Sexcellent Sexploitation with Sarah Jane: One Naked Night (1965)
It’s the holiday season and, really, what better way to celebrate than with a new bi-weekly column from yours truly. If you know me even a wee bit, you know I’m anything but family friendly (just ask our kiddo). This column, in conjunction with ExploitationTV and Vinegar Syndrome, will be focusing on movies of the exploitation nature. Sexploitation in fact. No fear, it won’t be all sex all the time. I’ll also focus on all types of exploitation fare. So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at the first film we’re talking about for Sexcellent Sexploitation with Sarah Jane; 1965’s One Naked Night directed by Albert Viola.
Poor Candy Stephens (Barbara Morris), she’s been locked away at a top boarding school all these years, getting the best education money could afford. Little did she know her mom’s been working on the streets to pay for it all. Candy finds out, though (and how!), after her mom commits suicide. With the deadpan delivery of Morris’ voiceover, it’s hard to tell what she’s upset about more, her mother being dead or the fact she was a “hooka”. Candy decides she can’t stay in her home town; too many people are talking shit. She calls up her friend Laura (Sally Lane) in New York City and asks if she can move in with her.
Candy gets to the big city and Laura tells her she can stay at her place, but she shares it with several other women. Candy doesn’t care, she’s just in love with New York. Almost immediately, Laura discloses to Candy that she (along with most of their roommates) are models. Laura has arranged to bring Candy along to a shoot that afternoon, in fact and Candy goes along happily.
Once at the studio, it’s clear this ain’t no high fashion shit being shot. No, it’s for girlie magazines and photoclubs. The photographer, Charles (Ian Miller) tells Candy she’s a natural and decides to shoot her that afternoon. She’s a virgin and has never had the attentions of a man so it’s not too difficult for Charles to convince Candy to do almost anything.
It all becomes clear to Candy that her roommates might be “models” but they are also something else. There are men over at the house all hours. Candy loses respect for Laura when she watches her have sex with two men at the same time (it had the opposite affect on me). Candy’s only friend in the house now is Barbara (Audrey Campbell). She keeps telling Candy that men are all scum and she should let her show her what real love feels like. Candy is so naïve, she doesn’t understand Barbara is putting the moves on her.
Eventually, something happens to Candy and she just does not give a shit anymore about being a ‘good girl’ and starts participating in the orgies going on at her apartment. Her downward spiral continues until she hits rock bottom.
I have a real soft spot for these 1960s, black and white movies, especially the ones shot in New York City. Candy goes out on the town one night with Charles (in an extended sequence no doubt used to pad the 72-minute runtime) and the city looks fucking fantastic. NYC during this time period looks like a glorious den of vice and I am here for it! The transfer of One Naked Night is actually pretty great looking. Those NYC street scenes knocked my thigh-highs right off.
Some of these early sexploitation films are chock a block full of nudity but this is one that isn’t. We do see a set of breasts or two, but all in all this one is pretty tame. It’s your typical cautionary tale about a wide-eyed innocent going to NYC and being utterly corrupted. Candy is full of dreams but not much else upstairs. She lets men use and abuse her without standing up for herself. The only person in the movie who tries to help her is Barbara. When Barbara opens up to Candy about her first and only sexual experience with a man, she reveals it was her being raped at a young age. She swore off men after that. I’d like to comment about the men in this movie: they are pretty goddamn hot. Generally, in this sexploitation films, the men are generally quite unattractive, gross, really, if I’m being honest. So, I got a bonus watching this one.
For this type of movie, Albert Viola put out a pretty good little film. It’s competently made. I generally rate these movies a little differently than, say, something like A Matter of Life and Death. If these movies are entertaining, have good looking women (yes, that is part of it), have interesting locations (the queen Doris Wishman always had great NYC stuff), and isn’t completely boring, I’m going to probably give it a 3 out of 5 and One Naked Night did get a 3 from me. Now, they aren’t all 3s. In fact, most of them aren’t. So be warned as you take this journey with me, some of this stuff isn’t great, it isn’t even good, but I can promise you we’ll have a good time getting there.
One Naked Night is available for streaming on ExploitationTV, which can be found on their website or on the Roku app.