Love by Appointment (1976) from Tuna

If you look up strange in the dictionary, it says "See Love By Appointment." It is, I think, an Italian made-for-late-night-cable, featuring Ernest Borgnine and Robert Alda. Right off the bat, Borgnine in a porno is strange. (Some would argue that Borgnine is strange all by himself.) The film has five listed titles, no release information, and is still awaiting 5 votes at IMDB.

1) Love By Appointment
2) Natale in casa d'appuntamento
3) Christmas Time in a Brothel
4) Christmas at the Brothel
5) Holiday Hookers

I would definitely call more titles than releases or reviewers strange.

The strangest thing about it, however, is that all the on-line plot descriptions I could find were based on the information on the DVD box, which happens to be wrong -- very wrong.


Lots of bare breasts from Corinne Clery, Sylvia Dionisio, the second madam, and the other unidentified hooker
IMDB says comedy, and most plot summaries call it a comedy, where Borgnine and Alda are American businessmen in Europe who get into trouble spending all of their time in a high class bordello. The film is actually a character driven drama about a madam and three of her girls. Her most popular girl, played by Sylvia Dionesio, has a day job in a clothing store, goes for a weekend with Borgnine who has a heart attack before they can have sex, then quits the life and gets married. Borgnine has fallen in love with her, and wanted to marry her. The second girl actually works without pay, only once per trick, as her husband is impotent. They feel that if she only has sex once with each trick, it is not really cheating. I was not able to identify this actress (see Unknown). The third is a young wife and mother (Corinne Clery of Story of O fame) who lives in the same apartment as the bordello, and is lured into the life by the madam.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen

  • The DVD transfer was done by Image Entertainment, and they did their usual wonderful job.

  • There are no special features at all on the DVD.

The madam has decided to retire and run off with her true love on Christmas day. She offers to get Clery another gig. The new madam, whom I also could not identify, is a cheap, vulgar woman who inspects and insults Clery. If you can identify the Unknown or the madam, please let me know. I really don't know how to rate this one. The story is too strong to dismiss it as a "tittie flick," but it has a lot of breast exposure. The acting was good, as was the photography and art direction.

The Critics Vote

  • no reviews online

The People Vote ...

IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

I will have to resort to the Scoopy report card rating system here. If you like tittie flicks and/or Eurotrash, you will enjoy this one, so it is somewhere between B- and C+.

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