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Confessions of a Window Cleaner

UK 1974
produced by
Greg Smith, Norman Cohen (executive), Michael Klinger (executive) for Columbia
directed by Val Guest
starring Robin Askwith, Anthony Booth, Sheila White, Dandy Nichols, Bill Maynard, Linda Hayden, John Le Mesurier, Joan Hickson, Katya Wyeth, Richard Wattis, Melissa Stribling, Anita Graham, Sam Kydd, Brian Hall, Christine Donna, Sue Longhurst, Olivia Munday, Judy Matheson, Elaine Baillie, Christopher Owen, Peter Dennis, Marianne Stone, Andee Cromarty, David Rose, Totti Truman Taylor, Frank Sieman, Anika Pavel, Hugo De Vernier, Bruce Wightman, Carole Augustine, Lionel Murton, Peter Fontaine, Jeannie Collings, Claire Russell, Jo Peters, Monika Ringwald, Porjai Nicholas, Derek Lord, Robert Longden, Jennifer Westbrook, Glenda Allen, Ava Cadell, Zoe Hendry, Petula Noble, Rosetta Tropea
screenplay by Christopher Wood, Val Guest, based on the novel by Christopher Wood (as Timothy Lea), music by Sam Sklair

Confessions ...

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Timothy's (Robin Askwith) brother in law Sidney (Anthony Booth) has just hired him to help out on his window cleaning business, but afterr only one day it becomes clear that Timothy lacks the finesses of the trade - in less prosaic terms he's not terribly good at charming female customers into keeping hiring them ... and even more vulgarly speaking, that means shagging the female clientel. That might of course have to do with the fact that Timothy's still innocent in the downstairs department. Sidney is quick to fix that by taking Timothy to a stripper with benefits (Christine Donna), and soon enough, Timothy has caught on and as a result gets into all kinds of sexual situations with the customers, more often with embarrassing endings for at least one involved. At the same time, Timothy manages to fall in love with Elizabeth (Linda Hayden) - who just happens to be a policewoman. Now she loves him back, but it turns out getting her into bed is more problematic than one of the customers, and that's not just because of her policeman father (John Le Mesurier) and strict mother (Joan Hickson), but also because she wants to take it slow. So eventually, rather by accident, Timothy asks Elizabeth to marry him - which of course leads to the wanted result (finally getting to shag her), but he also wants to stay true to his proposal.

It's the wedding day, and while Timothy and family - Sid, Sid's wife (Sheila White), mum (Dandy Nichols) and dad (Bill Maynard) - are preparing to head for the location, Timothy accidently lands in a movers van that takes him in the opposite direction, and of course once he notices that he tries his utmost to make it back - but arrives hours upon hours late, when all the guests have already left. But when he wants to at least make up with Elizabeth, he finds her in bed with Sid - which actually might not be the unhappiest of endings ...

 

Now of course, seen from today's perspective, this first film in the Confessions-series starring Robin Askwith sure must come across as horrible: Askwith's character really comes across as a dinosaur, the whole concept of the film as sexist, and many of the jokes are clearly in bad taste. One in fact really has to watch this one through the glasses of nostalgia and judge it by the standards of its own time. Sure this doesn't make it a masterpiece, and some of it still feels like in bad taste, and one still can't denie a certain sexism - but this was not made as a political statement but as a mindless, sexy romp, and a film feeding on the relative sexual freedom of the 1970s, relying on Robin Askwith's odd (and probably even slightly archaic by the time) charm to hold things together. As I said, not a masterpiece, probably not even a good movie in the traditional sense of the word, but an innocently naughty fun trip down nostalgia lane if you're up for it.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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written by
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