Salon Kitty (1976) from Tuna

Does Tinto Brass know what to do with naked women or what?

Salon Kitty (1976) is his legendary x-rated classic in which Nazi whores spy on German officers for the SS. It is now available uncut for the first time. Most of the film is dubbed, but some of the previously censored sections were never dubbed into English, so those scenes are presented in the original Italian with English subtitles.

Summary:

An egotistical SS officer on the eve of WW2 is charged with opening a cat house with women he personally recruits to entertain German officers, and report any signs of bad attitudes. He builds a new facility with snooping devices, recruits women from all over Germany, with the most important criteria being loyalty to the Fuhrer, and gives them tryouts and special training. He then closes the most popular house in Berlin, Salon Kitty, on a flimsy excuse, but makes Madam Kitty a one time good deal. He will let her manage the facility he has built, but with his women. Kitty knows nothing about the spying aspects, and sets about training the women to be good hookers. One of them, played by Theresa Ann Savoy, falls for a customer, and doesn't report him when he decides to defect. Of course, the SS does him in based on the tapes, and she vows revenge.

NUDITY REPORT

  • Ingrid Thulin plays Kitty and shows breasts in two scenes
  • Tina Aumont shows breasts as the wife of the Nazi organizer of the house
  • Paola Senatore shows everything as one of the spy/hookers
  • Teresa Ann Savoy and Rosemarie Lindt also give it all up
  • The film is virtually non-stop nudity
The film runs 124 minutes, and is rated X, but is not a hard core, although it gets rather close at times. Indeed, it might be called a musical, in that many scenes take place with a lively piano accompaniment, and Madam Kitty sings several torch songs. The set design is interesting, start to finish.

DVD info from Amazon

  • This is a very impressive DVD set, which includes a second disk of interviews, and a .pdf file of a book written around the movie, sort of like a 78 page lobby card.

  • Bonus Disc: Inside Salon Kitty - Interview with Director Tinto Brass

  • Designing Salon Kitty - Interview with Production Designer Ken Adam

  • Radio Spots

  • Poster & Still Gallery

  • Ken Adam's Production Designs

  • Jost Jakob's Costume Designs

  • The Story of Salon Kitty (DVD-ROM)

  • Widescreen anamorphic format

White Trash Devil summed up the influence of this film as follows:

In the mid 1970's a whole slew of World War 2-themed Sexploitation films were churned out ... from Italy, in the wake of the highly successful Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS. In Italy these films are known as part of the "il sadiconazista" cycle, the bulk of which were influenced as much by Ilsa as they were by ... controversial Italian art-house films: Liliana Cavaniís The Night Porter, Tinto Brassís Salon Kitty.

These film makers had discovered that it was easier to get violently sexual situations past the censors if they were presented within the context of having basis in the historical facts of Nazi war atrocities. Of course, none of these films had any interest in being factually correct. The filmmakers were solely interested in making a few bucks by exploiting 1970's movie audiences' craving for weirder and wilder psycho-sexual delights. These films pushed the boundaries of bad taste to their lowest limit. Though sex, swastikas, and Sadism sold lots of tickets for Ilsa and Salon Kitty, the other entries in the genre were generally box-office bombs, which meant that by the 1980's no more of these films were being produced. It is difficult to pinpoint the appeal of these films. Any first year psychology student could interpret these films' appeal in relation to bondage fetishes, rape fantasies, misogygny, etc.

More likely, the fundamental appeal is simply the fact that a whole slew of beautiful women get naked frequently.

The Critics Vote

  • General USA consensus: two and a half stars. Ebert 2.5/4, Berardinelli 2.5/4.

  • General UK consensus: two stars. Mail 4/10, Telegraph 4/10, Independent 4/10, Guardian 2/10, Times 6/10, Sun 5/10, Express 6/10, BBC 3/5

The People Vote ...

  • Box Office Mojo. It was budgeted at $47 million for production, and the distribution/advertising costs are estimated around $30 million. It did nine million in its first five days, in 2400 theaters. (On the average, the studios get about 55% of box office receipts, the theater owners 45%.)

 

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this film gets the highest possible grade for this genre, C+. It has a plot, decent acting, impressive music, great visuals, more tits than a Girls Gone Wild video, and more bush than Australia.

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