Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

Pretty Maids All In A Row

Cleveland Press May 21, 1971

"Pretty Maids All in a Row" is the first American film for French director Roger Vadim. If we are lucky it may be his last.

The discoverer and lover of Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve, and the current sometimes husband of Jane Fonda must have learned about the United States by reading Playboy.

His movie is a mindless, tasteless, witless mixture of murder, sex and comedy. Even his mediocre French films had a sense of pace and character and his best efforts were superior in those aspects. "Pretty Maids" has neither. Did he really direct this or did he just issue memos?

THE SETTING is Southern California Grotesque where high schools are filled not with teenage girls but seductive and nubile starlets who major in erotica.

High school counselor and assistant principal Rock Hudson specializes in locked-door sessions with the prettier and more willing of the maidens. In between times he restores his energy with a drink that contains brewer's yeast and wheat germ.

SOME OF the girls get possessive which leads to murder and soon the campus is filled with beautiful corpses. As either black comedy or suspense this never jells.

The actors tend to stroll through this movie. Maybe they knew it wasn't going anywhere.