Blonde Ambition - All Time Classic Golden Age Porn Movie Now On DVD
This Golden Age porn movie from 1980 must not be confused with the singer Madonna! Blonde Ambition, starring Benny Hill Girl Suzy Mandel, is the story of two British showgirls, who travel he world performing the worst vaudeville act ever. Their sexual misadventures include a porn version of Gone With The Wind, the seduction of a homosexual, a noisy coupling in the back of an airliner, and masquerading as drag queens in New York’s Greenwich Village.
Starring: Suzy Mandel, Dory Devo, Eric Edwards, Wade Nichols, Jamie Gillis, Molly Malone, George Payne, Robert Kerman, Herschel Savage
Director: John and Lem Amero
Studio: Video X Pix
Classic Golden Age Porn Movie ‘Blonde Ambition’ On Re-Mastered And Reissued Platinum Elite Collection 2 Disc DVD Edition From Gamelink
Filmed in America and in Europe, Blonde Ambition aka Can I Come Again has it all, beautiful women, and of course plenty of sex! An all-time classic of adult filmmaking, the Amero Brothers’ Blonde Ambition is a gloriously pornographic tribute to the MGM musicals of yesteryear. Starring English actresses Suzy Mandel and Dory Devon, and featuring the finest of New York’s golden age porn studs including Jamie Gillis, Eric Edwards, George Payne and Richard Bolla, Blonde Ambition recounts the exploits of the beautiful but ditzy Kane Sisters, one of the worst Vaudeville acts ever to grace a stage, as they aim for the big time in the Big Apple. The Gone With The Wind orgy remake features syncopated sex scenes that required all the money shots to be synchronized like a Busby Berkely musical.
With cheesy but tuneful song and dance numbers galore, a porn version of Gone with the Wind, countless comedy routines, and a climactic scene in a New York leather bar, Blonde Ambition is unlike any porn film you have ever seen before. In the words of its directors “If you loved Deep Throat and Singin’ in the Rain, you’re gonna love Blonde Ambition.”
Video X Pix should be congratulated and thanked for producing a re-mastered version of Blonde Ambition together with an extensive collection of extras – including the first commentary that legendary director John Amero has ever recorded!
Suzy Mandel Biography: Suzy Mandel, born Jacqueline Ann Elaine Jefcoate in London in 1953, is the stage name of an ex-actress, Page 3 Girl and nude model best known for her roles in 1970’s British sex comedies, including Confessions of a Driving Instructor, Come Play with Me, and The Playbirds, and for her appearances on the Benny Hill Show. Suzy quickly became a favourite of both British sex film directors and audiences alike, and received equal billing with Mary Millington, the UK’s biggest sex symbol of the 1970’s. Millington and Mandel's film, Come Play With Me was one of the longest-running films in British film history, and ran continuously at the Moulin Cinema in London's West End from 1977 to 1981. Suzy Mandel also appeared in the hardcore film Blonde Ambition aka Can I Come Again, which was shot in New York in 1977, but only released in 1980. Blonde Ambition saw Mandel cast as Sugar Cane, one half of a talentless pair of singing sisters who become embroiled in the search for a missing brooch. Directed by the eccentric Amero Brothers, the role required Mandel to strip while ice-skating, impersonate a drag queen, play the tuba and perform in hardcore sex scenes. However, her contract specified no sexual acts including simulated oral. Since Blonde Ambition was produced as three different versions: hardcore, softcore, and R, this entailed elaborate inserts created long after the primary shooting was complete. Time Out praised Suzy’s performance as a “pyrogenic half-pint”, claiming “Mandel has all the dumb-puckering ingenuousness of early Monroe”. Blonde Ambition was not Suzy Mandel’s first encounter with hardcore, previously in 1975 she had made a fleeting non-sex appearance in Health Farm, a hardcore short directed by Scottish pornographer John Lindsay.
The real star performance in Blonde Ambition is by Dory Devon who was a trained actress and dancer. Her clunky tap dancing in the style of Ruby Keeler is just that – a form that embraces the tap sound rather than the more graceful styles usually associated with film musicals. In other words, vaudeville. Dory Devon was happy to take part in hardcore sex scenes and had no requirement for a sex double. She doesn’t set the screen afire with her adult performance, but then again, this was basically a porn film with music and dancing, and neither does anyone else.
Blonde Ambition producers and directors Lem and John Amero, a pair of gay brothers who cut their teeth in the low budget filmmaking world of sixties and seventies New York, blend an honest affection for big budget Hollywood musicals, screwy sexploitation and porno films with their magnum opus Blonde Ambition, the second last film they ever made period The made gay porn movies using the name Francis Ellie.
When Blonde Ambition begins, the two English Kane Sisters - Sugar (Suzy Mandel) and Candy (Dory Devon) - are performing their act in a rundown bar in Coyote Fang, Wyoming, where they are seen by wealthy Stephen (Eric Edwards) and his butler Eric (R. Bolla) who whisk the girls back to New York City. Sugar and Candy see this as their shot at the big time, and the chance of starring in their own Broadway show, but of course, it doesn't quite work out that way.
Eventually the girls find work in a porn re-imagining of Gone With The Wind, directed by a manic filmmaker, played by Jamie Gillis in a role written for Harry Reems who wanted more money than the Amero's could justify, but more importantly they get caught up in the disappearance of a valuable brooch. Along the way, they get sexually involved with various men, including Stephan and a mustachioed stud named Max, played by the late gay porn and soap opera superstar Wade Nichols, a guy named Bob, played by George Payne, and a couple whose entire apartment is an ice skating rink.
Blonde Ambition culminates in a bizarre drag show inside a Greenwich Village gay bar where the hapless Kane Sisters are hunted down by Stephen's Aunt Sybil Buckingham. B-movie actress Molly Malone, who played Aunt Sybil, had no problems about appearing in hardcore sex films but would leave them room when the sex was being shot. The film also features appearances from a young Herschel Savage, credited as Greg Falcon, eighties porno flash in the pan Pepe, and the late David Morris.
Blonde Ambition plays almost as well without the hardcore sex in it as it does with the explicit sucking and fucking. Part of the reason for this is that Suzy Mandel wouldn't do hardcore and so anytime her character does the dirty deed the film cuts to a body double wearing a wig. This subterfuge somehow manages to fit in with the film's off the wall sense of humor. The gags are corny, and often sexualized, but there is such a sense of fun that you can't help but enjoy the film. The Amero Brothers have very skilfully created an effective self aware style where the sex is celebratory rather than base or trashy.
The Blonde Ambition script is fun and sometimes even clever. The movie also benefits from an interesting score. John Amero notes in his DVD Extras commentary that they intentionally used obscure European recordings so as to fly under the copyright radar and avoid prosecution. In addition, there is an appreciable attention to detail which is evident in the production values from the wardrobe to the set dressings.
The cast members are all obviously having a blast throughout the filming, even Suzy Mandel who knew she was appearing in a hardcore porn movie. Everyone in the cast hams it up just enough that it does actually feel like one of those classic musicals from which it takes its inspiration. If the sex isn't as plentiful, explicit or erotic as some other porno movies made before and after, it doesn't matter, because there is still enough for strokers, and nothing is obscured by clever camera angles or discreet lighting. Blonde Ambition is a far cry from the Amero Brothers’ sixties era roughies or their darkly surrealist porn feature Baccahanele, and holds up really as a classic Golden Age porn film as well as a humorous musical extravaganza with added explicit sex action. It is impossible not to be entertained and aroused by Blonde Ambition.
Blonde Ambition DVD Extras
The best of the many extra features included with this Video X Pix release is the feature length audio commentary track with director John Amero and moderator Benson Hurst. Amero talks about the films that influenced Blonde Ambition, what he and his late brother, Lem, were going for with this picture, how they conned their way into interesting locations under the guise of shooting a legitimate film and how and why the different cast members wound up in the picture. Amero points out that the Saloon the Kane sisters initially appear in is actually the CBGB club in New York, and note that the portions of the film that take place in the airplane were shot at New York's JFK airport inside a mock-plane used to train flight attendants. Amero discusses the difficulties of shooting hardcore, timing the money shots in the Gone With The Wind orgy sequence, and how Suzy Mandel was quite accommodating despite her insistence on not doing anything stronger than softcore material. The affable Amero constantly relays great nuggets of trivia and quirky facts about the picture, which makes for absolutely fascinating listening.
Hurst also moderates a commentary track featuring Jamie Gillis, who doesn't have as much to say about Blonde Ambition, but still has great stories to share and observations to make. He theorizes that porn movies are intrinsically gay because they require a money shot and focus on penis size, then goes on to discuss his working relationship and friendship with Robert Kerman (aka R. Bolla) before sharing a bizarre story in which he found a dead cat stashed in the actor's freezer. He explains how much he enjoyed working with the Amero Brothers, notes how this role was unusually for him in that he didn't undress or have sex, and gives his thoughts on the various people who worked on the picture, including Suzy Mandel. His fans will definitely want to take the time to go through this track as well as the first one.
Rounding out the extra features on the first disc are some nice animated menus, chapter stops, and Blonde Ambition's original theatrical trailer.
The second disc features the softcore version of the film, which is an interesting alternate view. The hardcore version of the film is probably the one people will want to watch more often, but the film does flow a little better in this form and without the obvious body double inserts it feels a bit more cohesive. Aside from that, it follows the same script and story and features the same cast members. Including both versions of Blonde Ambition was definitely the right thing to do, and now viewers can decide for themselves which version they prefer.
Also included on the second disc is a Video Tribute To The Late Jamie Gillis, to whom this DVD has been dedicated. Gillis worked on a lot of classic porn films now owned by Video X Pix, and this tribute includes a collection of clips from some of his best work. Menus and chapter stops are included, as are two still galleries - one covering Blonde Ambition advertising and promotional material from its original theatrical run and various home video releases, and one which includes slides that were shot as promotional photos for the film.
If that weren't enough, inside the DVD case is a full color booklet of liner notes from adult film historian Benson Hurst which detail the Amero Brothers' film career, the history and popularity of Blonde Ambition, it's cast, and its cultural impact. It makes for excellent, in-depth reading. A collectible film strip, taken from an actual print of Blonde Ambition, can also be found inside the case along with a classy reproduction of one of Suzy Mandel's publicity headshots. All of this fits inside the keepcase, which in turn, fits inside a snazzy O-ring cover.
Blonde Ambition - All Time Classic Golden Age Porn Movie Reissued On High Quality Platinum Elite Collection 2 Disc DVD Edition By Video X Pix