Tuesday, July 26, 2011

THE GIRLS OF PLEASURE ISLAND (1953) - love in the south seas was never so adorably naive

Boy, life in the south seas must be pretty fantastic. Take, for example, the Halyard sisters, three teenaged brit chicks who are free to bath in the nude, bath in their swimming suits, frolic on the beach, and do whatever it is people do when they find themselves in an idyllic paradise. Since daddy is loaded, there’s no need for them to get jobs at the local smoothie hut, but this also means they are forced to put up with old fuddy duddy’s speeches about womanhood, proper etiquette, blah blah.

Well, this teenage girl paradise is about to be interrupted by an outside force. Maybe an island gorilla looking for his Fay Wray? Possibly the Samoan Amelia Earheart crashing into the island in her quest to hanglide around the world? Or maybe, just maybe, the cast of Gilligan’s Island crashing their ship into the island. Now, I know what you’re thinking; the cast of Gilligan’s Island didn’t crash into an island where three teenage girls were running around in their bathing suits. However, you’re missing my point. I'm suggesting that they crashed into the initial island after a three hour tour, built a new ship out of coconuts and hemp (for the record, “Coconuts and Hemp” is my favorite Jimmy Buffet song…and by “favorite”, I mean “least hated”), and tried to sail back to America, only to crash land into Paradise Island instead. I’m sure that seems like a pretty big coincidence, but remember, the Harlem Globetrotters also crashed into Gilligan’s island, so as far as I’m concerned, all bets are off.

Anyway, if you guessed any of the above choices, you’d be dead wrong. No, these three Innocent girls that have presumably never met another human being that wasn’t their dad or their housekeeper will soon find themselves joined on the island by…1500 AMERICAN MARINES! As the youngest says, “that’s 500 each!”, or, as she asks later, “will they make love to us?”. Now, I do realize perverts read my blog, so I know where your mind is probably headed. Personally, as a “glass half empty” kinda guy, I initially thought this was a set up for some unfortunate gang rape. However, this is really a quaint movie about love. These girls need suitable romantic partners, and they should be able to hit the ball out of the park under these current circumstances. It’s like one of those speed dating things amped up to 1000 (well, 1500). I bet even I could find one woman out of 1500 that didn’t think I was an annoying pig.

It’s basically an amazing softcore porn setup, something Jim Wynorski might’ve come up with, but inverted by proper British morals and an idyllic view of love from the perspective of several na├»ve young girls. Never has a movie so stupid and sexually crass on paper been so adorable and charming in reality. The results are positively tame, but somehow just as erotic (or almost erotic). The film might be described as Michael Powell directing an early 60’s sexploitation movie produced by David F. Friedman in glorious technicolor, or two disparate geniuses fused into one. I realize that calling Dave Friedman a genius is a bit of stretch, but keep in mind that he produced a movie called Goldilocks and the Three Bares. Maybe that isn’t genius, but it’s close enough.


  1. You've convinced me that I need to see this movie.

  2. 1. I need to see this movie. 2. Friedman was indeed a genius. 3. Who you callin' a pervert?

  3. This is on Netflix instant if that helps. Also, anybody who thinks Dave Friedman is a genius is a pervert by definition. But, to quote obscure punk band Flowers in the Dustbin, "all the best people are perverts".