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The Pleasure Girls
  • 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • English PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 2 Discs
  • Alternative complete export cut (Blu-ray only)
  • Export version scenes (DVD only) 12 mins
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • The Rocking Horse (1962, 24 mins)
  • The Meeting (Mamoun Hassan, 1964, 10 mins)
  • Fully illustrated booklet featuring new pieces by Gerry O'Hara, Professor Sue Harper, and Mamoun Hassan

The Pleasure Girls

Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Gerry O'Hara
Starring: Suzanna Leigh, Francesca Annis, Ian McShane, Klaus Kinski
1965 | 85 Minutes

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: £19.99 | Series: BFI Flipside | Edition: #10
BFI Video

Release Date: May 17, 2010
Review Date: July 31, 2010

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When Sally (Francesca Annis) moves to London to pursue a modelling career, she moves in with Angela (Anneke Wills, Doctor Who) and Dee (future Hammer girl Suzanna Leigh) and discovers the world of the carefree bachelor girl in Swinging London. Over one weekend - filled with parties, blossoming friendships, and romantic encounters with Keith (Ian McShane) and Nikko (Klaus Kinski) - the vivacious girls learn about life's pleasures and pains.

Shot on location, with sparkling dialogue and lively performances from its young ensemble cast, this engaging drama bears the hallmarks of director Gerry O'Hara's (That Kind of Girl, The Brute) assured style.

Discuss the film and Blu-ray here   


For their tenth release in their Flipside series the BFI presents Gerry OíHaraís The Pleasure Girls in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1 on the single-layer Blu-ray disc found in this set. Itís presented in 1080p/24hz.

Again, and no real surprise, BFI has done an outstanding job in their presentation of the film, delivering a clean and very film-like black and white transfer. It remains consistently sharp, with an impressive amount of detail and no detectable artifacts (even some of the more complex patterns found on some of the clothing worn throughout present no digital problems, coming off quite smooth and clean.) Film grain is present and looks natural, and the print, despite some mild marks and some vertical lines, is clean.

BFI has yet again taken a relatively obscure film (or at least I hadnít heard of it, despite a new found interest in films by OíHara) and have made it look absolutely incredible, far better than one could likely imagine.

(Note: The second disc in the set is a DVD presenting a standard definition version of the film. This review is focusing on the Blu-ray but the DVDís image is similar to what is found on the Blu-ray but has been downscaled to standard definition. The Blu-ray is an all-region disc and should play on all Blu-ray players worldwide. It played with no issue on my PS3. The DVD is also region free but the image is in a PAL format and may not play on some North American players because of this.)


All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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The lossless PCM mono track unfortunately shows its age, and doesnít fare as well as the video transfer. Voices are always a little edgy and flat, and the music (including the ghastly title song, which is unfortunately catchy) sounds absolutely horrendous, reaching high volumes and coming off as a harsh mess. I canít blame it on the audio transfer, though, and am sure it has more to do with the source materials. A bit of a shame.



BFI usually doesnít load their editions with supplements but always manage to include some intriguing ones, though this one does feel a little lighter than usual.

Included on the Blu-ray is the entire alternate export cut to the film, which runs about a minute longer at 86-minutes. Thereís actually not a significant difference other than some nudity, and a couple of more suggestive sequences. As to which is the better version I canít say there is really one, though Iíll probably stick with the shorter, theatrical cut since I feel the additions were placed to make the film more exploitive and increase oversea ticket sales (not that there is anything wrong with that.)

BFI then includes two short films that arenít directly related to the main feature, though do somewhat contain some of the same themes. First is The Rocking Horse, a student film directed by James Scott in 1962 (and partially funded by BFI.) The 24-minute feature is simple enough in story, a ďteddy boyĒ meets a young artist who then have a romantic evening together (which Iíll leave it at as to not spoil anything,) but itís told in a mostly silent fashion (other than the music that plays over it, an opening and closing narration, and some minor dialogue scattered about) and it feels as though the director was heavily influenced by John Cassavetes (and the booklet does confirm the director was influenced by Shadows.) It looks good, and the editing is quite sharp, but it still has that student film sort of feel. Still, itís quite an impressive first work.

The next short is simply called The Meeting, which was made by Mamoun Hassan in 1964. Running 10-minutes itís the more bizarre of the two as it follows a woman waiting for a train to come in at a train station. Itís not at all straight forward and rather mysterious in its presentation (at times it almost feels like some sort of horror movie) but itís quite effective and it has a rather surprising conclusion.

Both films are presented in high-definition but have had little to no restoration done to them. Of the two The Meeting looks best with some minor wear and tear, while The Rocking Horse is incredibly grainy and very rough around the edges.

The disc then concludes with a trailer trying to push it as more of an exploitive piece.

The DVD included in this release also includes the trailer and two short films, both presented in standard definition. It also includes a 13-minute presentation of the alternate scenes, but does not present the full alternative cut.

As usual we find a booklet but itís one of the thinner ones Iíve come across from BFI. Sue Harper supplies a spoiler laced essay on the film, followed by a piece by Gerry OíHara on filming The Pleasure Girls. Youíll then find a brief bio on OíHara and then notes on the two short films included.

A slim edition from BFI, and not as wholly satisfying as some of the other titles in their Flipside series, but the two short films add a nice value to the release.



Iíve become more intrigued by director Gerry OíHara, a filmmaker I was admittedly unfamiliar with until the BFI introduced me to his films. Judging by their synopsisí they always sound like exploitive pieces but in the end theyíre really much better than that, showing a real affection for their characters and a desire to treat their subject matter with some respect. I canít call this one a particularly great film, but itís fun, and you have Klaus Kinski playing a smarmy landlord-slash-gangster. And as to BFIís presentation itís again rather solid, presenting a crisp and clean video transfer for the main feature, and then including some intriguing short films. Not one of their better releases, but it comes with a recommendation still.


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