Thursday, December 15, 2016

Join the Mile-High Club with THE STEWARDESSES (Review)

Director: Al Silliman Jr.

Cast: Christina Hart, Ronald South, William Condos

Jezebel & Redemption Films / All Region / Rated R / 1.37:1 fullscreen / English stereo / 93 minutes

Extras: 3-D and 2-D versions of the film / Theatrical trailer / Softcore short: "Experiments in Love"

BUY FROM GRINDHOUSE VIDEO

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OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS
"A group of friendly flight attendants spend their layovers engaging in casual sexual encounters and popular amusements (including hallucinogenic drugs and a psychedelic haunted hause). But the life of the stewardess is not without its pitfalls, and the women must eventually face the moral consequences of their high-flying lifestyles."

Alan "Al" Silliman Jr.'s late-'60s skin-flick The Stewardesses is an entertaining movie for two reasons; nudity and weirdness. The former was by design. Silliman made a small movie with little-to-no plot and little dialogue to play in the adult movie houses in the San Fransisco and Los Angeles areas in 1970. It did so well locally that the writer/director and his producer Louis She decided to shoot extra scenes and edited them into their far-out nudie film to flesh it out with some extra story and discourse. The self-imposed X-rating worked well to get people into the sex venues but the two would now have to tone down the sex and nudity to get The Stewardesses a R-rating to play in mainstream theaters.

An interesting note is that the film was re-shot and edited DURING it's mainstream theatrical run and according to Silliman, there are at least four different versions of the film that played during it's three year circulation. I didn't know any of the movie's history before watching it and in the midst of my viewing I was thinking to myself, "What a disjointed, mess of a movie. But at least it has lots of tits and ass!" Throughout there is weird melodramatic scenes shoved in, but mostly the first two-thirds of the movie are groovy, playful and sexy. But suddenly in the last 30 minutes or so you are hit with some pretty heavy shit like rape, murder and suicide. Talk about a downer!


A hottie makes out completely nude with a lamp made to look like the head of a man! A lesbian comes out to her best friend, then clumsily comes on to her and they make out in a really hot girl-on-girl scene! Another cute stew sits facing the camera, meditating in the nude while there is a whole weird conversation goeing on behind her! Psychedelic clubbing, dancing and amusement parks! It's an interesting movie to say the least but the most interesting part is its history. The Stewardesses became a staple of the late-night movie circuit and was initially released in 3-D. It was also the most profitable 3-D movie ever produced, until that pesky Avatar came along decades later. On a $100,000 budget, the movie grossed $25 million in 1970 alone.

The version of the film that Jezebel/Redemption Films have put onto blu-ray is the 93 minute version that would become the final cut. The picture looks decent and very watchable but there is quite a bit of debris and slight damage throughout. It's in the film's original 1.37:1 format and it's pretty noticeable that whoever shot this movie was not adept at framing. Heads and other visual information is regularly cut off. All of this probably gives The Stewardesses more charm and character but it is definitely noticeable. With all of the cuts of this movie out there, I would have liked to have had a couple of them as extras on this new release. I would have even settled for the original "adult" version that was the original movie shown in the sex venues. I mean, that's really all I'm looking for here anyway... more sex and nudity!

1 comment:

  1. The "Naughty Stewardess" genre of sexploitation is full of fun campy films like this - great writeup! I took a look at a few as well -
    https://johnrieber.com/2014/05/30/naughty-stewardesses-swinging-cheerleaders-centerfold-girls-classic-70s-exploitation/

    ReplyDelete

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