Saturday, July 31, 2010

Four Dimensions of Greta - 1972





Pretty hard to find any official copy of this, but I eventually found someone selling a bootleg copy of it on an online marketplace.

Rated X when it came out, the few reviews I could find about it all made it seem like it was quite scandalous. So, of course I was curious and didn’t know what to expect. Soft porn? Finally would I see Robin completely naked? He sorta makes it seem that way when he writes about this movie in his book.

As my birthday treat I talked my husband into watching this one with me. Couples porn, I said. Lots of girls for you in it, Robin for me. He agreed.

The story: German guy (no, not played by Robin) is planning a trip to England to do some research for a story he’s writing for a magazine. An older couple he meets wonders if he could do them a favor while he’s over there? Their 18 year old daughter Greta had gone to London to work as an au pair and has disappeared. Could he go talk to her last employer? He agrees.

He arrives and meets up with an old girlfriend. She’s engaged to be married, as is he, but wind up naked in each others’ arms anyway. Nudity, but nothing what I’d call porn. Perhaps in its day. My husband yawns. No guy nudity, but I’m not watching this to see the German guy anyway.

German guy goes round to visit Greta’s employer who informs him she’d only worked there a week because she was a horrible worker and has no idea where she’s gone. Dead end there. He then scours the swingin’ music clubs of London, showing her photo to various club-goers. When he happens upon one that is a favorite amongst German immigrant girls, one girl said yes, she could give him some info, but he’d have to come visit her tomorrow for it. He does, to find an apartment full of naked hippies, who give him a story about Greta being cruel and manipulative and they asked her to leave. Last they heard, she was now a stripper.

While they are telling that story, we are treated to the first of four “3-D” flashback scenes. I’m sure it was pretty impressive to see on a big screen in the still-technologically primitive early ‘70s, but sadly these scenes did not transfer well to the small screen. Yes, we had a couple pairs of old 3-D glasses too!

When Hans (German guy) talks to someone from the strip club, she gives a whole different picture of Greta (via 2nd 3-D flashback). Greta was a sweet, na├»ve thing, who got herself talked into stripping and didn’t last there very long. But, perhaps Hans could try talking to her boyfriend, Roger?

Roger turns out to be Robin Askwith. In the 3rd 3-D sequence, he says he met her while working at a massage parlor which happened to be owned by the same guy who owned the strip club. He is an athlete and had to go to the place to help soothe a pulled muscle, and he could tell she was very new to the job. However, they clicked and moved in together. He talks fondly of the times they had together, and it’s a really cute scene where they’re giggling and she’s throwing him grapes. They wind up naked in bed, but it’s hardly anything X-rated. You barely see Robin at all with her laying on top of him.

Either Robin’s memories of this film have faded, or he actually filmed something more explicit than what was in the final cut. But I sure wouldn’t call this much of a “sex scene”.

Back to the story: he doesn’t know where she is now. But perhaps he should talk to the guy who owns the strip club and massage parlor? He gives him the address of gambling hall he also owns.

Once there, Hans is given a story (in the 4th 3-D scene) of an aggressive Greta who came on to him at his massage parlor. In the throes of passion, Roger had walked in and gotten into a fight with the guy, who broke his arm. But….when Hans reports back to Roger with that story, he is told what had happened instead. Roger had actually walked in on the guy raping Greta, threatened him, and took Greta away. Afterward, the owner sent some people round to kidnap Greta and break Roger’s arm in revenge.

Hans’ girlfriend is then sent in to try to sexily cajole Greta’s whereabouts out of the owner. She gets the info, but doesn’t escape a gang-raping. Don’t worry, nothing explicit is shown of that. The bad guys drive out to a houseboat where they are keeping Greta, but are followed by Hans and Roger, who climb aboard and bring everyone to justice with a good fight scene. And in the end, sweet Greta is shipped back to Germany, with a wistful Robin Askwith left behind at the airport.

Anyway, we both thought it wasn’t a bad little film. My husband was not that impressed by the selection of naked girls – he said they looked too old for the ages they were supposed to be playing, and their boobs were too big and saggy. All he really liked was when Hans’ girlfriend wore these hotpants with thigh-high stockings: “I don’t remember any girls I knew wearing those in the early ‘70s!” he said ruefully. Um, sorry, Jim, but as you were spending those years in Hacienda Heights rather than Swingin’ London, that’s what you get.

As for me, I wasn’t disappointed at all. Robin was in his prime here, and his hair was just perfect. Fluffy, clean, long enough to have a beautiful natural wave to it….mmmm. And, oh yeah, nice acting job too. ;)

MARCH 2012 UPDATE:

Just found the original trailer on YouTube! Enjoy!

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