Amanda by Night (1981)

X   |    |  Adult, Crime, Drama

A police detective tries to help a top-class prostitute find out who is killing her fellow colleagues.


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Gary Graver

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28 September 2007 | Nodriesrespect
| The Cop and the Call Girl
AMANDA BY NIGHT isn't just the finest sex thriller the adult industry ever spawned, but this one also happens to be one of my favorite porn films of all time, especially but not exclusively because I'm a huge fan of its star Veronica Hart a/k/a adult producer/director/mainstream actress/what not Jane Hamilton. This great lady should seriously consider penning her autobiography someday. Considering she has experienced the adult film industry from every conceivable angle, it would make one hell of a read.

Back in her performing days (okay, she still appears in front of the cameras quite regularly but in a non-sex capacity) she was porn's finest thespian bar none and this film is her high watermark. She's Amanda Heather, high-priced call girl, who finds herself in trouble following the death of colleague Beverley (the late, legendary Lisa DeLeeuw) at the hands of a client she inadvertently enraged. Since Amanda's the one who set up the 'date' in the first place, she may be next on the culprit's hit list. Weary cop Ambrose Hart (perfectly portrayed by the wonderful "Robert Bolla" a/k/a CANNIBAL FEROX's Robert Kerman, 'Tracy' to Veronica's 'Hepburn') gets the unwanted assignment of protecting the prostitute. Once they get past their initial animosity, the two find themselves increasingly attracted towards one another.

This film works on so many levels and is a terrific example of how good adult films often were during the Golden Age (roughly spanning the years 1975-1984). Sex scenes are tremendous, showcasing both animal passion (Hart with callous pimp Jamie Gillis) and romantic tenderness (her initiation of virginal Jon Martin) with equal aplomb, but it's also a cracking thriller (considerably better than anything you'll see on late night cable, trust me) and a compelling character study, which keen movie lovers should notice is loosely based on Alan J. Pakula's 1971 classic KLUTE with Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland. One shouldn't be too surprised really, as this gem was directed as well as photographed by the multi-talented if vastly underrated "Robert McCallum" a/k/a Gary Graver, one of the greatest storytellers the porn industry has ever seen.

A superstar cast beautifully rises to the occasion, not just to create the palpable heat we have come to expect but to do so in character as well! The hardest working man in porn, Ron Jeremy, provides an indelible impression as a slimy vice cop pressuring masseuse Lee Caroll into servicing him and his rookie buddy (bulky Milton Ingley a/k/a "Michael Morrison") in exchange for not busting her on prostitution charges. Blond, tanned and sporting a set of surgically "enhanced" hooters back in the day when such was still an exception rather than the rule, Caroll was already an experienced swinger when she entered the industry at a relatively advanced age. She had made quite an impression as the wanton waitress sidekick to bumbling kidnappers Eric Edwards and Randy West a year earlier in the outstanding Jeff Fairbanks carnal comedy American PIE and brought a sometimes startling thespian prowess to the table – witness her amazing turn in Ron Sullivan's terrific SEXCAPADES – along with an aggressive sexuality. AMANDA and Gerard Damiano's superlative SATISFIERS OF ALPHA BLUE demonstrate that she was equally at home as a submissive, adding a heartbreaking pathos to the moment she resigns herself to paying in kind.

Quintessential New York actress Samantha Fox perpetuates the downbeat demeanor as sad, strung out strumpet Gwen, the victim's roommate, relinquishing her body for a quick fix from pimp/dealer Gillis, unwittingly signing her sorry fate in the process. Graver's all too credible approach to such hackneyed situations apparently detracted from the movie's potent eroticism (which, in my opinion, actually benefits from it) for industry legend William Margold, one of very few reviewers to pan the film at the time of its initial release. To this day, it remains a perfect "starter" flick, suggested by those in the know for couples looking to get their feet wet in a saturated hardcore arena.

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Los Angeles, California, USA

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