April 28, 1971: Pretty Maids All in a Row

“Roger Vadim, the director who uncovered Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve and Jane Fonda, now brings you the American high school girl…and Rock Hudson.

A good football coach can get away with murder.”

Pretty_Maids_All_In_A_Row-1971Pretty Maids All in a Row is an American dark comedy/mystery film starring Rock Hudson alongside Angie Dickinson. Roger Vadim directed the film, which Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry produced, having dramatised a 1968 novel written by Francis Pollini into the screenplay from which Vadim worked. This was Roddenberry’s only feature film writing credit.

The story is set in a fictitious American high school in the height of the sexual revolution. Young female students are being targeted by an unknown serial killer. Meanwhile, a male student called Ponce is experiencing sexual frustration, surrounded by a seemingly unending stream of beautiful and sexually provocative classmates.

Michael “Tiger” McDrew (Hudson) is the high school’s football coach and guidanceCinema-US-04-28-1971 counselor, but there is another aspect of Tiger’s character; he has participated in a number of sexual encounters with female students. Tiger tries to befriend Ponce and help him deal with his sexual needs by encouraging him to seek the affections of a sexy substitute teacher, Miss Betty Smith (Dickinson).

Meanwhile, one young girl after another turns up dead. A police detective captain, Sam Surcher (Telly Savalas), investigates the case but never obtains enough courtroom-admissible evidence to make an arrest. Tiger is suspected, but never caught red-handed. Ponce, however, discovers that Tiger is guilty when he discovers evidence hidden in his office. Tiger drives Ponce to a pier where he confesses, and apparently commits suicide by driving his car into the ocean with Ponce as his witness. However, Surcher suspects that Tiger has faked his own death when he notices that his supposed widow is hiding a ticket to Brazil.

Also in the movie is Keenan Wynn, Roddy McDowall (Planet Of The Apes) and James Doohan who, of course, played Scotty in Star Trek.  Another Star Trek alumni in the film is William Campbell who played Trelane (“The Squire Of Gothos”) and Koloth (“The Trouble With Tribbles”). [Wikipedia]

See the trailer on the Movieclips Trailer Vault YouTube Channel.

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