• Secrets Of A Call Girl



    Released by: No Shame Films
    Released on: 8/30/2005
    Director: Guiliano Carnimeo
    Cast: Edwige Fenech, Richard Conte, Corrado Pani, John Richardson, Laura Bonaparte
    Year: 1973
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    The Movie:

    Anna (Eurocult favorite Edwige Fenech of The Strange Vice Of Mrs. Wardh) is a working class girl who makes her living as a cashier at a small coffee shop/bar in a small town in Italy. One day she meets Guido (Corrado Pani of Watch Me When I Kill) when he arrives in her shop to use the phone. He takes a liking to her and despite the fact that he has a tendency to force himself on her and slap her around, she starts to fall for the J&B swilling thug for some reason known only to her.

    Eventually, Guido needs to move to Milan for business reasons and he wants Anna to come with him. She agress, and he spoils her rotton almost immediately upon their arrival, lavishing her with gifts and fancy clothes. Anna starts to get into her new life until it comes time to pay the piper and Guido and his boss, Don Barzini (Richard Conte of The Godather) decide it’s time for her to prove her worth by smuggling some drugs across the Swiss border. If that weren’t enough, upon her return she’s forced to work as a call girl for their organization.

    Eventually, Anna finds herself pregnant with Guido’s illegitimate love child and when he tries to force her to have an abortion and between with it, she decides it’s time to escape and she turns him in for drug smuggling. She heads off to have her baby and eventually goes to stay with a childhood friend of hers in Rome. Fast forward six years later and the infant is now a boy living with Anna who is trying to move on with her life and forget her sordid past.

    Part Polizia, part sexploitation and part soap opera, Secrets Of A Call Girl is all over the place in terms of what it wants to be and how it wants to do it. The film starts off with a bang (literally) with a robbery and a high speed chase, then segues into a romance (if you can use the word romantic to describe the relationship between the abusive pig Guido and the innocent Anna) and eventually becomes a melodrama focusing on Anna and her son. If it sounds a little confusing, it is. The film jumps six years into the future with no rhyme or reason and the change in tone is quite jarring, but somehow the movie is reasonably successful in spite of itself. Edwige Fenech has never looked better and she’s as charming as ever in the lead here (her periodic nude scenes help this quite substantially) and the few action/thriller scenes that are in the film are handled quite nicely. Guiliano Carnime (who also helmed The Case Of The Bloody Iris and Light The Fuse… Sartana Is Coming!) keeps things trucking along nicely enough and even when things don’t make a whole lot of sense the film isn’t boring.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    This DVD release marks the first time that the film has been released uncut and in its proper aspect ratio in North America. What a shame then that this otherwise excellent transfer is marred by heavy ghosting/motion blurring on progressive scan equipment. While all No Shame titles have been interlaced, it hasn’t always been as noticeable (at least not to my eyes) as it is on this one, and that’s very unfortunate as there’s really not much else to complain about with this 2.35.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Colors look nice and bold, flesh tones look lifelike and natural, and the black levels stay strong and deep throughout. There’s almost no print damage or grain problems to speak of and edge enhancement and mpeg comrpession are a non-issue.

    You’ve got the option of watching the film in either a Dolby Digital Mono Italian mix or a Dolby Digital Mono English mix. Optional subtitles are available in English only. Overall, this is a fine job in terms of the audio. Everything comes through nice and clear without any problems though it is worth noting that the levels are a little high and you might find yourself turning the movie down as soon as it starts. A minor complain, but that’s what I’m here for.

    The biggest and best of the extra features on this DVD release comes in the form of a twenty three minute featurette entitled Memories Of A Call Girl. This segment takes an interesting look back at the making of the film thanks for some excellent brand new interviews with the still lovely Edwige Fenech, writer Ernesto Gastaldi and director Guiliano Carnimeo. Fenech and Carnimeo have the most to say about the film as Gastaldi’s memory isn’t so hot when it comes to this film. Thankfully the other two pick up the slack and give us a pretty well rounded look at the film and a slight overview of how it fights into their filmography and how the feel about the movie all theses years later. It’s a pretty interesting look back at an odd movie, and one that’s worth your time if you’re a fan of either party.

    Rounding out the extra features is an extensive still gallery of promotional photographs, behind the scenes photographs and promotional and video release artwork. An insert booklet found inside the keepcase features biographies for Fenech, Conte and Pani. The film’s original Italian theatrical trailer is also included, and it features optional English subtitles.

    The Final Word:

    Transfer issues not withstanding, No Shame’s release of Secrets Of A Call Girl sure will look nice in your Italian exploitation DVD collection. Edwige looks lovely as always and the film has enough bizarre moments to make it a worthwhile purchase for the Eurocult enthusiast.