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Ken Russell the films
Neverlands: Whore

 


Ken Russell Whore

Ken Russell Whore   Ken Russell Whore

Whore from 1991, a late gem by Ken Russell. Ken experiments with actress Theresa Russell talking directly to the camera.  She is sick of passing her money to her pimp, and the film develops through flashbacks. There are strong links to Crimes of Passion, and some scenes are repeats of the earlier film, but whereas Crimes of Passion looked at sexuality, Whore is another rite of passage film as the whore develops her independence. This coupled with Theresa speaking straight to the camera make it almost a one-woman film. The mixture of whore and mother is also more convincing than China Blue's dual life.

Theresa Russell in Ken Russell Whore

Ken Russell Whore

Theresa Russell in Whore

 

Although the film is Russell's third American film (Altered States and Crimes of Passion went before) it was originally firmly set in Britain, based on a play by David Hines.  The play, about a prostitute around the London King Cross area, was a monologue which led to Ken Russell's direct-to-camera approach.

Ken Russell Whore

Ken Russell Whore

The censored title is If You Can't Say It, Just See It.  This was a censored version to be sold in malls and supermarkets. The new title is crudely placed over the original.  It grossed over $1m in America.
 

 


People

Ken Russell Whore  Ken Russell

Theresa Russell is especially good as the whore.  She is no relation to Ken who has a minor role playing the head waiter. He also does camerawork, credited as Alf Russell.

Huggy Bear from Starsky and Hutch appears.
Brian Tagg from Crimes of Passion (as well as Bruckner and Prisoners of Honor) edits.
 

 


Best Image

Ken Russell Whore Theresa Russell

Theresa Russell lying on a bench with her long hair falling down, but filmed sideways so it looks as if she is upright and her hair is straight out.

Ken Russell Whore     Ken Russell Whore

The phallic food.
 

 


Best Scene

Ken Russell Whore

The two girls talking together or reading or watching a film with one falling asleep.
The pimp trying to impress everyone and being put down by the waiter and the violinist.
 

 


Themes

Ken Russell Whore  Ken Russell Whore

There is a film within the film.  One scene takes place in a cinema showing The Lair of the White Worm.

Whore by Ken Russell

There is promiscuous sexuality (compare Crimes of Passion), latent lesbianism and violent rape (compare The Music Lovers).
 

 


Films

Other films released in the same year include Silence of the Lambs, JFK and Boyz N the Hood.
 

 

More films

Click title for film French Dressing * Billion Dollar Brain * Women in Love * The Music Lovers* The Devils * The Boy Friend * Savage Messiah * Mahler * Tommy * Lisztomania * Valentino * Altered States * Crimes of Passion * Gothic * Aria * The Lair of the White Worm * Salome's Last Dance * The Rainbow * Whore * Mindbender * Trapped Ashes/ The Girl with the Golden Breasts

 

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