"Men. Me. I don’t know... Men."
This edgy Q&A comes just before the big climax of The All-American Woman. Meaning, it comes just before Jean McCarey’s big climax for she is The All-American Woman, writer-director MARK HAGGARD’s ultra-neurotic, borderline frigid, fantasy-ridden, gender-confused, crypto-lesbian, quasi-incestuous, rabidly masturbatory, and as-American-as-apple-pie young lady who’s about to get laid by "a real man" for the first time in her life!
It just so happens that said man is her brother-in-law, Frank Sullivan (STEVE BENNETT), whose wife, Maggie (LINDA WEEKS), Jean’s older sister, happens to be more than borderline frigid and is suffering from a permanent bedtime "headache". Jean herself (MARILYN JAMES) is a top west-coast fashion model (with a bony type of beauty and an auburn bouffant hairdo) who’s had ample opportunity to have relationships with other men but "just never had the luck". Indeed, we witness one such hard-luck affair with a smooth-talking fashion retailer named Raff (WARD EGAN) out at his beach house.
But while Jean is just "too good, sweet, and desirable" not to be getting laid now and then, no man (until brother-in-law Frank) has been able to transport her romantically to the Victorian "fantasy world full of candlelight and waltzes" in which she lives. According to her California shrink, Jean’s "a victim of her own psychosexual infantilism". His advice? She should "shave her pubic hair, put oil all over her body, and wear slave bracelets!"
So Jean dresses up as a man, imitates Humphrey Bogart, gives her groin a therapeutic haircut, and allows niece Debbie (ROBBIE MAYHEW) to powder and lick her bald mons. This is highly therapeutic for Debbie as well because her boyfriend Gary (ROBERT PRESTWOOD) can’t stop "acting like a gorilla" whenever the two smoke a doobie and make out on the living room couch.
"Are men so emotionally retarded?" Debbie asks her aunt. "Maybe we all are," answers Jean. Which just about sums up the whole cast of characters in this moody sexploitation soaper -- a followup to Haggard’s classic The All-American Girl -- produced by MANUEL S. CONDE, and featuring music by J.S. BACH and ERIK SATIE. And if you’ve never seen an All-American Woman masturbate with an All-American dildo to "Sleepers, Awake" or "Gymnopedies 1 and 2", you have a real treat in store for you here!
From the 35mm stars-stripes-and-screwed negative. 2020 Re-Release Courtesy of Vinegar Syndrome.
-- Don the Deviate, American Moralia
Trailer views: 9597
Starring: Marilyn James
Co-starring: Steve Bennett
Other cast: Robbie Mayhew
Directed by: Mark Haggard
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