Diary of a Movie Maniac introduced me to Roger Vadim‘s 1971 campy, nonsensical heap of busts and buttocks Pretty Maids all in a row. There’s a body count, two sequences featuring football game-play (a practice and a big game), and inappropriate teacher-student relations in the form of busts and buttocks. I kid you not.
I watched the trailer and decided that I had to watch it because of the football, a stunning Angie Dickinson, Telly Savalas, and Rock Hudson in moustache. Well, the football scenes are terribly executed — the editing, cinematography, and actual plays are so unappealing to witness (which is probably the point). They don’t function as spectacle nor do they further the plot. They’re more like window drapes that are integral, if mediocre, components of the background.
Rock Hudson plays a football coach and the school’s psychologist. Frankly, he’s kind of creepy. He’s not quite the lick-my-lips nor the you-want-some-of-this overt icky, but rather the iteration of unsettling where you would not want to stay after school for extra credit (even though the film makes it explicitly clear that the female students love him for his attentiveness in this way). He speaks some very sage words into a dictaphone in a scene in the last twenty minutes of the film, words that apply to what’s going on in society:
Chapter Fourteen: Love, life, and learning is what education is all about, and yet somehow, schools begin backwards by teaching places and names, formulas. Instead, we should teach a passion for living, a love for our world and ourselves, which would send students reveling in self-discovery. And in this century, in which mankind seems racing toward a new dark ages at best, if not annihilation, our schools may become our last chance, indeed, our last-minute chance to turn mankind toward truth, joy, and love.
I would not be surprised if this and other films like it contributed to the “hot teacher” motif.
Pic creds: Amazon, IMDB, YT screenshot