What the Swedish Butler Saw (1975) from Tuna

Swedish Butler? Yes, "Champagnegalopp" is a Swedish film, in a way, but it is in English. It is a comedy sex farce made by an American director in Sweden and Denmark using English stars in the lead roles. And it's in 3-D! At the time the director (Vernon P. Becher) was looking for funding, he was not having much luck until he said he was shooting it in 3-D. There were a couple of huge box office hits in 3-D at the time, so that gimmick got him his funding. The footage was actually shot three years before the film's release, using a 3-D technique which was new at the time, and there was only one appropriate lens available for a 35 mm camera. Unfortunately, the lens manufacturer didn't provide proper instructions, and the film, which looked great on a small monitor viewing dailies, turned out to have too much separation between the two channels when viewed on a wide screen. It took three years of optical processing to fix it.

The final product was good enough that the MPAA allowed an R-rated edit in the USA, but a harder version was shown in England under the name "What the Swedish Butler Saw," and the English version is the one being released on DVD. The DVD is called "Groove Room" and the film has also been known in English as A Man with a Maid (the title of the Victorian erotic story it was based on), Victorian Fantasies, My Favorite Butler and Teenaged Tickle Girls.

IMDb lists it as Champagnegalopp. It has also been shown under two other Swedish names!


Both Sue Longhurst and Malou Cartwright show everything, as do several women at the bordello.

A son (Ole Søltoft) of very strict Victorian parents was obsessed with sex, since he had been kept from it. After his parents died, he discovered that his father had spent a good deal of time at a house of ill repute run by Diana Dors. After a crash course in sexuality using the Kama Sutra as a text and Dors's girls as lab partners, he discovered two things -- photography, and the love of his life (Sue Longhurst). After inheriting money from a deceased uncle, he bought a new home, and converted a large room into a specially equipped seduction chamber. Meanwhile, Longhurst always brought her maid  (Malou Cartwright) along, but Malou the Maid got her own thing going with Ole's butler.

DVD info from Amazon

  • The DVD has both a 2-D and 3-D version, with four sets of glasses. The effect worked very well on my monitor. It also contains a featurette, and a commentary.

To broaden the story, Jack the Ripper lived in hidden passages in the house.

It is, of course, a send-up of Victorian sexual hypocrisy. They used many appropriate locations, and most of the decoration and props were authentic Victorian artifacts. It is funny, well acted, inventive and looks great. It is simply the best film of its era and genre.

The Critics Vote ...

  • no major reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb readers have this at 5.2 of 10, which is high compared to normal scores for this genre
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even 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. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). 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. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a B-, as rare as that grade is for a film with extensive nudity, I am giving this a B-. It is not the typical male fantasy that is demeaning to women, and the story is entertaining enough that even those who usually would avoid adult films might like this one.

Return to the Movie House home page