SassyFlix | In Praise Of Older Women

In Praise Of Older Women

  • NR
  • 1978-09-22
  • 01:50:00
7/ 10
6 votes

Comedy, Drama, Horror, Romance

Middle-aged ethnic Hungarian Andras Vajda, a philosophy professor, reflects on his youth and how he was always enamored with the opposite sex, especially more mature women. That attraction to more mature women stemmed in part from his experiences as a child during WWII, and from what was his first sexual encounter at age sixteen and a half with a girl his own age. He reflects specifically on his relationships with four mature women over the course of just over a decade from the early 1950s to early 1960s and how each differed based on culture, his own maturity and experiences at each stage, what each woman wanted and needed from him, and the geopolitical situation in which he was enmeshed. He also reflects on the relationships in terms of the what he believed was love at that point in his life.


in praise of sheer idiocy

"In Praise of Older Women" is relatively true to the excellent psychological/philosophical novel it is based on. However, the problem is that all its intellectual elements (such as its theories about the reasoning behind promiscuity) are removed in the adaptation. The result is a soft porn movie which is unintentionally hilarious due to awkwardness and bad acting. Andras, the skirt-chasing protagonist, is presented as a dip who throws a temper tantrum when one of his lovers leaves him and delivers lines like "Give us the grand tour, pops." or "This exquisite antique ashtray could be yours if you promise to become my lover." as awkwardly as if he actually knew how lame he sounded (which Tom Berenger, who played him, probably did). A bad acting award should also go to the girl who played Andras´s first teenage girlfriend. She delivers her lines as if the characters she talked to were puppies or newborn babies but then, as my friend pointed out, she actually does act like a stupid flirty girl in her early teens who does not know what she wants in a boyfriend. The actresses who play Andras´s more adult girlfriends admittedly do a better job but still, they mostly play along with the soft porn cliche of upper class semi-intellectuals who treat sex as if it was art collecting or jogging. What do they see in a dork like Andras at their age anyway ? Also, what´s the deal with some of the Hungarian characters having Hungarian accents and the other Magyars having AMERICAN accents ? Nevertheless, I must reemphasize that this movie is fun. It made me laugh more than most typical "comedies" and some of the dramatic scenes, such as the one where Andras must flee Hungary , actually do work dramatically. The sex scenes, while pretty mild by today´s standards, look relatively realistic. The insights into Hungarian culture are interesting too. Nevertheless, trash is trash and I love it !

Not at all bad, in fact; quite good

To be very honest, I can't really disagree with some of the negative reviews out there concerning this film. But every once in a while, some movie appeals to you and deep down you know that it's really not that good. As for this one, I've seen it a few times and I always enjoy it.

The film basically covers all of Berenger's sexual adventures with women who are somewhat older than he is. While he seems to fall deeply in love with them, these relationships don't seem to work out for him.

I really don't know what point this film is trying to make. Berenger's first real intimate relationship with Karen Black ends when he's unfaithful to her, his next one when he goes to Canada to escape turmoil in his country and leaves his rebel woman behind, the third woman is simply frigid and dumps him after he finally gets her off and finally he can't make it work with Helen Shaver.

I simply enjoy the movie. Tom Berenger is my favorite actor and he's very appealing here, as always. On the whole, this film is well acted, Karen Black very good especially. The movie looks good enough, with convincing settings, but I think it was produced on a relatively low budget. It's fairly dramatic at times, especially when he has to leave one girlfriend behind in war ridden Hungary.

This movie ain't spectacular or anything, but I like it.

One quibble; what's with that poster. Seems like a porno flick, definitely not the cover for this film.


If you can accept this Canadian made film as light entertainment, and not expect too much, you will definitely enjoy it. Unfortunately, at the time of release,it was unfavorably compared to the novel,and received some undeservedly vicious reviews,but it was a huge hit in Canada, where Helen Shaver received a best supporting Actress award for it.

Tom Berenger is remarkably charismatic as a Hungarian lad who has romances with some of the international cinema's most accomplished(and underrated actresses) actresses, Karen Black, Susan Strasberg, and Alexandra Stewart,after striking out with a girl his age(Marianne MacIsaac, sounding quite like a young Marilyn Monroe). Is's a pleasure to watch the then novice, very handsome Berenger hold his own as an actor against this talented trio. Much was written about the film's sexuality and nudity, but it's not much, except for an extremely heated closing encounter between Tom and Helen Shaver. All in all, a memorable, unique film.

Enjoyable soft core porno flick

I caught this playing constantly on cable TV late at night back in the early 80s. Not much of a plot. It's just about hunky Tom Berenger (who was only 29 when he made this) seducing one older woman after another. That's all it is--nothing else...but not bad for what it is.

The woman themselves are all very beautiful, have nice bodies and (surprisingly) are good actresses--Karen Black and Helen Shaver especially. The only disappointment in the film was there were next to no full frontal nude shots of Berenger. The women show everything but not him and--let's face it--back then he WAS very handsome and had a great body. There are only flashes of his "best parts" and (for some reason) even THOSE were clumsily edited out the last time I saw the pic (in the mid 80s)! If you're gonna do a soft core pic let's see everything.

That aside it was a light, enjoyable sex film--nothing more. I give it a 7.

Tom Berenger and cougars!

George Kaczender's In Praise of Older Women, from Stephen Vizinczey's novel of the same name, is an extremely controversial film. The Canadian version of the MPAA objected to the nudity and explicit simulated sex in the film and would not release it unless Kaczender removed 2 minutes of footage. Kaczender was willing to remove 10 seconds of footage. Eventually, a compromise was reached and 30 seconds were edited out of the film. IPOW was released in 1978 and won 4 "Genie" Awards.

Regardless, IPOW is nothing more than a classier version of the type of film The Asylum would produce in 2014. Tom Berenger, in his second notable film appearance, plays Andras Vayda, a young man who wants to be a professor and is looking for love. Thing is, he doesn't want to get frisky with women his own age. He seems more interested in seducing women who are 15 years his senior or older. Throughout the movie, he has affairs with a number of older women throughout a 12 year period played by the likes of Karen Black, Marilyn Lightstone, Susan Strasburg, Alexandra Stewart and Helen Shaver (who was actually 2 years younger than Berenger was) while an older voice representing him narrates at times.

Despite being nothing more than soft core pornography, there are some good scenes. Alberta Watson, another one of his conquests, plays a cabaret singer dressed in a French outfit who sings a seductive song that piques his interest. Shaver, who won a "Genie" for her character of Ann MacDonald, offers some light comic relief and Black is as solid as ever as Maya, the gateway to Andras' love of cougars. Berenger shows promise as an actor early on but despite his top billing, cedes to the established actresses. The movie also uses the 1956 Hungarian Revolution as a backdrop and then later his time as a professor in Montreal.

While not a great piece of cinema, it is a good film among 1970's erotica and it's elevated by the big names in the cast, present and future. Certainly worth a look for curiosity sake.

Made to fill a niche that no longer exists

Well, this film was made to fill a niche that no longer exists. Like the old B-movies sort of went away when that area fell to television, this film was soft-core before cable channels filled that niche. And, it does so better, having B-list actresses, rather than D-list and former porn actresses. Most of the actresses did really solid work, especially Karen Black, Marilyn Lightstone, and Helen Shaver. Tom Berenger was awkward to the point of being painful to watch, but I doubt that it is due to bad acting. That is almost certainly the director's vision. The dialogue was also painfully awkward, but that only makes sense. The background of the 1956 Hungarian uprising made for some interest as well. The film is intended to be sexy, so consider that when deciding to view this one.

Redundant,redundant , redundant...Can You say Redundant?

Warning: Spoilers

This film though artsy ,was , well, you guessed it redundant. Growing up as a middle man for a brothel and being introduced to sex from a countess at the ripe old age of 11 or so, Andres becomes a stud, not gigolo , for sex starved housewives, between 30 and 40 or so. Taking place in Hungary during mid century, this film even seemed that much more far fetched. Andres , not having luck with teens his own age , ventures for older women. Going through women like the rest of the male population goes through underwear, this film did not have much of a point. Surely women can not be as pathetic as they were in this film? The cheesy lines were as ridiculous as the revolving door of a plot, that just kept going around and around. In the one scene, where a stupid line did not work, conveniently there was an attractive older lady, dining alone,ahemmmm, at another table that somehow saved the day for Andres. Too contrived, too predictable and well too soft porn. From a male perspective, lots of lovely visuals, but not much else going. Basically the open ending , just presumed more of the same, with nothing settled with Andres as far as his conscience or simply just becoming a mature adult. Another film, unlikable characters and a garbage pail.

A guilty pleasure.

Like someone else on this page has already said, this movie should not be approached as a serious period piece, but as a soft-core porn flick. The vapid characters have been stripped of all human dimensions except their sex drive. You kind of wonder when exactly Tom Berenger's character found the time to become a philosophy professor, since we almost always see him in a horizontal position, if you know what I mean. But nobody can deny that the film does have some genuinely erotic moments (Susan Strasberg steals the show in that department, as the always "hungry for more" Bobbie). (**)

Sexy movie

Tom Berenger plays a young Hungarian having flings with older women.

Pretty much a soft soft soft core porn flick. Really, boy meets girl, boy seduces girl, girl sleeps with boy.

Why are the women such sluts in this film? They will have sex at any opportunity given. Not once does Tom Berenger get turned down for sex. It is quite a boring film but it seems ever 2 minutes Tom Berenger has a new bed buddy. So it ain't that bad. But if you're looking for entertainment, this film aint for you.

My rating.. 1/5.

Could've been better without Tom Berenger

Average cheating movie, starts good and fast but Tom Berenger is not good type for this role, his wooden acting made movie less interesting, Joe D'Alessandro type of guy would have made this movie a lot better. Best thing about movie that all actresses delivered good performances.

Tom Berenger boring acting

Andras Varda (Tom Berenger) is orphaned in WWII Hungary, where he becomes a kid hustler for the American GIs. As he grows up, he is disillusioned with the fickle girls of his own age. He gets involved with older Maya (Karen Black) who teaches him the ways of love. Then he has a string of lovers taking him to the Velvet Revolution and beyond.

For a movie that purports to advocate something profound, this seems to be a very superficial film. There is no depth to Tom Berenger's acting. I think he's not the best actor for the role. He looks like a jock trying to get laid. I think a geekier actor could bring more intelligence to the character. It would bring life to the interior monologue. And the pacing is terribly slow. Tom Berenger has the energy of a blank sheet of paper. I think he has the ability to project anger or power but he isn't allowed to in this movie. It's not his type of movie. It's not horrible but it is boring. It's probably more notable for some soft core pretensions.