The First Nudie Musical (1976)

Genre: Nudie Musical Comedy

Schechter film studios have fallen upon hard times, and the young owner Harry Schechter struggles to keep it afloat. Gone are the glory days when the studio produced fabulous musicals and now the studio has resorted to producing porn. Harold has to desperately keep this quiet from his aged father who first started the studio.

In a ‘Eureka’ moment, the desperate Harry has an idea to make the first porno musical called Come… Come, Now. His crooked backers are enthusiastic to the idea and it finally looks as though Schechter studios will survive and everyone breaks into a song and dance routine to celebrate, but for Harry, these celebrations are short lived as his backers give him a set of demands.

First they will give him 50% of the money and loan him the other 50%. If the movie doesn’t make any money, they’ll take his studio. The second demand is that the director of the movie has to be the young nephew of one of the backers. The nephew’s name is John Smithee. For those of you who don’t know the story behind the name John Smithee, it’s a film industry inside joke, if you could call it that, that whenever a director makes a film he is unhappy with and wants to disown it he would have the name John Smithee placed on the credits instead of his own. Thirdly, the film has to be completed in two weeks.

The despondent Harry calls an audition and we have a mixture of different people try for it. One girl strips nude and demonstrates an orgasm on the floor in front of the panel; another guy who is in love with himself hits upon all the girls there; a Mexican girl sings terribly and has a boyfriend (played by Frank Doubleday who was the gang member who shoots the little girl in Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)) who thinks he’s one of the gang members in West Side Story and tells her that no one must touch her and turns up intermittently to threaten different members of the cast; there's an innocent nearly arrived wanna-be-a star girl arrives from somewhere in the Mid-west and sings really well; and finally there is Miss Mary La Rue, who is a famous actress and demands her own dressing room away from the “people”. As part of the audition, there is a song performed nude entitled “I’m Not Gay”. Needless to say, everyone is offered the part.

Next, John Smithee, the director arrives. He is a 23 year old virgin who’s very timid about sex and has very little knowledge of it. The pianist is a sleazy looking black guy wearing ray-bands and smoking a cigarette. He more or less writes the songs as they go along - and what a collection of songs they are.

Obviously things don't go according to plan, partly due to John Smithee, so to get rid of him they have to continually send him out to buy doughnuts while they shoot the film behind his back.

We are then treated to a series of short vignettes as they shoot different scenes. We have one where the male performer in a love scene with Miss Mary La Rue can’t get it up and so they have to call in a ‘stunt cock’. This guy is a real pro and spends eight hours a day with an erection performing in blue movies. There is a bizarre scene entitled “Dancing Dildos” which involves a song and dance routine where Miss Mary La Rue performs with a chorus line of naked girls and men dressed as dildos, a scene entitled “Lesbian Butch Dyke” which includes a lesbian song and dance routine, and another scene where the Mexican girl sings seductively about perversions, this is capped off with the Busby Berkeley style “Let Me Eat You” with the classic lines:

"Let 'em eat cake, but let me eat you,"

While all of this is taking place, there is a romantic relationship between Harry Schechter and his assistant, but their relationship becomes strained when Miss Mary La Rue begins to blackmail Harry and Harry is caught kissing her behind his girlfriend's back.

With only a few days to go until the film is completed, John Smithee more or less wrecks it, Miss Mary La Rue gets fired and the lead actor gets robbed and beaten outside his apartment block resulting in a huge black eye. Now it looks as though Harry will lose his studio - but then they have a plan.

This film, although low budget and with its limitations, was great fun and was a great satire about the film industry. Written and directed by Bruce Kimmel, who also played John Smithee, this movie is full of rude jokes, full frontal male and female nudity, but nothing hardcore, and bizarre song and dance routines.

Diana Canova who plays the Mexican Juanita and Cindy Williams who plays Harry’s assistant went on to make it big in their careers causing Paramount Pictures to have to put a hold on this film after it’s release. It’s a shame because even with it’s constraints it’s a fun film which even though it has nudity, doesn’t come across in a shocking way. Also, look out for a very brief cameo with a Happy Days Ron Howard saying a few words. I hasten to add that all these people kept their clothes on.

This film has actually been released as a special edition DVD.

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