Directed by Ralph Thomas
Written by Hugh Leonard
UK/sex comedy/color/1971/103 min
Hywel Bennett as Edwin Anthony
Denholm Elliot as Emmanual Whitbread
Elke Sommer as Helga
Britt Ekland as Dorothy Chiltern-Barlow
Antonia Ellis as Rita La Rousse
Tracy Reed as Mrs. Penney
Patrick Mower as James Vaile
Plot Summary & Comments
This was another British 'sex comedy' of the seventies. The story concerns an eminent surgeon who specialises in body transplants and in particular transplants of the male sex organ! Not surprisingly, the surgeon's problem is that he can find neither a donor nor recipient in order to practise his vocation. Then one day, by a freak accident both donor and recipient are found - and the surgeon can at last set to work on his 'historic' operation! However, afterwards, the surgeon is eager to ensure his operation has been a complete success. But he suspects that all is not well in the domestic/conjugal bed of his patient. So, whilst the patient is still in the care of the hospital, the surgeon hires the services of Miss Rita La Rousse, an 'exotic' dancer working in the seedier clubs of the London area. Miss La Rousse poses as a nurse and is left alone with the patient where she performs her 'strip act' in order to 'arouse' the patient. Antonia doesn't have any lines throughout this period of the movie (as you'd expect!). She pouts and gestures erotically and displays a very convincing part of the stripper. It's only afterwards when she goes to meet her 'Mumsie' in a nearby pub that Antonia has the odd line. 'Mumsie' and 'Miss La Rousse' are approached by a journalist who recognises the latter from a photo-shoot. Up until this point, the patient's identity in the 'ground-breaking' surgery had been kept a closely guarded secret - however, 'Mumsie' explains that her daughter had been sworn to secrecy!!! ...And would therefore only give the journalist a story for money.
Antonia's involvement in the film lasts for about 5 minutes or so. However, she is mentioned on the credits, both at the beginning and end of the movie.
Words & images by Keith McLaren.