Although considerably classier than Russ Meyer’s 1964 version, this is still a disappointingly bawdy dramatisation of John Cleland’s 1749 erotic classic.
Director Gerry O’Hara sets out to titillate rather than explore the sordid events behind the transformation of Fanny Hill (Lisa Raines) from a comely country girl into a practised woman of pleasure.
Orphaned in the ripeness of her adolescence, Fanny travels to London in search of work and happiness. Upon arriving she encounters Mrs Cole (a pantomime performance from Shelley Winters), owner of a house of pleasure, who sees in Fanny’s blushing beauty a very pretty penny to be made.
In the expert hands of Mrs Cole’s girls Fanny learns how to sow her very wild oats and is initiated into the earthly pleasures of sex.
The admirably willing Oliver Reed plays the foppish attorney whose oily manner lubricates the wheels of justice.
Raines tries hard to conjure up a performance to match her physique, but her shortcomings are as apparent as her charms.
Released in some markets as Sex, Lies and Renaissance.
Lisa Raines (Foster)