DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

LIPSTICK (director: Lamont Johnson; screenwriter: David Rayfiel; cinematographers: Bill Butler/William A. Fraker; editor: Marion Rothman; music: Michel Polnareff/Jimmie Haskell; cast: Margaux Hemingway (Chris McCormick),  Mariel Hemingway (Kathy McCormick), Chris Sarandon (Gordon Stuart),  Anne Bancroft (Carla Bondi), Perry King (Steve Edison), Robin Gammell (Nathan Cartright), Francesco (Francesco), Meg Wylie (Sister Margaret ), Inga Swenson (Sister Monica); Runtime: 89; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Freddie Fields; Paramount; 1976)

"A nasty film about a brutal rape that pretends it has something positive to say on the subject but remains content to be just another cynical exploitation film."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A nasty film about a brutal rape that pretends it has something positive to say on the subject but remains content to be just another cynical exploitation film. Lamont Johnson ("Broken Chain"/"The Man Next Door"/"Jack and the Beanstalk") directs from a tawdry screenplay by David Rayfiel.

The film's highlight scene has the meek avant-garde music composer Gordon Stuart (Chris Sarandon) rape the beautiful fashion model Chris McCormick (Margaux Hemingway, the model's acting debut) because she ignored him. The rapist is exonerated at his trial. He then rapes the model's 14-year-old sister (Mariel Hemingway, the real-life sister of Margaux). In revenge, no longer relying on courtroom justice and sickened by the bias of society against her glamorous lifestyle, Chris shoots the perp in his crotch with a shotgun.

Anne Bancroft, one of my favorites, in a thankless role, plays the feminist prosecutor.

What can you say? These terrible things happen too often in the real world. But this weak melodrama goes nowhere after it tries to downgrade the model for her loose living lifestyle as the cause of the rape. It's a bad film in search of a story that could intelligently be scrutinized.

REVIEWED ON 2/24/2015       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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