Entertaining Mr Sloane (1970)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.  

, 1970.  .  Screenplay by , based on the play by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .   Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

Joe Orton’s best-known play is brought to the big screen three years after his murder, a cheeky plot about a handsome young man () who comes to live with a batty middle-aged woman () while catching the eye of her sexually repressed brother ().  Mr. Sloane is amoral and selfish, willing to do whatever it takes to get through life like the gorgeous little hustler that he is, but no one around him is willing to hold him responsible for his behaviour because of what they long for so desperately every time he parades around in his tighty-whities.  Andrews hires the young man as his chaffeur and turns a blind eye to the fact that Sloane keeps taking his car out for joyrides with girls, while Reid notices the dangerous antagonism between her boarder and her elderly father () but ignores it because his using her sexually turns her into a lovelorn ingenue.  The joke of the plot occurs in the film’s conclusion, when our enterprising young anti-hero must pay the price for his manipulations, but Orton’s rebellious writing hasn’t aged well; his plot makes an incisive jab at British prudishness by revealing it to be a thin cover for corrupt human nature, but it plays it out in a style of broad comedy that is more appropriate to a Carry On film, and the conclusion relies on a shock value that today is adorable and pale.

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