PRETTY MAIDS ALL IN A ROW
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The risqué 1971 film about murder and sex in an American high school comes to DVD courtesy of the Warner Archive Collection. Rock Hudson stars as a womanizing (or rather girlizing) teacher who spends his time testing kids’ IQs and getting in the high school girls’ knickers. Meanwhile, a student who is obsessed with sex and his wickedly hot substitute teacher (played by a still sizzling Angie Dickinson) has stumbled upon a series of murders, which threaten to take attention off the homecoming football game.
WHAT I LIKED
I was born in 1971, so I never saw this film in the theaters, and if it were ever on television, it would have been heavily edited. As a sample of 70s cheese in the spirit of films like “M*A*S*H,” “Pretty Maids All in a Row” gives a distorted but obviously compelling view of the high schools of that time… if only they were really like that when I want to school.
It’s not to be taken seriously, though there are several points in the movie that give an attempt at a political message. Rather, this was the “Porky’s” of its day. There’s plenty of naked girls of various ages in the film, so it works on the T&A level. Yes, that’s a rather crass way of looking at it, but it kept my attention, and I suppose it would do the same for any other red-blooded American male.
“Pretty Maids All In a Row” is more of an interesting look at pop culture of the early 70s rather than a great film, so from a historic perspective (as well as a naked breast perspective), it’s interesting to watch.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Were you to take out the sex and nudity, “Pretty Maids All in a Row” would be nothing but an incomprehensible load of silliness. There’s not much of a plot, and where there is one, it flounders between the high school perv’s obsession with his teacher and the half-assed investigation of the murders.
By the end of the film, I can’t say that I was satisfied from a story and character perspective, but I don’t feel I wasted my time.
Like other releases in the Warner Archive Collection, there are no special features.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
People who remember this movie and those who want to see 1970s-era (read as: pre-boob job) breasts.