring half-memories, the decaying hospital, the seedy offices and apartments, the shanties of Algiers, Louisiana, the various haunts and artifacts of black magic, the heart-beat background score - all combine to give us a creepy, spooky, feeling of incomprehension, matching what is going through the head of the simple detective.

In addition to the atmospheric direction, there is some interesting casting to support Rourke. Former Cosby kid Lisa Bonet took the most un-Cosby role she could find, showing her breasts constantly as Rourke's lover ... and daughter. Their sex scene was hot enough that it had to be trimmed for the R rating. Bonet showed more than flesh. She also demonstrated some talent. She was quite natural and sexy as hell, but her career fizzled into nothingness. (Rumor is that she was not an easy person to work with, to state it mildly.) Robert DeNiro holds down the other lead, as the mysterious client, speaking with a refinement not usually found in his range, and all the while doing a very odd impersonation of his good friend Marty Scorsese.

If I gave star ratings, this would be a near-miss for four stars, finishing at 3.5 (the same rating Roger Ebert gave it). I like the movie enough to give it four and recommend it heartily, but I have to remind myself that it is a genre film without universal appeal, and it has some flaws related to confusion, detail-orientation, and continuity. But I love it nonetheless.

Olympia Valance on the island of Mykonos