“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.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Black Comedy
- Harry Andrews Films
- Love Triangle
- Play Adaptation
Based on a play by British writer Joe Orton — whose tragic death was portrayed in Stephen Frears’ Prick Up Your Ears (1987) — 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.