Come Play with Me (1977) 720p

Movie Poster
Come Play with Me (1977) - Movie Poster
Comedy | Musical
Frame Rate:
24 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
94 min
IMDB Rating:
4.1 / 10 
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Directors: George Harrison Marks [Director] ,

Movie Description:
A health-resort where both the clients and the employees easily take their clothes off and have a litte fun is the setting of this hugely popular sex-comedy.


  • Come Play with Me (1977) - Movie Scene 1
  • Come Play with Me (1977) - Movie Scene 2
  • Come Play with Me (1977) - Movie Scene 1

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So bad it's good!

This is one of those films that I describe as "so bad it's good". This is an often-used term by people to describe films that are usually ineptly produced and fail at delivering what they intend yet end up being incredibly funny, albeit for all the wrong reasons. I remember reading in a review for another film elsewhere on IMDb that this term can never be applied to a comedy, since a bad comedy is, according to that review, one that isn't funny. In theory I should agree with that since it makes sense. But then I watch COME PLAY WITH ME once more and realise that I don't.

For reasons totally unknown to me and to everyone else who has reviewed this film, it was a massive box office hit in the UK, breaking records to become the longest running film to ever grace a UK cinema screen. It ran in cinemas for an incredible four years.

The plot is as follows - two forgers go on the run from a bunch of crooks and hide out in a health farm. From there the plot expands to include a government official on their trail, along with the crooks, a health farm where there are virtually no staff, and a bunch of young women turning up on a coach to run said health farm.

Lots of familiar faces from the period show up in this film, including Alfie Bass, Ronald Fraser, Henry McGee, Bob Todd, Ken Parry and many others. For none of these people is COME PLAY WITH ME their finest hour. But they are all fun to watch and the film is kept moving along nicely. The lovely Sue Longhurst, a veteran of the 1970s sex comedies, is present too and that was a wise decision on the part of the producers. She's always great to watch.

George Harrison Marks is unintentionally funny playing one of the forgers. It's well-documented that he was drunk during the making of the film and it's evident in most of his scenes. But it is funny to see him dressed up in a Victorian-era outfit (complete with horrible wig and false teeth), looking like he stepped right out of a 1930s music hall production, and into the 1970s. There's one scene where he's lifting a trunk out of the back of a car. I don't know why but I laugh every time I see it, even though there are no intentional "sight gags" involved.

The editing is very sloppy in places, with Henry McGee looking at the camera at the end of one scene for example. This provides some of the amusement to be found in the film. The dialogue comes across as being improvised on the spot at times, the absolutely awful song called Pretty Girl plays out over quite a few scenes and Ken Parry's character is just written out halfway through the film as though his part in the plot was left unfinished. I think you're getting the idea now what I was getting at when I suggested the film was inept.

There are a few sex scenes but they are all very softcore (made more so by censorship edits). People watching the film in this day and age won't be surprised to find that the marketing of the film as some kind of hardcore pornography effort was just a con trick on the part of the producer. The sex scenes aren't particularly erotic or funny and serve only to slow the film down a bit while adding the obligatory "T&A" to ensure this qualifies as a sex film rather than a straight comedy like the CARRY ON films for example.

COME PLAY WITH ME is funny mainly for all the wrong reasons but it does provide a lot of entertainment and seems to get funnier with each viewing. There isn't more one could really ask for when watching a very low-budget film from the 1970s.

An invitation best avoided

A diminutive, baby-faced pornographer by the name of David Sullivan had become one of Britain's youngest millionaires by the mid-seventies as the publisher of a handful of top-shelf magazines which were as strong as the censorious values of the day would allow (one of which was called Whitehouse, simply to annoy the self-appointed media watchdog Mary Whitehouse, which should give you some idea of where Sullivan was shooting from) and the owner of a nationwide chain of sex shops. One of his star discoveries was Mary Millington, a bisexual blonde butcher's wife from Dorking whose enthusiastic performances in underground hardcore porn loops made her the closest thing Britain had to its very own Linda Lovelace, who had become an unlikely global star after the success of the notorious Deep Throat. Understandably, Sullivan was casting around for fresh arenas to conquer, and cinema seemed the next logical step - after all, even though they were uniformly dire, the Confessions... and Adventures... series of modest low-budget sex comedies had all turned a healthy profit. With the right vehicle for his protégé, Sullivan could make a fortune.

Enter George Harrison Marks, a nude photographer and purveyor of 8mm pornographic reels with a beatnik beard, a lively imagination and a taste for booze that would eventually cost him his life. Marks was no stranger to the cinema, either, having scored an unlikely hit with 1970's Nine Ages of Nakedness, and had written Come Play With Me as a prospective sequel - but his fondness for the bottle, an obscenity trial and bankruptcy meant it had to be abandoned. Meantime, Marks found steady work providing photo sets for Sullivan's magazines, and he took the opportunity to pitch his screenplay to his new employer. Never one to let the grass grow under his feet, Sullivan rushed the film into production and cooked up a series of extravagantly dishonest advertising campaigns which hoodwinked the public into thinking Come Play With Me would make Deep Throat look like kids' stuff.

As it turned out, however, Come Play With Me was a simple musical comedy with its roots in music hall, end-of-the-pier farce, seedy strip club revue and naughty seaside postcards, an over-extended Benny Hill sketch bereft of Hill's trademark inventive wordplay, visual flourishes and any last remnant of comic timing. With a few judicious trims here and there, there's no reason why it shouldn't be shown on BBC1 on a Sunday afternoon - unless, of course, being absolutely terrible counts as a reason. Don't allow the number of familiar faces and old favourites in the cast to lead you to think you'll be able to salvage anything worthwhile from this paltry shambles - as director and co- star, Marks repeatedly failed to get the best out of his motley crew of old troupers (witness former Dad's Army and Survivors star Talfryn Thomas visibly laughing in the middle of a take, for example) and Irene Handl was left to idly improvise most of her lines. Dear old Alfie Bass later told horror stories about Marks being drunk most of the time, and fans of Mary Millington were left disappointed by her skimpy amount of screen time, most of which finds her indulging in a hammy approximation of intercourse with a middle-aged client and a brief lesbian tryst with Penny Chisholm. (Millington's army of admirers would be much better served by Sullivan's next film, 1978's the Playbirds.) Still, Come Play With Me - surely one of the most unsavoury contributions to Royal Jubilee year - was an enormous hit, running constantly in one West End cinema for a whopping four years and spawning a stage revue which featured Bob Grant from TV's On the Buses as well as several unofficial sequels. Seen today, one wonders what all the fuss was about, of course, but then we'll probably be saying the same thing about Mrs Brown's Boys forty years from now.

I wanted Mary!

Years ago, I saw SEX & FAME: THE MARY MILLINGTON STORY and learned about this tragically doomed (and victimized!) British pseudo Marilyn Monroe, and while researching this on the Internet decades later, I opted to purchase COME PLAY WITH ME. Only to learn ominously from the helpful included booklet that Mary scantly (!) appears in the movie. And what a mess this movie is! I concur with Mr Riley's 2001 review word for word. Why they had to have caricatures as main characters, is, well, not actually beyond me. It's how the infantile repressed mind works when finally given an opportunity to express itself.

False advertising to the highest degree. Does an injustice to sex comedies. Avoid all these trashy films from that era like the plague.

By way of constructive criticism, the movie needed a much younger male cast, somewhat dashing, in the lead parts. As it is, all they had going in the right direction, were the girls themselves. A total script rewrite, a total plot rethink. In short, a colonic irrigation for the feeble minds behind this atrocity. Starting with George Harrison Marks. Who is deceased, so I shall attempt to retain a modicum of class by not speaking ill of the dead. But really, a much better movie could have been made just from their starting point of a dozen or so stocking-clad dolly birds. Anything less risible would have been a marvelous improvement. And doubtlessly no-one would refute that previous sentence.

On the plus side is that night-club performer in the semi-contorted pose early on in the movie when that fat little guy goes to Burlesque. The one with the black lingerie Valentine designs to cover her, uhm, modesty. Wow. That ribcage, and those 1977 natural breasts. Nowadays we don't see sculpted waists like that (AnnaLynne McCord of 90210 excluded of course) and breasts are all too often surgically enhanced. Another nice one in this flick is that girl in the gymnasium who walks away across the screen on tip-toe. Another wow.

However, nothing can move me from giving this one the lowest score possible, and you know what? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, it didn't even deserve a 1, but dear ol' IMDb is too kind- hearted a soul to have included 0/zero/zilch/big fat nothing as an option.
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