Road to Saint Tropez (1966)

18 Aug

Wendy Richard and Raquel Welch are maybe not names that you’d normally put together, but they’re the two women with whom Mike Sarne will always be linked.  In 1962 he and the future Pauline Fowler reached number one with ‘Come Outside’, which I’m sure you know.  If not, I’m flabbergasted, but here it is.  Please listen to it – it is, in its own special way, a thing of wonder.

A change of career later Sarne directed Raquel Welch in the film adaptation of Gore Vidal’s Myra Breckinridge, which ever since its release has been recognised near-universally as one of the worst films ever made. This enjoyable bit of fluff was the first thing Sarne directed (he also wrote and sang the theme tune – although Wendy Richard’s distinctive vocals are sadly absent).  It’s a curious blend of travel documentary, comedy and drama: Fenella Fielding reads us a cheerily ironic commentary over images of the sights of the French Riviera that should delight any fans of Stella Artois adverts, interwoven with a perfunctory and mainly silent romantic drama.  The commentary subtly mocks a very chic Melissa Stribling (Mina in Hammer’s Dracula), a lonely traveller who picks up a beautiful couple of drifters (Gabriela Licudi and an especially gorgeous young Udo Kier) and embarks on a naive but temporarily blissful holiday romance with gigolo Udo after Gabriela’s packed off on a plane.  It’s basic, but charming and very lovely to look at.  Here are some Riviera postcards for you to enjoy:

 

Tip: anything you read on this blog will probably be more enjoyable if you imagine it being read by Fenella Fielding.  But then, let’s face it, that’s true of anything you’ll ever read.

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