Saturday, June 9, 2018

One Naked Night (1965) Woman's Noir Vérité

New York Artist-Photographer's Model Woman's Noir

The Last Drive In (

Directed  filmed and probably written (though there is no credit) by Al Viola, (Albert T. Viola born in Brooklyn) a production coordinator for The Naked City TV series (1958-1963), who segued into film, other credits include a "Mondo" film A Fool's World (1964), a thriller called A Woman in Love (1968) it's IMDb page shows zero reviews, Interplay (1970) ditto, and a pair of what sound like Dog Patch Hillbilly films titled Preacherman (1971) and Preacherman Meets Widderwoman (1973), but hey, he did make it to Hollywood. The cinematography is very noir-ish in spots.

A great bongo tune by Chet McIntyre (Music) plays during the credit sequence, and  the film has nice but appropriately sleazy piano/sax jazz instrumentals.

"hicksville" with  to the right it's F.W. Woolworth's five and dime
Candy Stevens (Barbara Morris)

Long Island Rail Road

Right from the local Five and Dime stores sleazy pulp fiction paperback racks to the screen! One Naked Night is the story of a girl from "hicksville" it could even be the real one on Long Island. Candy Stevens (Barbara Morris, (Philip Marlowe TV Series (1959–1960 and a couple of other credits, she like thousands of other women trying to break into showbiz, didn't catch fire)) is a young woman, daughter of a high priced call girl, who made lots of money horizontally so that she could send her daughter to an expensive boarding school. Way to go mom! However, Candy is now alienated, desperate to leave her "home" town after she is exposed as the next of kin, a prostitutes daughter, when her notorious mother commits suicide and it's headlines in all the papers.

We get a nice voice over narration by Morris of our female character Candy. It's interesting because it's an average, real, plausible young woman's noir. She's not gonna be a female PI, the Femme Fatale, or an ace reporter, she's just telling the distaff side, the female equivalent of an average joe's hard boiled, a hard luck story, of what thousands of women who want to make it big go through, and just from the bios of our female cast you know that either they went through pretty similar circumstances and scenarios or know people who did. This will inform their best they can do acting.

Pennsylvania Station

This is no Pretty Woman (1990) fairy tale its an almost Vérité, Neo Realist in feeling.

She splits for New York City, taking up an offer from Laura (Sally Lane, her only credit), a girlfriend from the school, who is now a model, to stay with her in a typical NYC arrangement, a three girls sharing the rent apartment.  A fourth girl can easily squeeze in and all will pay less. She can stay there with them while she looks for work. But Laura quickly arranges for Candy to go to cheesecake photographer Charlie Stern (played by Ian Miller) to audition to be a model, and she's got what it takes to be "in the biz." He schedules her for a shoot.

Candy and Laura (Sally Lane)

The apartment "party pad"
Peg, Candy and Laura
Barbara (Audrey Campbell)
 The other two girls living in the apartment are also both pin-up models. Peg a blond who is uncredited, and Barbara played by Audrey Campbell who in real life was a model then starred in a live television program on Cincinnati's WKRC network called "The Girl in the Window in the late 40's Audrey debuted playing a Roman princess in  Joe Sarno's movie "Lash of Lust." She appeared in TV Soap Dark Shadows. Campbell is most famous for her character Madame Olga and the series of Exploitation films featuring her.

Ffirst meet between Candy and Barbara

Candy has a couple of modeling sessions with Charlie Stern. It eventually gets romantic.

The Shoot, The Square and the Seduction of Candy

Charlie Stern (Ian Miller)

After their last shoot Candy and Charlie hit the sights in Times Square and then head for a dance club up in Harlem.

46th Street and Broadway, Automat at right

Charlie knows the score "Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker."

Under the code this = what?

Candy getting aroused

Another coded reference perhaps of things to come
And the finale back at his place.....

Director Viola shows us the not so subtle "plucking of the cherry" 

Below, Charlie slowly goes down out the frame a quote of Richard Conte and Jean Wallace from The Big Combo. Candy is obviously having a good time.

After Candy is seduced by Stern she thinks she's in love. Barbara knows the score. Barbara also came from a broken home and had a promiscuous mother. To the accompaniment of a wild Jungle Bongo with liquorish stick theme, we get a flashback as Barbara tells Candy why she should not trust men. It's the tale of how Barbara losing her virginity. On the day of her eighteenth birthday Barbara comes home from school and finds a present on her dresser.

The seduction of Barbara

At eighteen her mother gives her a negligee and tells her she should find a man. Barbara was always resentful of the men in her mothers life who compete with her for love, but she showers and tries on  the gift, admiring the way she looks and experimenting with the awakening of her sexual feelings. At this time a "friend" of her mother's enters the apartment using his key to retrieve his watch.

He sees Barbara and thinks she is one of the many party girl friends of her mother. He seduces her, and Barbara lets him.

Barbara seems to start out OK but it went South. She's off men and into women.

Barbara: I've seen lots of men they're either dull as death or all rotten.

To get Candy to see the light, Barbara arranges for Candy to find Charles in bed with Laura. After Candy flees Charlie's apartment, Charlie comments to Laura "Poor thing guess she took everything seriously."

"Poor thing guess she took everything seriously."
Candy goes running to Joe (Joseph Sutherin), a nice guy artist friend of Charlies. At first they hit it off. They get intimate.

Candy fixes his meals and even poses for Joe. However, Candy becomes too possessive and prevents David from getting in touch with his creativity.

too possessive
Candy wants him to cater to her. When he frustratingly spurns her, she picks up a mallet and begins to smack it up against his latest sculpture, He smacks her to the floor. Shocked, Candy runs from the apartment and back to the "party pad."

There Candy segues into a playgirl lifestyle and has a different man every night. When she tells Barbara that she's tried everything and is bored, Barbara tells her, hint hint, that "she hasn't tried EVERYTHING."

Of course it all spirals into Noirsville.


"You haven't tried everything."

Party time

A pretty tame party judging that eberyone is still somewhat dressed

This film is really just on the cusp of being an Exploitation Noir. It's not even up to contemporary "R" rated films of today. When the MPPC ended independent filmmakers exploited everything that they were prevented from depicting when the code was in effect. Its just like a dam broke and nothing was going to stop the flood of freedom no matter how crass and tasteless it was. If someone could make a quick buck off something they made it. But this film offers something more.

Barbara Morris is surprisingly good in this. Director Viola shows some nice sequences of 1965 5th Avenue, Times Square and its signage, an equally interesting detour into a Harlem dance hall and of a time long ago and far away. Worth a look. Screencaps are from an online streaming site. 6.5/10

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