The hidden camera of Allen Funt records the (often hilarious) expressions of people confronted by nude members of the opposite sex, as naked women step off crowded elevators, hitchhike rides on country roads, and teach sex education in the college classroom. While a clothed female begs random men on the street for kisses, an unclad male model converses with two perplexed dowagers, and Funt interviews a prostitute. As a black man and white woman kiss passionately in a bus terminal, passengers in transit are asked their reaction. We also see the reaction of three prude elderly ladies who view a pornographic film, and audience reaction to the Funt feature is tested in a private screening.
Funt would land in prison for this today, but in 1970...
I just watched the 1970 Candid Camera movie, What Do You Say to a Naked Lady, and there's a scene with a tailor who starts caressing women's asses while he fits them for pants and dresses. He really goes to town, he cups their butt cheeks and pats them repeatedly...nowadays, any five seconds of that five minute scene would have landed a bunch of people in prison for sexual assault! What do you think happened in 1970? Most of the women ignored it, a couple discreetly moved out of reach of the guy's grabby hands, and one young lady in a skintight pantsuit turned around and flat out asked the guy "Excuse me, are you French or something?" And then she presumably readjusted her pantsuit, signed the release, and ended up in the movie....things sure have changed ---
An honest exploration of people's reactions to sexual matters
This is one of those films where you come expecting titillation and end up getting educated. As mentioned in the other post, people are set up in situations where they unexpectedly encounter nudity-- elevators, classrooms, roadside, etcetera. Then Funt discovers an interesting thing, that when people ARE expecting nudity, in an art class or museum gallery, when the rules change people get flustered. In the art class, for example, the women who were calmly drawing the male nude seem unable to have a conversation with him when he talks to them.
There is an unexpected section of the film, one that Funt admits in the film even surprised him. It is a frank discussion with a call girl, Funt and the woman sitting by a hotel pool talking about prostitution. Funt was posing as a client; the woman is surprising and refreshing in her candor.
People may wonder why the film was rated X. At the time the Film Ratings board had a firm rule that if penises were shown, the film was given a X rating.
Allen Funt's Masterpiece!
How often does one remember only a few brief scenes from a film and find on re-viewing years later that it was only those few moments that are worth remembering? NAKED LADY, one might think, being a film of individual moments, could well be such a film. Happily, this is not the case. (Only the little kids on the lawn and the extended reprise of faces and "smile" moments at the end seemed at all tacky.) The passing years have only added to the film's value, for it turns out to be a revealing portrait of changing attitudes to sex in the late sixties, when people of all ages with open minds were receptive to new ways of thinking about sex. The film has an innocence and a hopefulness, a simple charm that we've all lost today for many reasons. It's Funt's film all the way, of course, and it's his masterpiece! His personality dominates the film; his voice constantly heard, challenging his subjects to say what they think and to think about what they say. The naked ladies in unusual places are there to sell the film, to provide entertainment value, but people are what endlessly fascinates Funt. He really likes people, and he loves to talk to them. The core scenes are all talking heads; the co-eds talking about guys on the dorm, the young people and their parents talking about sex, the woman who "prostitutes" for free because she likes it, his interview with a prospective model, even the "man in the street" comments about "how birds do it." It's no accident that the film is interracial, because Funt's belief is that you can't judge a person by their looks. Sometimes people are true to type, but just as often they're not. An IMDb viewer says that, based on his recollection, the current version differs from the original release. I wouldn't have remembered the changes he mentions, but my own recollection suggests an excision of a character in the greatest sequence in the film in which Funt, as a bus ticket clerk, feels people out on their feelings about an interracial couple. I recall clearly that there was a young, long-haired hippie type who was very outspoken against the couple, who was contrasted with the older man who says, "what's the difference, it's a big world," and prefers love to war profiteering. I did misremember that great line of the passing English bicycler at the beginning which I recalled as, "What you got there, Charlie?" when it's actually, "Charlie, how'd you get caught with that one?" But I can't see how I made up the young long-haired hippie; I'm certain he was there in the original release. The comments of the older man whose son married a Mexican girl, his difficulty in accepting the marriage so touchingly mixed with his pride in his grandchildren, again brought a lump to my throat. Moments like this must have been what Funt lived for. In his earlier days, going way back to "Candid Microphone" before TV, the emphasis was always on human interaction. (I remember, for example, a theatrical short where Funt, as a travel agent, insisted, with total courtesy and friendliness, on selling a customer a fancy vacation when they wanted something plain and simple.) The TV show had moved away from that to sight gags like cars splitting in half. This film was Funt's attempt to return to his roots. It's a very serious film by a very serious filmmaker, Funt challenging his audience to examine their own feelings and beliefs, and gently urging tolerance for the infinite variety of mankind. It's a far better, more enduring film, in fact, than some of the documentary "classics" (GREY GARDENS, for example) that were made in the same era.
From naughty to poignant
God bless Allen Funt.I grew up loving Mr Funt's gentle humor on CANDID CAMERA,a sharp contrast to the mean-spirited "humor" of today's reality shows.The movie is a documentary in the CC style where Funt explores how people feel about sexuality.From the opening images of a nude young lady confronting men in public places,where tittilation seems so naughty,the film instead shows us incredible imagery of folks confronting their prejudices and self-images.A crowning achievement.
Should be mandatory in high school sex education class
Gem of a film that captures the humor of the original Candid Camera while setting the groundwork for Alan Funt's adult version for the Playboy Channel called Candid Candid Camera. There have been many mimics of Candid Camera (including the hybrid home video shows) but only Funt's projects had warmth and humanity, never laughing AT people being themselves. The audience laughs because it knows it would do the same thing or worse in the same situation. As Alan Funt used to say, 'We (as an audience) laugh at ourselves.' There was a certain gentleness and wholesomeness in Candid Camera and in this movie. Though "What Do You Say to a Naked Lady" deals with what ordinary people do when confronted by naked ladies and sometimes naked gentlemen, the same gentleness, same wholesomeness applies. The film was very bold for it's time not being tame with regards to how much nudity it showed (for it showed full frontal male and female nudity)...however...the film is not about sex, is not crude, is not offensive. It explores society's reaction to nudity in 1970 and the hypocrisies that society has set up for itself. People are nude, natural, beautiful. In one segment a classroom of students is surprised to find that a lecture on sexuality is given by a beautiful woman in the nude! Given the reactions of an older class (shocked and giggling, some leaving) versus a younger class (shock and giggling quickly overcome to reveal a poised and attentive class) says more in itself than any words the lecturer might say. Unlike sexploitation films of the era this film had something to say. I think this film should be made mandatory in high school sex education classes. Despite the fact that the film is thirty years old not much has really progressed regarding this subject and the film is quite appropriate today.
A brilliant documentary in the change in 1960's sexual morals.
"What Do You Say To A Naked Lady?" is a fascinating look at the sexual-social attitude changes in the United States during the transitional late 1960s. Mr. Funt, the power behind the popular entertainment programs "Candid Microphone" and "Candid Camera", may not have meant it to be, but this film brilliantly documents the generation gap between the 1950s post-WW II parents/grandparents and their 1960s flower child progeny.
Dated to the extreme, it is a film of its time. (When a woman tries to sleep with a gay men, he's tells her he can't because he's 'queer'. A white grandfather type tells of his opposition to his son marrying a Mexican girl. The children, however, are wonderful and not 'too dark'.) If you are interested in where we were and how far the attitudes of the typical American have changed, this documentary is a must see.
Outstanding humor shows how great Allen Funt work is.
I grew up with Allen Funt shows and this movie only proves how much laughter Allen Funt has brought to people and it has never been to make anyone feel anything but glad to be included in his wonderful work.
I think the cast was perfect and a remake would be great for younger people at this time. It was done with excellent taste as always by him. He has always shown great respect for all people. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys to laugh.
Brilliant expose' of late 60s American culture
This film is the famous "Candid Camera" television show in a feature format, and much more Risqu'e that could have been broadcast. But beyond the amusing laughs of Alan Funt's situations lies a surprising glimpse into the uncensored attitudes of American culture in the midst of social upheaval.
Prevailing sexual and racial attitudes are both surprising and tantalizing. Taboo subjects are tackled in an unflinching way, without comment by the filmmakers - leaving you an unobstructed view on our past culture.
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