Blonde Ambition (1981)

One of my favorite features of the Internet is the way it will blithely recommend one product to me on the strength of my purchasing, or showing an interest in another. So, I buy a Pink Floyd CD for the bf, and suddenly all Amazon want to do is bombard me with multitudinous variations on The Dark Side Of The Moon. I will Google my name, and discover that I can find Chrissie Bentley at e-Bay. And I go to IMDB to check some details on a movie I just watched, and discover that people who liked Blonde Ambition (1981) also liked Blonde Ambition (2007). And maybe they do. But something tells me that the only thing the two really have in common is… oh, see if you can guess.
     First things first. The successor to the Amero brothers’ Every Inch A LadyBlonde Ambition (1981) dates from the very tail end of the XXX industry’s attempts to make movies that could conceivably “cross over” into something approaching the mainstream, albeit without much hope of that ever happening.
     Originally to be titled White Tie and TailsBlonde Ambition is similar in style and format to that string of stylish farces turned out of the UK at the end of the 1970s, led off by Mary Millington’s Come Play With Me – which, coincidentally, also features Blonde Ambition’s guiding beauty, British-born Suzy Mandel. Blonde Ambition is, therefore, very much a light-hearted family-comedy, into which a succession of XXX scenes have been inserted , primarily because they can be. It might be a stray remark or an off-the-cuff gesture, it might even be a long cock sticking through a hole in the fence… whatever, it’s incentive enough for Suzy (or at least, a convincing double – which we’ll get to shortly) and co-star Dory Devon to send the temperature soaring.
     But wait, there’s a plot! A good one, too, as the Kane Sisters, Sugar and Candy (Mandel and Devon), the world’s worst burlesque act, find themselves catapulted out of a dead-end bar job in Coyote Fang, Montana, into the glitz of New York City. Into which are thrust a misunderstanding over a priceless broach, a dowager that could have stepped out of Downton Abbey (the equally priceless Molly Malone), a lot of Eric Edwards, a little Jamie Gillis, a Village People-meets-Gone With The Wind dance sequence, and an hysterical scene in a militant gay bar as the girls try and pass themselves off as a drag act.
     A few interesting asides featured in the accompanying booklet include Mandel’s iron-clad refusal to perform any sexual acts whatsoever, simulated oral included. Inserts got around that, and very well too – the double disc deluxe edition that remasters Blonde Ambition from the 35mm print includes both the hard- and softcore versions of the movie, and do so skillfully enough that you cannot spot the joins. I found it interesting, too, that there’s little more than a minute’s worth of running time to choose between the two. Compare that to the multi-hour features of today, which can be trimmed down to sit-com-with-commercials length for the “clean” bonus feature. And which are usually rubbish!
     I’m not going to push this as a lost treasure or forgotten gem. But it is a lot of fun, the cast are clearly having a whale of a time, the sex steams and the jokes are good. There’s also a neat homage to Behind The Green Door, but I’ll leave you to find that for yourselves.
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