Pretty Maids All in a Row
Description: Ocean View High is an upscale suburban school in an otherwise unidentified community. It's 1971, the point when the sexual revolution started moving into full swing and even a lot of Middle America, at least on the two coasts, admitted the existence of same revolution. It seems like the guys and girls at Ocean View are all loving pretty freely, and that extends to the school's resident faculty hero, football coach/guidance counselor Tiger McDrew (Rock Hudson), who -- despite his being married, with a child -- has been bedding many of the prettiest girls at the school. The only kid seemingly not getting any is Ponce de Leon Harper (John David Carson), who is starting to get neurotic and suffer academically, so much so that he seeks advice from McDrew, especially where his new substitute teacher, Miss Smith (Angie Dickinson), is concerned. But then various girls start turning up at the school dead, in various states of undress, with cryptic notes pinned to intimate parts of their anatomy. The lunkhead county sheriff (Keenan Wynn) is forced to defer to a state police investigator (Telly Savalas), who starts nosing around the school and uncovers more than he bargained for in terms of libidinous students, among other problems. Meanwhile, Ponce finds his problem taken care of by Miss Smith, at McDrew's request. But there's still a killer stalking the school. If the plot and ambience of this movie seems shocking today, that's because it would be. Made at the outset of the sexual revolution, this was MGM's desperate attempt to run with the times, in terms of depicting a high school where sexual relations between students are considered routine and even those between faculty and students are accepted as long as they're kept quiet. Anyone trying to make such a movie in 2006 would face threats of prosecution, investigation, etc., and probably find it impossible to get the movie booked into theaters; MGM didn't have that easy a time in 1971, though (amazingly) the movie has been shown on television. Precisely what director Roger Vadim brought to Gene Roddenberry's screenplay (based on a novel by Francis Pollini) is difficult to tell, though he at least makes the sleazy and tawdry, smirky sex scenes and leering camera shots flow smoothly -- screenplay, director, and cameraman alike are fixated on the female anatomy throughout, though not in as distinctive a manner as Russ Meyer and his attachment to breasts. The presence of a couple of Star Trek co-stars and supporting villains, James Doohan and William Campbell, also makes this especially weird to watch.~ Bruce Eder, All Movie Guide
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