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Film / The First Nudie Musical

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The First Nudie Musical is a 1976 comedy/musical, co-directed by Mark Haggard and Bruce Kimmel; Kimmel also co-stars and wrote the screenplay and the songs.

Schechter Studio was a proud independent company during The Golden Age of Hollywood. By The '70s it's been reduced to making sleazy Pornography. Harry Schechter (Stephen Nathan), the son of the studio founder, has to fend off his greedy backers, who think that the studio is about to go belly-up and want to replace it with a shopping center. Looking for a surefire hit porno that can save the studio, Harry hits on the idea of making an X-rated musical. His backers agree, but add two stipulations that seem guaranteed to sink the project: the film has to be finished in two weeks, and he has to hire John Smithee (Kimmel), the nephew of one of the backers, as director. John, who lacks any knowledge of either filmmaking or sex, proves to be a disaster, and it's up to Harry and his devoted secretary Rosie (Cindy Williams) to keep things afloat.

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Made in three weeks on a budget of $150,000, the film's odd mix of irreverent comedy and memorable production numbers earned it a cult following.


"Orgasm sure has 'em Tropin' all night long":

  • Accidental Misnaming: John can't get the name "Schechter" right.
  • Alan Smithee: John Smithee is the director Harry is forced to hire, and that appears to be his real name.
  • The Cameo: Ron Howard, who just happened to be visiting the set, was talked into making a brief appearance as one of the hopefuls waiting outside the studio to audition.
  • Casanova Wannabe: George Brenner, who hits on every woman he meets with cliched pickup lines and even a little song.
    So touch me, I'm you.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Juanita's boyfriend Arvin.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Rosie, and Harry to a lesser extent.
  • Dumb Blonde: Joy Full.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Arvin, who would rather be called Riff.
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  • Film Within a Film: The "first nudie musical" itself, called Come, Come Now.
  • "I Want" Song: Susie's song "The Lights and the Smiles".
  • The Ingenue: Susie, herself and the character she plays in Come, Come Now. Invoked by name by Harry and Rosie when she auditions.
  • Insistent Terminology: "My name is George—George Brenner."
  • Manchild: John is 23 but has the emotional age of a not-very-bright 12-year-old.
  • Musical World Hypothesis: The film features the diegetic songs from Come, Come Now, plus a couple actual songs performed in the context of the story.
  • Parodies for Dummies: John is shown reading The Bluffer's Guide to Filmmaking on the set.
  • Precision F-Strike: After Harry suggests to John that he'll need to swear to show the veteran porno actors that he has the chops to make a sex film, he promptly gives them an introductory speech where he adds random cuss words out of nowhere.
    John: We will of course shoot it at a ratio of 1.85:1, using a camera...fuck!
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  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: With the limited time to find a cast, Harry is forced to hire people with varying ranges of musical talent and porn experience.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Mary LaRue, who even demands her own dressing room (and gets an area in the back of the soundstage made of cardboard).
  • Spicy Latina: Juanita Juanita, who sings a Carmen Miranda-style song called "Perversion".
  • Springtime for Hitler: This film is actually an inversion of The Producers. The small-time producer wants his project to be successful. It's his backers who want it to fail.
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