Inspired by by the bawdiest ballad ever written...
Fresh from Film Academy, young Dennis Morrison's aspirations are soon shattered when he tries to get a job in the film industry. After umpteen refusals he finally meets Benny U. Murdoch, a seedy producer of sexploitation films, who offers him the opportunity to direct provided he can find himself a scriptwriter, and provided they don't want paying in advance. Dennis recruits his friends Clive and Harris - a shy young librarian with a smattering of writing experience - and the trio get their orders from Benny. He wants a hot movie based on the famous dirty poem "Eskimo Nell" and whether they like it or not, his current girl friend, the coarse but amply endowed Gladys Armitage, will play the title role!
The boys' problems are only just beginning, however, because Benny persuades three different backers to put up the money, each with a different concept of the film and each insisting on his own favourite to play the lead. First there is Big Dick, a no-nonsense American distributor who tells them that his girl friend Billie will be Nell in a hard core pornographic movie. Then there is financier Ambrose Cream who wants his latest protégé a Millicent Bindle to star as Nell in the first Kung Fu musical! And lastly the dapper Vernon Peabody plans to launch his boy friend Johnny on the screen playing Nell in drag in the first all-British gay Western... Bewildered as to how Benny intends to cope with the conflicting versions, our heroes soon find out: for no sooner is the money safely banked than Benny runs off with the lot leaving Dennis and Harris, who had naively signed all the contracts, committed to making three films of "Eskimo Nell" and all with no money.
Seeing poor Dennis threatened with prison, his girl friend Hermione suggests that they approach her mother Lady Longhorn, chairman of the Society for Moral Reform, to see if she can help. Under the impression that the boys were going to make a piece of wholesome family entertainment Lady Longhorn agrees that the Society will put up the money, on the understanding that Hermoine will play Nell and that her brother Jeremy will be Deadeye Dick. The boys now set about the mammoth task of making the film(s), battling desperately to keep their respective backers apart, and eventually manage to successfully complete all four versions; family, pornographic, gay Western and Kung Fu musical.
But their relief is short-lived when they learn that Lady Longhorn, delighted with her "family" version, has arranged for it to be shown at a Royal Charity Premiere, but owing to a delivery mix-up the pornographic version is on its way to Leicester Square...! Desperate measures are called for, and swift action. The boys plan to intercept the delivery van, but at the crucial moment get involved in a real robbery and lose valuable time. When they eventually stagger into the projection box at Leicester Square it is too late. The pornographic version comes onto the screen before a stunned audience. No smelling salts are strong enough to revive Lady Longhorn... Prison comes almost as a happy relief to our heroes. Until, that is, they are herded into a room where a solitary occupant greets them like long lost brothers. Within minutes Benny U. Murdoch is enthusiastically outlining his new picture. "Got it all lined up, lads, and we've got the Governor's wife playing the lead... Trouble is she's got a bloody awful figure...!"
Director: Martin Campbell
Cast: Michael Armstrong, Terence Edmond, Christopher Timothy, Roy Kinnear, Rosalind Knight, Lloyd Lamble, Jonathan Adams, Christopher Biggins, Katy Manning, Diane Langton, Gordon Tanner, Beth Porter, Max Mason, Christopher Neil, Richard Caldicot
* N/A or Unknown
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