Tuesday, June 16, 2009

For Singles Only (1968)

Directed by Arthur Dreifuss. There's no way in hell I can beat the two-word review of this on IMDB that reads "trashy timewaster" without either providing some genuine information or at least posing some relevant questions.

This is quite simply a fantastic film that will leave you baffled. Why does this light piece of fluff include a violent rape scene about two-thirds of the way through? Did someone in Hollywood think all of this mediocrity would somehow mathematically combine to more than the sum of its parts? How many of the hot actresses in this did Milton Berle shock with his famously massive schlong?

Milton Berle does a competent job here reading cue cards and mugging for the camera in three scenes placed strategically at the beginning, middle and end of the picture. This was probably done to spread out his appearance and make it seem longer, though I prefer to look at it as only having to take Berle in small doses.

One reason I was sold on this movie was because of John Saxon, one of the most instantly recognizable faces in film/TV cursed with the least recognizable name. You think you don't know John Saxon, but don't you know this guy?

I thought so. He'd show up on "Fantasy Island" and "The Love Boat" once a season and be on his merry way, and people shouldn't forget (though it's far too late to prevent it) that he co-starred with Bruce Lee in "Enter the Dragon."

But in "For Singles Only" John Saxon doesn't seem to know any martial arts or that might have come in handy in the brutal rape scene I'm warning you about for the second time. The other reasons I was sold on this movie were hot '60s chicks, which if you know me -- and why would you be reading this if you didn't -- you know I'm a sucker for. This movie includes Lana Wood (gorgeous sister to Natalie Wood, Playboy model and terrible actress) as well as Mary Ann Mobley, who if you don't know from your collection of Miss America memorabilia (1959), you remember from celebrity game show panels of the '70s:

When this movie was released, the New York Times review said of its producer, Sam Katzman, "only an elderly movie producer living in southern California could remain alive and yet be so dead to the meaning of the world around him."

Ridiculous! Here's the plot: John Saxon plays Bret Hendley an apparently non-Jewish young man about to be kicked out of grad school because he's got money problems. Saxon was 33 when he made this but I think he's supposed to be a lot younger. Anyway, his buddies in the swinging singles apartment where they all live bet him all the money he needs that he can't bed down the new cutie down the hall whose given all the boys the brush off. Ladies' Man Bret takes that bet -- but wouldn't you know? He falls in love with the lady!

I won't spoil any of the surprises that follow, and before you go thinking I'm sarcastically implying that a movie like this has none to offer, let me remind you one more time of the horrible, brutal rape that shows up inexplicably in this otherwise very light romantic comedy! Not to mention the appearance by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band! I swear I am not shitting you!


  1. Just saw Saxon in an episode of A-Team last night as a cult leader who dressed like Lou Reed.

  2. You say that implying that Lou Reed himself does not dress like a cult leader. Or that John Saxon would not ordinarily dress like either.

  3. Don't forget that for the younger generations, John Saxon is better-known as the father in "Nightmare On Elm Street".