Second Time Lucky (1984) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski), Brainscan, and Tuna.

Scoop's notes in white:

There is bad news and good news about Second Time Lucky.

The good news is that it could be a fairly entertaining twenty minute movie.

The story centers around a bet between God and Satan about whether mankind would fall from grace again if given a second chance at Eden. I'm no theologian, but I presume God knows the future, so I suppose He made the bet knowing full well He'd win eventually. When it comes to gambling, that Satan is a bigger fish than Pete Rose! In fact, I think even Pete Rose could figure out not to bet against someone known as The All-Knowing One. You'd think the Prince of Darkness would smarten up and lay off the bets after a few millennia of losing, but ol' Satan, he'll still try to sneak a bluff in on God in their weekly game of seven card stud, trying to steal an occasional pot with a pair of sixes when The All-Knowing One is sitting on trip aces with two of 'em face up. If nothing else, you'd think the Father of Lies would at least cover his action by making some side bets with his minions and lesser demons.

At any rate, because the story starts in Eden, the first fifteen minutes (more precisely, minutes 5-20) consist of two attractive people running around stark naked in some beautiful areas of New Zealand.

The woman is Diane Franklin, famed proto-babe from the 1980s. If you were born in the 1965-75 period, you probably had a crush on her at one time or another. She was the cute French exchange student who bonded with John Cusack in Better off Dead.  She was one of the princesses who were rescued from the Royal Ugly Dudes by Bill and Ted. She was the love/lust object who broke our hero's heart in The Last American Virgin. She was the cute, round little teen who faced the haunted house in Amityville II.

Then the 80s were over, and she was gone. She got married, had kids, raised them, and didn't resurface in public for a decade. She became a classic suburban mom, doing volunteer work and probably driving a Volvo station wagon. When she did return to acting, it was only with bit parts here and there. (According to IMDb, she sang the National Anthem at Dodger Stadium on June 1, 2004.)

Sidebar: Diane's fan site ( reports that she was on the short list to play Constanze in Amadeus, according to Diane herself!! Ms Franklin says that losing the part was a blessing in disguise, because if her career had moved up to a higher level, she may never have had her lovely family. No disrespect meant to Diane, but winning that role probably would not have been as significant as she seems to think. The woman who did get the part and turned in a reasonably solid performance, Elizabeth Berridge, never got another important movie role, and has recently sunk to taking roles as characters without names, like "hooker in bar" and "NY girl".


The bad news is that it is not a twenty minute movie.

Once Adam and Even get evicted from Paradise, there are two reasons why you should not watch any more:

1) It really doesn't make any sense for the movie to continue. God and Satan make the bet. Satan wins ... why is the movie still running?? I suppose is it is so God can "win" eventually, but I never did make any sense of why Adam and Eve kept reappearing in the Roman Empire, WW1, and the Flapper Era. Maybe Satan was a really good sport and was giving God a chance to go double or nothing. Man, he is a fish. He wins one damned bet in all eternity, and he gives God a chance to get His money back! Then again, God knew he would do that, which must be why The All-Knowing One took the losing action in the first place.

Apparently it never dawned on the writer of this film that Eve, aka Diane Franklin, could not have been reincarnated from the dark haired French nurse in 1917 to the blond American floozy in the 1920s, since the French girl would not have died yet! But I might be taking this material a bit too seriously. Just a bit.

2) Far more important than that lame reason is the fact that Diane Franklin kept her clothes on for the rest of the film except for  a quick flash in the Roman Empire and a very brief flash when she took of her shirt so a WW1 firing squad would have a target. Or maybe two targets.


So if you watch this film, or buy it (for $9.99 or less on a poorly-mastered DVD that appears to be a transferred VHS print), you have two choices:

Choice A - watch an unfunny twenty minute comedy in which Diane Franklin is naked throughout.

Choice B - watch an unfunny ninety minute comedy in which the last seventy minutes have no value either to the film's premise or to the history of screen nudity.


Diane Franklin shows repeated views of her breasts. There are some distant pubic flashes, and a scene in which she shows her pubes while running behind some bushes. There are flashes of her buns, but not clear, well-lit, sexy views.

Roger Wilson (playing Adam) shows his bum in several scenes.

See Brainscan's comments for additional details.

DVD info from Amazon

  • no features, no widescreen

  • bargain bin, apparently mastered from the VHS.

Choice A is not such a bad deal, but don't even think about continuing to watch after steppin' out of Eden. (Hey-ey, brother.) The film's only memorable feature, other than Diane Franklin's soft curves, is a trio of very hammy performances from the three guys who play God, Satan, and the angel Gabriel as three heavenly drag queens. And while that is memorable, it is not a pleasant memory.

Brainscan's comments in yellow:

"Second Time Lucky" (1986) is cute. The premise is cute, the dialogue is cute, the lead actress (Diane Franklin) is cute. And nekkid. A lot.

The contrivance here is that The Almighty and Lucifer bet that, given another chance, humankind... or at least two humans...will be able to resist temptation. In the end, God wins. Imagine that. Omnipotent, omniscient and lucky to boot.

We see our protagonists at a frat party, where they remain virtuous even though Eve (yep, Diane's character is named Eve) gets down to her skivvies 'cuz Adam spilled a drink on her.

Frameshift to the Garden of Eden, where Eve wanders around all nekkid. You see Ms. Franklin's really, really nice upper bod and some brief rear views. Diane is a true endomorph, with a face and bod that aren't fat but are full. For two frames, Eve walks out from behind a bush and shows bush.

Later, she defiantly rips away her top so that a firing squad can get a good view of her, uh, heart. The send-up here is that she is a French nurse serving as a German spy, and is captured toward the end of WWI. Not to worry, She survives as the armistice is signed sometime between Aim and Fire. BTW, there is some historical background to this act. Some of Mata Hari's admirers suggested she do the breast exposure thing in front of the ol' firing squad. It was reasoned the executioners would not bring themselves to damage such wonderous goodies. Sadly, she either could not or would not take their advice.

So this is an uneven movie, silly but exuberant, child-like but tolerable, so long as Diane Franklin is on the screen.

Tuna's comments in light blue:

Second Time Lucky (1984) is a rather silly film made in New Zealand, based on the premise that Satan convinces God to start over with Adam and Eve, but this time, for winner take all. Gabriel is assigned to assist (but not interfere with) Adam, a nerdish college student. Eve is played brilliantly by Diane Franklin. The two meet rather badly at a frat house party. Next thing you know, Gabriel rushes Adam off to the Garden of Eden on a motorcycle, where he encounters a completely naked Eve. Satan wins round one when Eve eats the apple, then gets Adam to do the same.

Round two is fought in ancient Rome, where Adam is a victorious officer, and Eve is engaged to Caesar. Caesar doesn't take kindly to finding Adam on his marriage bed with a topless Eve. God picks the venue for round three, the great war (WW I), with Adam as an RAF Lieutenant and Eve as a French nurse and enemy agent. We then move to 1920s USA with Eve as a blonde floozy who rats out the mob to detective Adam. The last round is fought in the present. Satan is a rock promoter, and offers Eve to popular singer Adam, if Adam will sign with him and sing his material.

The story line required Diane Franklin to essentially play 5 different women, and she was equal to the task. Roger Wilson didn't do nearly as well, nor did Jon Gadsby as Gabriel. God was played by Robert Morley.

Scoopy felt that once the two are expelled from Eden, there is not much left worth watching. I disagree. Franklin rose above the bad material, and is worth watching in each major segment. Her blonde 1920s bimbo was excellent. I would say that Franklin fans will enjoy parts of it. I do suggest that you keep the remote handy for fast forward, however.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 4.2/10. That's about right, and if you take away the first 20 minutes, I would go for 1.5.
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, Scoop says, "This is an E as a full-length film, or a C- for the Eden segment as a short. If you do not care to see Diane Franklin naked, there is absolutely no reason to watch. Even if you do want to see Diane Franklin naked, give it up as soon as they are cast from Eden." Tuna assigns a C-, arguing that the film is watchable all the way through for Diane Franklin fans.

Return to the Movie House home page