Secrets of a French Maid

1980 [GERMAN]


IMDb Rating 5.2 10 242

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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Horst_In_Translation 2 / 10

It's porn, nothing of quality

"Die Nichten der Frau Oberst" or "Secrets of a French Maid" or "Come Play with Me 2" is a Swiss German-language film from 1980, so this one had its 35th anniversary last year. It runs for approximately 90 minutes and was directed by Erwin C. Dietrich, who also adapted the original novel by Guy de Maupassant here. The cast includes some actors and actresses who got somewhat known through the wave of sexually explicit German films from the 1970s. Well.. what else can you say about this film. The story is so bad it can be ignored entirely. Nothing of value is to see here. the acting is bad, but the script is even a lot worse. Is there any reason to watch this film? It's tough to find one for me. Maybe it's not a disastrous watch if you are really horny. At least they have a blonde chick and a brunette chick, so it's something for everybody and some may even find Frau Oberst appealing. But like I said, from a cinematic perspective you will not find any quality in here whatsoever. This is an example of how film is not always art. A rigorous thumbs-down from me.

Reviewed by SMK-4 5 / 10

Pretty, but pretty hollow

This is a nicely photographed softporn feature from the time when the girls had to show a bit more to keep the punters interested - as a result the female cast comprises of regulars of French porn flicks.

Although there had been rumours of hard porn versions of Dietrich's films from this era, they seem to be largely unfounded. Except that the full length version of this film contains several labia showings which would have had to be cut for certain markets, e.g. they are missing in the UK version.

Dietrich does not even attempt to get any acting out of his cast (although at least Brigitte Lahaie and Cathy Stewart are quite capable in that department), he just goes for the looks. In several scenes a dialogue is dubbed to the film, although quite clearly nobody is speaking at the moment - this is so blatant that it looks deliberate, a bit of self-mockery. In the German language version Dietrich pursued this strain of self-mockery by having some original text from Guy de Maupassant (the original inspiration for this film) read to comment on rather less sophisticated scenes. The English language version lacks this little intricacy.

Overall, the film is pretty to look at - pretty girls, pretty scenery, pretty fruit blossoms , Dietrich is obsessed with this stuff], and male actors with pretty well-developed muscles. But there is no real story, not the slightest bit of tension, the film is not going anywhere.

Reviewed by augustian 7 / 10

Not much plot, not much clothing

There is some dispute over the real authorship of the original book. Widely attributed to Guy de Maupassant, the book looks to have been originally published with the French title Les Cousines de la Colonelle, by Vicomtesse de Coeur-Brûlant, possibly aka Madame de Mannoury aka Marquise de Mannoury d'Ectot (according to the blurb on the book cover).

This is another erotic film from Swiss filmmaker Erwin C. Dietrich who specialises in this sort of countryside nude romp. If the film lacks a plot then this is more than compensated for by the amount of very attractive female flesh on display, which after all is what interests the viewers.

Karine Gambier plays the widowed Frau Oberst who likes to try out potential suitors for her two nieces played by Brigitte Lahaie and Pascale Vital but the nieces seem to have eyes only for each other, not that they are not interested in the guys but the guys seem a bit half-hearted in their attempts to make it with the girls. Still, never mind, with several girl/guy scenes they all come good (no pun intended) in the end.

One aspect of Mr Dietrich's filmmaking that I find interesting is his ability to secure picturesque locations such as castles and grand houses for his films. If this sort of film had been made in the UK, there would no doubt have been screaming headlines in the press calling for heads to roll and questions asked in Parliament but the Swiss and the continentals in general seem to take it all in their stride - and, in this reviewer's opinion, thank goodness for that.

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