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Seduction Cinema presents
The Naughty Stewardesses (1974)

Barbara: Let me guess—you had a wild weekend?Margie: Always.
- Tracy King, Donna Desmond

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: June 11, 2002

Stars: Connie Hoffman, Donna Desmond, Mikel James, Tracy King
Other Stars: Sydney Jordan, Robert Livingston, Richard Smedley
Director: Al Adamson

MPAA Rating: R for nudity, sexuality, violence
Run Time: 01h:43m:38s
Release Date: March 26, 2002
UPC: 612385220593
Genre: late night


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C+ C+B+B- C+

DVD Review

In the early 1970s, long before they became "flight attendants," stewardess exploitation movies were a hot commodity. The stewardess had a mystique about her—young, sexy, adventurous, and worldly, an image the airline industry couldn't help but promote. In 1971, producer Sam Sherman, then a principle at International Independent, helped another distributor bring a German adult title to the US, released as Swinging Stewardesses, which became a huge success. His partners wanted to cash in on the trend, and after realizing that stewardess movies were few and far between, they set out to create their own picture, which was how The Naughty Stewardesses got off the ground, so to speak. Sherman's partner, director Al Adamson, agreed to do the picture after veteran 1930s B westerns star Robert Livingston—who starred in The Lone Ranger serial, and did over 30 pictures as the character Stoney Brooke—was convinced to come out of retirement and agreed to come on board. Not wanting to make just another cheap exploitation flick, Sherman took to writing the screenplay, adding in a more dramatic plotline than other similar features of the time.

Barbara (Marilyn Joi as Tracy King), Margie (Donna Desmond) and Jane (Sydney Jordan) all fly the very friendly skies, living a life of adventure on their appropriately named lay-overs. When young Debbie (Connie Hoffman) arrives from out of town to find a new career as a stewardess, she isn't prepared for what awaits her. She will be rooming with the three other girls, but is shocked when she is introduced to their uninhibited lifestyle and wild, swinging parties, a far cry from her small town upbringing. While in flight, she befriends Ben (Livingston), a wealthy playboy, who saves a man's life while on the plane. Once landed, she accompanies him home, naïvely waiting at his bar while he proceeds upstairs for a nooner with another girlfriend. Debbie's reserved and prudish demeanor is broken down when she meets Cal (Richard Smedley), a shy fashion photographer, for whom she volunteers to pose nude. However, Cal becomes jealous of Debbie's relationship with Ben when she invites Cal to a party at the older man's estate, where Cal gets mixed up with Barbara's new boyfriend, a porn movie producer who also has a scheme for making some quick dough. The plot puts our stewardesses in grave peril, with only Ben and Margie able to save them.

You know you've got a classic when the first scene is one of our girls inducting the co-pilot into the mile high club. Sure, this isn't any cinematic masterpiece, and doesn't offer much in the way of real content. However, it does have that groovy 1970s music going for it, as well as a lot of flavor from the era, and who would want to miss the funky uniforms, short cut skirts, knee high boots, and poofy hats? Locations cover Las Vegas, Palm Springs, and several of the directors' homes, which were also former dwellings of old Hollywood stars like Harold Lloyd. This and its sequel, Blazing Stewardesses, were anomalies for Adamson, whose mainstay were B horror flicks like Satan's Sadists or Dracula vs. Frankenstein. Not nearly as sleazy as they would have you believe, The Naughty Stewardesses is wonderful cheese. It does go beyond the average, working in some timely topics and subplots, a bit of action and some off-the-wall characters. A perfect time capsule for "Women in Uniform" B movies, where the sky's the limit, and the girls go first class—and all the way.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The Naughty Stewardesses was mastered from the original 35mm negative. Image quality is respectable, but does show its age. There are segments where specks and dust are quite prominent, primarily at reel changes, and a handful of substantial print defects. Colors are okay for the most part, but have that 1970s desaturated look to them, and occasionally shift hues for select shots. The look is on the soft side, with moderate, but well preserved grain, and some scenes are a bit on the dark side. The only real issues outside source problems are aliasing ad a bit of ringing in places. Other than that, for a low buck exploitation film, this looks quite acceptable.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Mono sound is a bit on the thin and sibilant side, and does distort on occassion. Dialogue is easy to understand, despite being captured on location, a feat which was in its infancy at the time of production. There are a few pops and clicks, some hiss and other defects, but nothing major.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
1 Original Trailer(s)
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Blazing Stewardesses, Cinderella 2000, Possession of Nurse Sherri
1 TV Spots/Teasers
1 Deleted Scenes
1 Feature/Episode commentary by producer Sam Sherman
Weblink/DVD-ROM Material
Packaging: unknown keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extras Review: There is a good assortment of extras here, starting with a commentary track by producer Sam Sherman. Sherman covers a lot of ground, providing a look at the independent film industry of the early 1970s. From how the idea of the film came to be, to the writing process, to its cast and crew, few stones are left unturned. There is a wealth of trivia included, from the locations, to the difficulties of capturing live sound in those days. Sherman does have a habit of starting a story, then interupting himself with another train of thought, but in the end he does manages to piece together all the information he tries to convey, and seems genuinely enthusiastic about the process of doing commentaries. Watching with this track was more entertaining than the film itself.

The theatrical trailer and a TV promo spot are included, as are a deleted scene and a collection of outtakes.

Trailers for three other Al Adamson films can also be found, including the Naughty Stewardesses sequel, Blazing Stewardesses, Cinderella 2000, and Possession of Nurse Sherri.

There is no chapter menu, but the film has 23 chapter stops within the film.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

The stewardess film was an integral part of the 1970s exploitation market—they didn't call them the "friendly" skies for nothing. Naughty Stewardesses captures the flavor of the era with a bit of titillation, some action and drama. The acting is passable, and there is some semblance of a plot beyond just getting the cast out of their uniforms. While hardly what I'd call a "good" film, it has some historic interest, elevated by Sam Sherman's commentary track, which is a lesson in independent filmmaking.

 


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