“Who can resist love’s impulses, Mr. Sloane? Who can foretell where it’s going to strike?”
A handsome young drifter (Peter McEnery) is invited to live with a middle-aged nymphomaniac (Beryl Reid), her misogynist brother (Harry Andrews), and their aging “Dadda” (Alan Webb). Soon, however, Mr. Sloane (McEnery) is identified by “Dadda” as a murderer, and finds himself caught in a sticky situation.
Based on a play by British writer Joe Orton (whose tragic death was portrayed in Stephen Frears’ Prick Up Your Ears), this devilishly irreverent black comedy is remarkably risque. It’s fun to see Beryl Reid (star of the lesbian-themed Killing of Sister George) camping it up as an aging nympho (check out her see-through dress in the first part of the film — she’s fearless!), and Harry Andrews is a suitable foil as her closeted-gay brother, who seems to express his sexual preferences primarily through overt woman-hating. In the title role, Peter McEnery is yummy eye candy — his sculpted body is almost a parody of carnal desire. The story itself goes in all sorts of unexpected directions, and you’ll likely find your mouth agape by the truly surreal ending.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Beryl Reid’s delightfully wacky performance as Kath
- Harry Andrews as Ed
- Peter McEnery as “Mr. Sloane”
- Joe Orton’s clever, hugely irreverent script
Yes. As the most successful cinematic adaptation of Joe Orton’s work, this should be of interest to all film fanatics.