Day 154: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex*

51J3JAjYH7LFirst of all, this is a terrible transfer. The picture is very grainy and dark. The sound is so-so.

Second, even if the transfer were pristine, it would still be one hell of a shitty movie.

The film opens with credits rolling over images of rabbits. (Get it? Rabbits and sex. Yeahhh.) And jazz music: Cole Porter’s “Let’s Misbehave.”

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (But Were Afraid to Ask)
is adapted by Woody Allen from the bestselling book of the same name by David Reuben (1933 – ).

The movie is divided into seven mini episodes:

“do aphrodisiacs work?”

Setting: England Middle Ages.
Cast: Woody is a bumbling court jester.
Lynn Redgrave (1943–2010) is the queen.

The fool wants to bed the queen. Be she refuses his advances. So he seeks out a sorcerer who brews a bubbling potion that the fool gives to the queen. She drinks and becomes insatiable for the bespeckled jester. Unfortunately (for them), the queen is locked in a chastity device that requires a key that is in the possession of the king. The fool gets his hand stuck in the chastity device and the king finds them together. Woody is beheaded.

It was about as funny to watch as it was to read just then.

“what is sodomy?”

Gene Wilder (1933- ) is a doctor. One of his patients – Mr. Milos (Titos Vandis, 1917–2003) – admits to having a sexual relationship with a sheep. The patient insists that Dr. Ross (Wilder) see the sheep. He does. And falls for the wooly creature. Eventually, the doctor’s sexual relationship with the sheep costs him his marriage, his medical practice, etc.

It was about as funny to watch as it was to read just then.

why do some women have trouble reaching an orgasm?

Woody Allen as an Italian playboy named Fabrizio. Louise Lasser (his wife in real life) is the woman he tries to seduce but who is cold, unable to experience an orgasm. They are in a chic art gallery one day and she suddenly wants him. They do it on the floor. They realize she gets off on the risk of being caught. So they do it under the table in a fancy restaurant. And get caught. Then, they do it in an expensive furniture store.

It was about as funny to watch as it was to read just then.

are transvestites homosexuals?

The movie opens on a middle-aged couple at a dinner party. The man retires to the bedroom and puts on woman’s clothes. To avoid being discovered, he climbs out the window and runs away. But someone steals the “woman’s” purse. A crowd ensues, which includes the police. The woman is discovered to be a man.

It was about as funny to watch as it was to read just then.

what are sex perverts?

This segment opens on two jocks in a locker room talking about their hair cream, Lancers. As the camera pulls back to reveal the product we see the guys making out in the background. Then, it’s a game show called “What’s My Perversion?” hosted by Jack Barry. Panelists have to ask contestants questions (a la What’s My Line?) to guess their particular perversion. Regis Philbin asks one contestant, “Do you molest children?” (which is the second time in a Woody movie this topic comes up). The segment ends with a rabbi being tied up by a panelist, a dominatrix whipping him, and his wife eating pork at his feet.

It was about as funny to watch as it was to read just then.

“are the findings of doctors and clinics who do sexual research and experiments accurate?”

This segment opens with Woody pulling up to a gas station in his car and telling the attendant to put 50 cents of regular in the tank. A young blonde (Heather MacRae, 1946- ) walks up seeking a ride to see Doctor Bernardo (John Carradine, 1906-1988), a mad scientist who studies sex. The couple escape as a “gigantic tit” emerges from the rubble of the castle. The giant tit goes on a rampage and needs to be caught before it kills more people.

It was about as funny to watch as it was to read just then.

“what happens during ejaculation?”

The segment opens in a computerized control center that appears to be the brain of some guy as he has sex with a woman he meets in a restaurant. The woman is Erin Fleming (1941–2003), the controversial companion to Groucho Marx in the last years of his life. All of the physiological and psychological actions necessary for the daunting act of sex (from the male perspective) are called out by foremen and engineers and scientists. Burt Reynolds (1936- ) and Tony Randall (1920–2004) are in mission control relaying orders.

It was about as funny to watch as it was to read just then.

The movie ends with a crawl of the cast over the same bunnies seen at the beginning. More Cole Porter “Let’s Misbehave.”

91mQ5OVzT8L._SL1500_Seriously, this was the worst movie I’ve ever seen in my life. Cole Porter was the only thing I liked about it.

Woody was 37 when he released this film in 1972. Surely, he should have known better.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go watch a couple of episodes of Doc Martin to wash these really awful images out of my mind – or else sleeping tonight is out of the question.

Come on, Doc. Do your stuff.

By the way, I think this is the first movie that opens entirely with jazz music playing over the credits, a style Woody would adopt virtually for every one of his films for the next 40 years.

One thought on “Day 154: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex*

  1. Worst movie of all time. Was this lauded at the time? Is it just that we don’t have a ’70s sense of humor now? Or did it go over like a lead balloon then, too?

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