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  • While watching this I was faced with conflicting thoughts. I was a young man in NYC in the 70's, and had discovered the fabled Continental Baths a year previous to when this was released. The Continental was a ground-breaking establishment - up until then the majority of the bathhouses were Mafia-run, filthy, run-down and unsafe, and then Steve Ostrow took over the decayed health club in the basement of the Hotel Ansonia and turned it into a true pleasure palace - with original art (I remember a series of wicked Tomi Ungerer drawings and some early Plexiglass sculptures), great lighting, music, a juice bar - and a private elevator up to the roof sun deck. For me, just coming out, it was an exhilarating and liberating space to be in, where I could freely express my sexuality and begin to meet the rest of the community (that I'd barely knew existed).

    So to see the few interior shots, and the shots of Greenwich Village as it looked in the 1970's was a treat - as was seeing a bunch of skinny men with so-so bodies and remembering that we didn't have to face the Gym Facists back then - it was enough of a wonder to just be young and queer.

    On the other hand, the film is a shapeless mess, with a thin plot and an abrupt ending that I found infuriatingly simplistic and weak. Some of the acting's decent, (there's also an eerie Judy Garland turn by Caleb Stone and an all too brief glimpse of Jane Olivor performing), but the film feels partly like a pitch for the Continental (no surprise, as Steve Ostrow is listed as a producer and appears in a few scenes as well).
  • There are two versions of this movie on DVD, both released by Water Bearer Films, but they are very different. Get the SECOND version! The first was a chopped-up version released without the director's participation in 2006. Later an uncut version of the movie was found in the director's files and released as "director's cut" on a new DVD in 2008. The second DVD not only is a cleaner copy with better video and audio, but it includes several minutes of footage missing from the first DVD.

    Most important **BY FAR** is a five-minute love scene between Scotti and Michael that not only balances the earlier scene between Michael and Tracey but blows it clean out of the water. The scene with Tracey is a sex scene; the scene with Scotti is a love scene, infinitely more sensual, passionate, romantic and erotic than the mechanical humping with Tracey. The gay love scene alone kills forever the criticism that this movie is worth watching only for its documenting of a life and a world long gone. It qualifies this as a very good movie in its own right and one of the sexiest gay moves of that or any era.

    The new DVD has a guy's torso in a white towel on the cover, with the title like a blue bumper sticker over his crotch, instead of the first DVD's dark, murky pink and black cover with the title in the center. It also includes an extensive, fantastic making-of interview with the director David Buckley and a wide-ranging interview with Steve Ostrow, owner of the Baths - both filmed recently - which were not on the first DVD; and a few extra seconds of the magical Jane Olivor performance of "Pretty Girl" and of the fabulous Judy impersonator lost from the first DVD.

    Don't bother renting and certainly don't buy the butchered 2006 DVD with two pink profiles on a black cover; BUY the 2008 director's cut DVD with the guy in the towel. You won't regret it.
  • When I saw this film in Washington DC in 1976 - at the tender age of 16! - I was flabbergasted by the finale, where the two male leads get onto a bed, kissing, completely naked. Fast forward three decades later - when I saw this was available for rental, I sat through the whole thing, and remembered bits and pieces of it. While the very handsome male lead (the bi guy) does get shown nude with his wife, the last scene with the two guys naked got replaced by a scene of them, fully clothed, on the roof of a building talking and kissing. Kind of a letdown! Still it was pretty cool to relive that amazing moment from the seventies when I witnessed gay film-making for the first time.
  • I agree with the previous writers on all complaints about this movie. Apparently the owner of Continental Baths decides to make a movie about his just opened establishment in 1975. The script is very thin, the acting is pretty bad at times and the shots even worse. However, given that the movie was made in 1975 at a venue where very little film material is probably available I do think it is worth watching. Don't watch it because of the script, acting or quality of the movie itself. If you watch as a document of a phenomenon of that time in a dramatized way I think it makes much more sense. The movie can be found on YouTube now.
  • I would LOVE to see this movie again. I saw it as a double bill with "Something for Everyone" with Michael York in 1975. It was incredible. I went home and shaved off my beard. The movie was entertaining and, beyond that, sincere and optimistic - like the spirit of the late 60's and early 70's. If I ever had the chance to see this film again, within about a 300 mile radius, I'd be there. It was transformative. It lives as a legend in my memory.
  • I was 19 when this movie came out and so mixed up! This movie is clearly a B-movie of the 70's, but a great step forward for American movies. It was a great escape for a lot of us. I loved it!!! A must see for 70's movie buffs!!!
  • jlinamen122931 December 2015
    This film is of historic importance in gay culture. First, it was filmed at the Continental Baths. Second, it was one of the first films exploring this aspect of gay life in the 1970's. This film depicts much of what I was familiar with as the struggle of coming out gay back before it was acceptable. It's important for younger gay men to understand what it was like in the days before broader acceptance existed.

    Yes, many of the production values aren't the best but for what this film represents that can be overlooked. The acting isn't the greatest but they feel like sincere honest performances.

    Once I got into it, I was captivated. I should note there is male and female nudity for those that might be offended.

    The performance of "Pretty Girl" by Jane Olivor is outstanding.
  • I guess they spent all the money on buying the 35mm film stock because they sure didn't spend any money on lighting equipment or time on the sound dubbing stage. The thing looks and sounds like a sorry attempt at filmmaking 101 out of a high school freshman film class. You can find MUCH better, all-around, well-constructed home-made attempts at gay-themed videos on Youtube.

    Here you have a terrible script, terrible editing, worse than terrible lighting, and "direction," such as it is, which meanders all over the place, never knowing where its focus is or what it wants to be at any giving moment. And this level of directorial incompetence is really not surprising since the director is one David Buckly whose only claim to fame is that he dabbled in the sexploitation/porn business with the pop porn culture film DEBBIE DOES DALLAS. Evidently he had a lot more success with heterosexual porn than with its homosexual counterpart. Saturday NIGHT AT THE BATHS doesn't even rise to that level of trash.

    To be honest, I attend many film festivals at which I've have to endure some pretty poor attempts at film-making; this is a good example of the worst -- the ones that make you think the selection committee had to have been on crack to have let it in.

    There are long stretches of scenes where the director never was savvy enough to yell "cut" or the editor having the smarts to use his splicer; actors more often than not seem to be lost for the next line...or thought. Then there's the drag show sequences in the bath house that go on and on to the point where you might be thinking you've mistakenly gotten tricked into seeing a bad musical starring some VERY ugly women. These long, full song renditions by drag queens don't have the slightest reason for being there and don't move the story forward not an inch.

    Same complaint for the painfully long dance floor sequences with bad music and guys jumping around supposedly there to look like they are having fun (oh look, liberated gays can be happy) but those particular sequences are so badly lit that you can barely see anyone anyway. This Lighting Director evidently never heard of key light and side fill.

    The only bright spot in this whole mess is actor Don Scotti, an impish, delightful lad with beautiful eyes, whose acting style is so natural and unaffected that even with the often laughable dialog, he manages to remain credible; he is quite magnetic on screen and steals every scene he is in. As for the other actors, all I can say is, given the material and lack of any semblance of direction, they do a passable job, although the least effective and least sexually alluring of all is the female lead (was she cast intentionally so the audience could more easily believe that her boyfriend might indeed look elsewhere for erotic passion?)-- her overbite is frightening and throughout the whole hodgepodge, after about the first 10 minutes, her presence starts getting REALLY annoying.

    Our male "straight" lead who is uncertain of many things, not the least of which is what his next line, is asked to bring machismo with an undercurrent of homosexual tension to his character -- a very complex emotional mix to achieve and make believable, even for a seasoned actor under a top-tier director; this guy, Robert Anderson, doesn't have the acting chops nor, quite frankly, the masculine good looks to come even close to what is needed; a Jake Gyllenhaal or Heath Ledger he is not.

    One poster commented, "Rent it, don't buy it." I would say, do neither and don't waste your time on it even if you can find it for free. Wait, I take that back -- if you happen to be a film teacher, you can always use this title in your class when you are teaching the chapter "All the Things That Can Go Wrong When Making a Film."
  • This film does represent a historical piece of gay film. It's funny, dreadful, sweet and tender in bits! Don't watch this if you take things too seriously.