25 December 2016 | MartinHafer
"I'm a whore!!! Whore!!!!"
"A House is Not a Home" is a piece of pure 1960s trash. However, it's set apart from other such pictures because, inexplicably, decent mainstream actors appear in the movie. How they got Robert Taylor, Shelly Winters, Caesar Romero and Broderick Crawford to appear in this film is beyond me!
When the film begins, Polly (Shelly Winters) is a poor, struggling nice girl in 1930s Chicago. However, when she is raped, she is tossed out of her house and is forced to find a place to live. Frank (Taylor) offers to share an apartment with her. However, over time she slowly begins to help Frank by throwing parties for him and his bootlegger associates...and soon these become more regular and Polly finds herself a madame! She likes the work and doesn't need to sleep with anyone. Not surprisingly, complications arise and the glamorous life of a madame isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Through the course of the film, it alternates between drama, melodrama, sleazy exploitation movie as well as a comedy...and the way the film changes so rapidly is unconvincing and weird. Sadly, some of the funniest scenes are supposed to be poignant--such as the smack- addicted prostitute as well as the New Years celebration. Interspersed throughout the film is some incredibly preachy narration by Polly....again, meant to be poignant but eliciting laughter instead! Awkward and uncomfortable to say the least...as well as about as subtle as a board upside the viewer's head!! It's loud, over-the- top and utterly ridiculous trash...much like you'd see in "Valley of the Dolls". How this film isn't more infamous, I have no idea...but it's really bad and you have to see it to believe it! Entertaining garbage and nothing more.