Fontaine is a woman who always gets what she wants - they call her The Bitch. Now a divorcee and whilst she still leads an extravagant jet-set lifestyle, she no longer has the financial security of being a billionaire's wife and her once-successful London nightclub, "Hobo", is now failing. While on a flight returning to London from New York, she meets handsome Italian gambler Nico. In order to impress her, he pretends he is a wealthy businessman, though he is actually a conman who owes money to the mafia and he covertly uses her to smuggle a stolen diamond ring through customs which he intends to sell in London to pay off his debts. With the mafia now pursuing both Fontaine and Nico, they find themselves falling deeper and deeper into danger but she is not ready to give up her life and sets out to prove that she can beat anyone at his or her own game.
70's Jet Set trash film
"The Bitch" is one of countless exploitation films dealing with the sex lives of the "jet set" crowd, (today they are known as the '1 percenters.) This film offers a tawdry look into a very decadent lifestyle, led by people with no real morals or concern for anything other than their own pleasure. Days are filled with shopping sprees at Cartier and fashion shows, and nights are spent at tacky London discos, or bed hopping. The wealthy circle is rather small, so it seems like everyone has already slept with everyone else, and everybody knows everyone's secrets. Joan Collins is admittedly very good as Fontaine Khaled, the forty-something socialite who made her financial stake by marrying an Arab billionaire, who foolishly gave her everything she could want, before he discovered her extra marital affairs, and quickly divorced her. In this film, a sequel to "The Stud," which is a better film, Fontaine must use her own "skills" to survive. And survive she does, quite well actually.
This is super-trash on the highest level. We have violent mob bosses, nude swimming pool orgies, sex with the chauffeur, fixed horse races, jewel smuggling and endless discotheque scenes. And there is an endless display of thick mustaches, thick ties, and thick Euro accents. In fact "The Bitch" might just be the most "70's movie" ever made. Is it good? It is a bit uneven. Some might be put off by the lengthy dance sequences, while fans of the disco era styles and "Saturday Night Fever" will be entranced. "The Bitch," if nothing else, is supremely entertaining, and at times, fascinating. Of course it is all fantasy, but somehow we know that there are people who actually live like this, and this film provides a window into that World. Collins is a lot of fun here too. The first film, "The Stud" was somewhat of a commentary on how the working class are used and exploited by the upper class, and it condemns their decadent lifestyle. This sequel however, forgets all of that, and just embraces that lifestyle, and wallows in the decadence. The moral? There is none..other than "every man (or woman) for themselves, and the one who ends up with the most toys wins..
Update Sept. 2020 The advent of Bluray technology is allowing us to see these old, neglected films, restored to their original glory. Suddenly a movie that looked cheap, ugly and incompetent, suddenly looks gorgeous. This film's restoration is truly a revelation. "The Bitch" suddenly looks like a polished Hollywood movie with high production values. Everything looks stunning, from the neon color-saturated discos to the smoky casinos. The home of Fontaine Khalad is a 70's art-deco dream, with it's gleaming chrome, mirrors and zebra rugs. Even the scenes in the English countryside become poetically beautiful..even the soundtrack has been amped up, and those fun disco songs are given life...what a difference from those old, muddy transfers from Thorne-EMI video! Both this film and it's "brother" film, "The Stud," need to be seen in their restored glory, before they are properly judged.
Not a bad movie!
This movie begins where The Stud left off. Fontaine is down and out, but she has plans to get back on her feet again. She is an interesting character; rather complex and obviously driven by sexual desire. Maybe this desire is about pleasure, maybe it is about being in control of her life. She is a very determined woman who goes after what she wants with everything she has. This movie is worth seeing if you like Joan Collins (she is in top form!) or really strange and not very good movies. I happen to like all sorts of movies. I find lots of bad ones enjoyable! Joan Collins gets to wear a lot of excellent ensembles and she plays a very good bitch! There are some good scenes, but the intro music is really quite terrible. I was embarrassed for it. Other than that I think you should watch it with an open mind and revel in how random a movie can be.
This film is really a load of tosh and a waste of Joan Collins' considerable acting talents - BUT - if you grew up in the 1970s you will have a certain nostalgic affection for it. I remember very well the iconic nightclub "Regine's" on which Fontaine Khaled's disco was based - even with the same squared dance-floor - and the fashions with lots of bright colours, flashy jewellery and designers such as Yuki.
The dialogue is absolutely appalling and the delivery by most of the actors stilted to say the least.
If you "suspend disbelief" and take this film for what it is; a piece of nostalgic, escapist fluff; then you are in for quite an enjoyable way of passing an evening - AND you'll enjoy all the 70s disco music!
There's a lot wrong, but Joan Collins more than makes up for it
Looking back nearly 30 years, there's so much wrong with The Bitch that it's almost impossible to comprehend how it was so successful at the UK Box Office. With its sister film The Stud (1978), it was one of the most successful UK films of the decade (of the two, The Bitch outstripped The Stud). Both films were panned by the critics. The acting is mostly dire and the script is laughable. The plot is so wafer-thin and ludicrous (a Mafia plot involving a dodgy Greek businessman, a ring and a fixed horse race, based around a Mayfair disco) that you begin to wonder how it made so much money.
One thing redeems it all - Joan Collins. She is just amazing, a stunning performance considering the lameness of all around her. The famous, extraordinary "chaffeur cap" seduction & striptease scene is for me possibly the best seduction scene in the whole of cinema. It never ceases to entertain. And considering that Joan Collins was 45 when she made this, it deserves a high mark for that alone.
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