Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Saturday Night at the Baths-Director's Cut|
Actors: Robert Aberdeen, Don Scotti and Ellen Sheppard
Director: David Buckley
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Gay & Lesbian
The Way it was, and now the way it was meant to be. — OK, so back in 2005 we made an error. We released what we thought was the only remanning master for this film. Turns out we were wrong. Lucky for you (and us) a new, fre... more »
Uncut and Remastered
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 05/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Saturday Night at the Baths--the Director's Cut"
Uncut and Remastered
"Saturday Night at the Baths" (WaterBearer Films) is entertaining, sincere and uplifting in the spirit of the late 60's and early 70's when bathhouses were the vogue. It is not, by any means, a great movie, but it was, when it was made (1975) a step forward for American movies. I remember the Continental Baths of the 70's and it was an amazing establishment. It was a pleasure palace with great lighting juice bar and coffee shop. An elevator, an indoor pool and sex, sex, sex. Bette Midler got her start there as did many young gay men. It was liberating and a place where sexuality could be expressed openly. The movie, however, does not capture the spirit of the bathhouse but it does catch the spirit of the time.
When the movie was released in 2005 on DVD, the releasers were under the impression that they had the only remaining master of the film but it was later discovered that the producer/director had a fresh master in his vault and here it is--complete and unedited. It is the same story but with added footage.
Michael, our main character, finds himself desperate for a job and agrees to taking a gig as piano player at the baths and even though he considers himself to be straight, the advances he receives from the club's manager, Scotty, have him questioning his sexuality. Michael, his girlfriend and Scotti become close friends and ultimately the two men find each other as their desires take hold of them.
The plot of the film is thin but who needs a plot in a bathhouse? The ending, for the time it was made, is shocking. Two men, completely naked get into bed and kiss and this is something not seen in American cinema.
I have read several serious criticisms of this movie--that the editing is poor, that the acting and the script is bad. This is an independent film made at a time when Indies were few and far between. No major American studio would have made a movie on the subject of gay bathhouses back then so we should be glad we have this. It is an accurate look at gay life of the period and it is both gentle and hard. It shows the sordidness of the times and does so with wit and honesty. The realism of the characters shows a certain dignity. They were all looking for love wherever they could find it.
"Saturday Night" lets the audience know how we lived before AIDS decimated our numbers and this makes it important.
Now that bathhouses are barely existent, it is good that we have a record of them. They were once an integral part of gay life and cannot be ignored. The movie may be short on plot but it is large on entertainment. We see professional drag queens, guys dancing in their underwear or just in towels and there is one hot shower scene. More than anything else though, "Saturday Night" allows us to have a glimpse of what was going on in gay life in the 70's.
An added bonus is a conversation with director Buckley who puts the film into perspective and gives us a bit of history.
An important part of 70's culture is rediscovered
Randy E. Halford | Boise, ID | 09/03/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Made in 1975 and filmed on a modest budget, "Saturday Night at the Baths" was a little film about the hey days of bathhouses that didn't get much notice. That's too bad, because producer/director David Buckley created a film that now serves as a historical record of what life was like in the early LGBT community, via New York's famous Continental Baths.
The inclusion of legendary owner Steve Ostroff---as well as using real-life patrons & performers of the baths as extras---in the movie lends it authenticity...especially when we discover he's alive & well and living in Australia in a Special Features documentary-interview.
The three lead characters in the film are given life by three appealing actors: Robert Aberdeen, Ellen Sheppard and newcomer Don Scotti, who forge a unique & touching friendship/relationship through 70's sexual freedom & attitudes.
It's not a perfect film by any means---the editing is choppy and the acting a bit campy at times. But hey, there are not many movies out there chronicling a culture long gone, so this film is really something to treasure. If anything, places like the Continental Baths live on today in spirit in Pride Festivals all over the globe.
Little did Buckley know that he would create a film whose content was relevant then, and is still relevant now.
Desmond Waite | Chicago | 03/26/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This is not a good movie, regardless of the fact that it is gay-positive, filmed in a repressive era. The quality of the filming an be excused, given the technology of the period. But the acting is naive and amateurish at best. So is the story line. I would have like more documentary about the baths rather than the silly love story between a gay-curious man and a young woman. There was more almost-explicit sex between them than the implied sex between the young man and an out gay character. The "straight couple" display full nudity. None of the gay characters do. A big disappointment on all counts."