The Mary Millington Collection represented a blind side and a point of pride. I’m a big proponent of adult cinema getting its due among film historians. However, while older mainstream films get restoration and supportive work, adult cinema gets left to rot. As the decades pass, the opportunity to lose so many of these films grows higher and higher.
Adult movies have two big things to overcome in the modern filmspace. First, they have a right to exist. Second, these adult movies inform our culture just as much as their mainstream bedfellows. Stereotypes and the rise of adult videos has marked adult cinema in a way that stars like Mary Millington have been forgotten by the mainstream. MVD is working with wide variety of these indie houses to get these stellar releases to the market.
The United Kingdom’s relationship with adult cinema is almost as complicated as America’s past with it. Hell, both countries had it explode into the mainstream during the 1970s. Mary Millington was the British softcore queen starring in the kind of movies that would struggle to get shown on Showtime Late Night. Why? Well, because they are fanciful melodramas rather than adult movies.
Come Play with Me gets the historical intention because it got the British government hot and bothered. It also showed that independent British cinema could thrive and keeps theaters running around the clock. The Playbirds, Confessions from the David Galaxy Affair and others never quite lived up to that staying power. Still, I’d recommend checking out all of the films in this set.
The recent Respectable documentary rounds out the Mary Millington Movie collection. It’s an interesting retrospective that looks back at Mary Millington and her career. Still, the real winner is the booklet and tons of special features spread out across the discs. You get commentaries, featurettes and 8mm presentations of stag reels. By the time it hits the early 80s, you get an aspect of the rise of adult videos.
It’s a fascinating subject and one that I don’t have the time to cover here. The A/V Quality is pretty strong with clear signs of digital remastering. If you still have a problem with adult cinema, grow up. Whether you like it or not, Come Play with Me was a cornerstone of 70s British cinema. Plus, it showed that female led indie cinema could compete with the big boys. Check it out, you’ll be surprised.