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(aka "Le plaisir des dames" )


directed by Rod Amateau
UK/USA 1971


Linguistic anthropologist Alex Bolt (David Niven) has just been awarded a special Nobel Prize for the development of "Unispeak" a universal language to help foster better communication between nations. His sculptress wife Wanda (Virna Lisi) has been commissioned to create a statue commemorating his achievement. What is unveiled is a nude likeness of Alex but with one difference only he and his wife would recognize. Alex spends the bulk of the film looking for "Charlie" who inspired that part of the anatomy on the statue while American U.N. rep Raymond Whitely (Robert Vaughn) - who allocated the expense of $50,000 on the statue - tries to prevent it from becoming an international incident by employing the CIA to assist Alex on his globe-hopping search. John Cleese co-stars as a psychologist who says that Alex's quest sounds like "a stag version of Cinderella." THE STATUE probably wouldn't be half as fun were it not for the presence of Niven (who also livened up the truly dire VAMPIRA) who first describes the likeness of himself as "a middle aged Peter Pan looking for the soap." Cleese is also funny as usual ("if there's anything I can further do to help, please hesitate to ask"). Lisi gets some good bits, too (in her heavy accent, she calls Alex a "pissy Englishman" and then clarifies that she does not mean "prissy"). The bulk of the narrative is made up of awkward scenes of Alex trying to get a view of various mens' genitals in various locations like a steam room, taking a camera to a HAIR-esque musical called SKIN (his lense falls off), and a monastery (as well as going to a public photo booth to make a comparison photo of himself) and coming across as a deviant. There are also a few double entendre about "erecting" the statue. When Alex assumes that the model for the member must be a tall man, his secretary responds "No, that's a fallacy" and a visit to Italy of course includes phallic views of the leaning tower of Pisa and the Eiffel Tower. Not hilarious but it does raise some chuckles (although it is not as dire as some of the British sex comedies of the later seventies). A Cinerama pick-up from producer Josef Shaftel (GOODBYE GEMINI, THE LAST GRENADE), expect baudy but not raunchy British comedy.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 31 March 1972

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DVD Review: Code Red - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Code Red

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:29:24

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.36 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Code Red

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:27)

DVD Release Date: May 18, 2010

Chapters 16



The presentation begins with a disclaimer about the condition of the elements provided by the licensor necessitating the use of a theatrical print for the transfer. As such, the first few minutes as well as the reel change points have scratches and speckling but the image quality soon improves. There is a frame tear late in the film but it is only momentarily visible.

The audio has obviously undergone some digital cleanup but some hiss is still evident under the dialogue and music. The single-layer, anamorphic transfer has for some reason been encoded interlaced. The film's theatrical trailer and trailers for upcoming Code Red releases are the only extras.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Code Red

Region 0 - NTSC


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