Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
THE CHAPMAN REPORT
"The one thing we must remember: we must be sensible."
Researcher Dr. Chapman (Andrew Duggan) and his assistant Paul (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.), interview several women about their sex lives. These include Sarah (Shelley Winters), a married woman who is having an affair with a theater director named Fred (played by who else but Ray Danton); Naomi (Claire Bloom), whose nymphomaniacal activities doomed their marriage; Teresa (Glynis Johns), who is happily married but requires one fling with a really hot man (Ty Hardin of Berserk); and Kathleen (Jane Fonda), a widow whose late husband complained of her frigidity. In an unlikely development Paul finds himself drawn into a romantic relationship with Kathleen. While the movie is obviously inspired by the Kinsey report (and a trashy potboiler by Irving Wallace), the types in this movie are no different from women in countless other movies and the really eyebrow-raising stuff in Kinsey's report is avoided. So what we're left with is a reasonably entertaining soap opera with some fine acting. Zimbalist is no better than he ever is, Duggan has nearly a bit part, but the ladies offer something more. Bloom gives an affecting performance as a lonely, semi-alcoholic woman who is gang-raped in one chilling sequence. Winters is excellent as the wife with an unattractive husband (Harold J. Stone) who needs passion in her life with a handsome partner. Johns is okay in a sequence that is played primarily for laughs (John Dehner is her unsuspecting husband). Jane Fonda, always more talented than her father, gives another wonderful performance. Chad Everett shows up briefly as a hunky water man who appears at Naomi's house, and Corey Allen [The Big Caper] is very effective as the slimy musician, Wash Dillon, who casts a sick spell over Naomi. Perhaps the best performance comes from Henry Daniell [The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake], a psychologist who fears that Chapman may be setting things in motion without the appropriate follow-up.
Verdict: Laughably unscientific but entertaining. ***.