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Case Number 24058: Small Claims Court

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Permissive / That Kind of Girl

That Kind Of Girl
1963 // 77 Minutes // Not Rated
1972 // 87 Minutes // Rated X
Released by Kino Lorber
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Tom Becker (Retired) // June 30th, 2012

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All Rise...

Yes, Appellate Judge Tom Becker is that kind of guy...want to make something of it?

The Charge

Graveyards are full of indispensable people.

The Case

Suzy is a groupie. And she'll do anything to make it big.

A girl goes to London to stay with a friend. Her friend is a groupie. The girl also becomes a groupie. Life sucks—is it because she's too Permissive?

Eva's not like the other girls.

Pretty Austrian Eva works as a live-in au pair for a family in London. When she's not tending 3-year-old Nicholas—which is almost never—she's out meeting men. Everybody wants to date the shapely platinum blonde with the winning smile and impressive rack. Unfortunately, Eva plays none-too-wisely, just too well: when she goes to the clinic with an unsightly rash, she's shocked to learn that being so social has given her a disease! She'd never thought of herself as promiscuous, but, yes, she is That Kind of Girl!

Permissive is a terrible, terrible early '70s movie in which a hot chick sleeps with a bunch of homely musicians while borderline-mediocre rock music plays continually in the background and sometimes in the foreground.

Really, that's the whole movie. Suzy-the-Groupie shows up at the home (or hotel or hostel, or something) of her friend Fiona, who's sleeping with a guy in the band (or dating, depending on whether you ask Fiona or the musician). Suzy hangs out with some itinerant hippie for a while until he dies; then, she goes back to the band and becomes head groupie. A few people die, but it's no surprise because the film randomly inserts flash-forward shots of their dead mugs into the proceedings. Surprisingly, for a film with almost constant music, there's not a single, memorable montage sequence—nothing like the "Ride, Captain, Ride" scene in Dusty and Sweets McGee, for instance.

None of the characters is interesting or sympathetic, so we really don't relate to whatever ups and downs they might have. The whole thing is just pretentious and tepid.

If this is what groupie sex is like, then I'm glad I'm not a rock star. Seriously, all those high school stoners who think they don't have to study or go to class because they're going to become rock stars and live the good life should be forced to sit through this film as a cautionary tale—Stay in school or face a life of arbitrary sexual encounters with dull, doughy British women.

(Note: The band in the film, Forever More, was an actual band in the late '60s/early '70s. Two of its members—including Fiona's hump—went on to found the Average White Band. The endless Forever More music is OK at first, but its endlessness wears out its welcome quickly.)

If Permissive was one of Britain's contributions to the oft-dreadful youth culture/hippy movies of the time, 1963's That Kind of Girl is a knock-off of the cautionary exploitation extravaganzas of a few years earlier.

It's all pretty straightforward, and it actually works just fine, though I'm sure I enjoyed it more having just endured the hippy horrors of Permissive.

What's interesting about That Kind of Girl is that while Eva fools around with a whole bunch of guys, she's never portrayed as trashy. Margaret Rose Keil, the actress who plays her, is an appealing presence, projecting a sweet kind of innocence. In a few scenes, Eva tells men that she doesn't "do that," and since the film cuts away, I believed her. Imagine my surprise when came down with syphilis!

That the film eschews moral judgments by making Eva neither a tramp nor a victim is to its credit; also to its credit, we don't get the dreaded Faces of Clap edu-film insert that's so often tacked into these things, though the clinic doctor does get an extended scene of lamentations and statistics. Despite being made in the '60s, That Kind of Girl has a neat '50s vibe to it. It's worth checking out for fans of well-intended exploitation.

Permissive and That Kind of Girl are on the single disc Perils of Promiscuity Double Feature from Kino-Lorber's Jezebel line. The two films were released separately a few years ago on Blu-ray. Those discs featured a whole passel of supplements, including essays. Here, we get the two films and nothing else.

Both films have been restored and are presented full frame. They look overall decent, considering that they were low-budget affairs that probably didn't look spectacular to begin with. Both feature mono English audio tracks with no subtitles. In the dialogue-heavy That Kind of Girl, everything sounds reasonably clear. Permissive is another matter. The wall-of-soundtrack provided by Forever More consistently drowns out dialogue. When the music isn't playing, audio has to be turned up to hear what people are saying, but then a few seconds later, the music comes blasting in again, making it necessary to turn the audio down. I'm sure this is how the film was made and not a problem with the authoring, but it's still annoying.

The Verdict

If classic British sleaze is your thing, this double bill should do nicely, but be warned: Permissive is pretty rough going.

Case dismissed.

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Scales of Justice, That Kind Of Girl

Judgment: 75

Perp Profile, That Kind Of Girl

Studio: Kino Lorber
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
• None
Running Time: 77 Minutes
Release Year: 1963
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, That Kind Of Girl

• None

Scales of Justice, Permissive

Judgment: 30

Perp Profile, Permissive

Studio: Kino Lorber
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
• None
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Release Year: 1972
MPAA Rating: Rated X

Distinguishing Marks, Permissive

• None

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