Alvin Purple / Sex Therapist, The (1973)

Alvin Purple / Sex Therapist, The (1973)

“The success of our whole operation is in your hands: I can supply the patients, but you must satisfy them!”

An oversexed young man named Alvin Purple (Graeme Blundell) is advised by his platonic girlfriend (Elli Maclure) to go to a therapist (Penne Hackforth-Jones) for help. Soon he finds himself hired by another doctor (George Whaley) as a “sex therapist” for frigid women, with unexpected consequences.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Australian Films
  • Comedy
  • Morality Police
  • Psychotherapy
  • Sexuality

This frothy sex comedy holds a special place in Australian cinematic history: it broke ground in its frank depiction of sex on-screen, quickly became the biggest hit in the country, and, when it was distributed overseas, became the film that clued the rest of the world in to the treasures of Australian cinema. Part of the film’s light-hearted success lies in the choice casting of Blundell in the lead role; he’s so innately appealing and “innocent” that one can’t help rooting for him. It’s also refreshing that nobody in the movie acts the way you expect them to: women come on to the rather ordinary-looking Alvin like he’s a Greek god, and his sweet girlfriend (Maclure) is concerned rather than upset about his sexual philandering. Though it contains a few too many corny double entendres, Alvin Purple remains a mildly amusing romp.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Graeme Blundell as earnest, confused Alvin
  • An amusing spoof of sexual mores

Must See?
No, but it’s worth a look for its historical importance in Australian cinema.


One thought on “Alvin Purple / Sex Therapist, The (1973)

  1. First viewing. Not a must.

    As noted, it is a mildly amusing romp. And it may have some historical importance for breaking cinematic boundaries re: sex. For that, it’s to be applauded.

    But, as a comedy, I find it a trifle.

Leave a Reply