Common Law Cabin / How Much Loving Does a Normal Couple Need? (1967)

Common Law Cabin / How Much Loving Does a Normal Couple Need? (1967)

“How’s your motor working?”

An alcoholic boat captain (Frank Bolger) brings three new clients — a man with a briefcase (Ken Swofford), a spineless doctor (John Furlong), and the doctor’s lustful wife (Alaina Capri) — to a broken-down tourist destination where the owner (Jackie Moran), his busty French housekeeper (Babette Bardot), and his pubescent daughter (Adele Rein) are ready to entertain.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Deep South
  • Incest and Incestuous Undertones
  • Infidelity
  • Russ Meyer Films

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary refers to this memorably-titled exploitation flick — set in “an out-of-the-way tourist trap on a little-traveled Colorado River tributary” — as “one of Russ Meyer’s ‘sweat’ films”. He notes that it “drags in spots, but holds interest due to sexy women… , smutty lines by [the] doctor’s wife(!!!), and [the] gathering of [a] strange group in a strange location.”

He argues that the “existential aspects of the story would have made it an ideal project for some European director; in fact… if it were left intact, and made in a foreign language, it could pass as a masterpiece (that would be a suitable second feature to a film like Knife in the Water).” Oh, Peary — not quite. I actually gave this a try (playing portions of the film without any soundtrack), and was hard pressed to think about how any of these scenes, for instance:

… might be perceived in an “existential” fashion as part of a “masterpiece”.

Note: Swofford (see still below, bottom right) looks remarkably like a combination of Burt Lancaster and Damian Lewis.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Reasonably creative direction

Must See?
No; you can skip this one.


One thought on “Common Law Cabin / How Much Loving Does a Normal Couple Need? (1967)

  1. Not must-see.

    Certainly one of Meyer’s lesser films (though ranking the bulk of his work can be a challenge). Meyer’s flicks don’t generally look as though a lot of thought went into them – but this one feels particularly thrown-together: the plot (such as it is) is confusing / shaky, transitions are awkward, the tone varies, editing (something Meyer is often known for) is strangely choppy. (But then, it’s not like we were expecting… art.)

    Lead Jackie Moran (who wrote this thing) seems to think he’s in a real movie. (Huge surprise: Moran started as a child actor – appearing as Huck Finn in ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ in 1938; also with small roles in ‘Since You Went Away’, ‘The Gang’s All Here’… and ‘Gone With the Wind’!!!) … Capri seems to be having the most fun of everyone – and has the aura of Barbara Parkins’ stunt double for ‘Valley of the Dolls’ (as if one were necessary), with a dash of mid-’60s Liz Taylor.

    Like ‘Mudhoney’, neither one of the film’s two titles is appropriate.

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