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Cecil Howard's Platinum Paradise






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Set amongst the backdrop of New York in 1980, Platinum Paradise is a snapshot of a typical day for the Paradise out call service. It starts in the morning with a exhausting encounter for stud Eric Edwards and a wonderful lesbian romp for call girl Samantha Fox . Along the way we are treated to the various perversions of the staff and clients of the out call service. It all leads up to the final scene featuring the beautiful but inept secretary, played by Kandi Barbour, showing that her real talents are being wasted as a secretary.

Cecil Howard is at his innovative best with this film. He intertwines his characters masterfully to build the sexual tension exemplified in the scenee where the married couple has phone sex while being pleasured by seperate lovers. One of the most uniquely erotic scenes is between Eric Edwards and Vanessa Del Rio, where Del Rio is able to coax an orgasm from Edwards just by talking to his cock. It is this type of creativity that earned him the title Grandmaster of Erotic Filmmaking.

Believable performances and subplots meshed with sensational sex scenes keep the viewer intrigued while moving the story along to a logical but gratifying conclusion. High Society called it a "dazzling tribute to America Sexuality." Thirty years after its release, it is still a provocative and relevant film of which Mr. Howard says: "Of my two similar award winning movies, I believe Platinum Paradise is better than Babylon Pink"

Original Liner Notes:
Platinum Paradise is one of the slickest,most polished and proffessional productions in years. It is a stylized vignette film that catalogues a typical day at a sex out-call service named "Paradise" and the events surrounding customers and sex staffers. The cast is chock-full of attractive, big-name performers and the sex scenes are exceptionally hot. When you combine great sex footage with top-notch production values, realistic dialogue, efficient editing and infectious music you have what a sex film is meant to be. The best sequence of the film is the misunderstanding between Eric and Vanessa both of whom, unknown to each other, are professionals. As each tries harder to please the "customer" both reach erotic highs.

Other first rate scenes are the torrid lesbian number with Samantha and Merle, the ballet deflowering of Hillary by Bobby Astyr and Kandi Barbour as an inept, awkward secretary trying to play hooker. There is even an internal scene with Eric and Linda Vale. Platinum Paradise could well go down as Cecil Howard's signature film. It is miles above standard.
    -Jim Holliday from "The Top X-Rated Films of All Time"

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Comments on Cecil Howard's Platinum Paradise

Editor's Review

Just prior to his psycho-sexual period with the Anne Randall scripts leading to such instant carnal classics such as SCOUNDRELS, NEON NIGHTS and SNAKE EYES, Cecil Howard crafted what many still consider his finest film ever. PLATINUM PARADISE is basically a wall to wall fornication marathon with a cute premise about an inept operator at a phone message company (the tremendously sweet Kandi Barbour) mixing up messages and matching the wrong people with sometimes hilarious yet always hot results. Just about every sex scene qualifies as an absolute barn burner! Personal best of show: Vanessa Del Rio (THE quintessential porno diva) and Eric Edwards - whose skills we got to admire in the opener with rich bitch Linda Vale (Lysa Thatcher's double standards mom from NEON NIGHTS) - as call girl and gigolo doing their professional best and then some to please each other.

Plotwise, fellow filmmaker Carter Stevens (billed as "Steven Mitchell") runs a garment company, is married to much younger Christie Ford and has fan favorite Hillary Summers for a wayward daughter. Bug-eyed beauty Ford falls "victim" to another Barbour faux pas and winds up with curly top Marc Valentine (the 'made man' type who got his rear end lovingly seen to by indomitable Annie Sprinkle in her DEEP INSIDE showcase) rather than overburdened punch clock lover Edwards, describing her every lascivious action over the phone to her neglectful husband who's tenderly taken care of at the other end (!) by above and beyond the call of duty secretary Robin Sane a/k/a "Robin Storrs".

In a runner-up for most memorable scene, Hillary's deflowered by her highly skilled ballet teacher, portrayed by an oddly yet effectively cast against type Bobby Astyr whose whimsical sense of humor takes the sting out of this potentially tawdry encounter. Superstar Samantha Fox is a model and occasional deal sweetener for Stevens who balances her professional submission, pleasuring potential buyers Dave Ruby and one shot Rico Estrada, with a dominating private relationship with sweet 'n' vulnerable Merle Michaels. Engrossing power dynamics between these two really makes their Sapphic set-up sizzle. Bumbling Barbour brings up the rear with appreciative Ashley Moore and a cute quote from Howard Hawks' TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT ("You know how to whistle, don't you? etc.") will leave savvy viewers with a contented smile on their faces.

Howard also happens to be a real filmmaker and it shows in the superb cinematography and editing, easily on a par with US indie productions. He also supplies a fun Hitchcok cameo as the pretend movie director unsuccessfully trying to pick up Vanessa at the bar. How's that for post modern auto reflection? Hey, I can hold my own with the ivory tower intellectuals who are, after all, used to holding their own... On a personal note, this movie was no instant favorite when I first saw it over a decade ago, when I was still looking for that 'real Hollywood' feel in adult features and not quite appreciative enough of well done raunch. Coming back to it recently, I've had to happily revise my opinion. This is and will always be one of the milestones in American adult movie-making. Lava-hot sex with cinematic craftsmanship combine to make this a permanent fixture in any self-respecting porn fan's private stash.

-Review courtesy of DirtyMovieDevotee

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