4.6/10
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Mechanical Bananas (1973)

Bananes mécaniques (original title)
When summer comes, five young, pretty and penniless women decide to squat at the villa of one of their fathers who's gone to the coast with his youthful mistress while leaving his daughter ... See full summary »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marie-Claire Davy Marie-Claire Davy ... Marie-Claire
Elisabeth Drancourt Elisabeth Drancourt ... Babette
Philippe Gasté Philippe Gasté ... François
Pauline Larrieu Pauline Larrieu ... Pauline
Anne Libert ... Anne
Marie-Georges Pascal Marie-Georges Pascal ... Marie-Georges
Christian Chevreuse Christian Chevreuse ... Le mari excédé
Michel Charrel Michel Charrel ... Le fripier
Pierre Forget ... Le père de Pauline
Anne Dolans Anne Dolans
Antoine Marin Antoine Marin ... Le maire
Patrice Pascal
Jacques Robiolles Jacques Robiolles ... Le hippie
Paul Pavel Paul Pavel ... L'épicier
Dominique Vallée Dominique Vallée ... (as Dominique Vallet)
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Storyline

When summer comes, five young, pretty and penniless women decide to squat at the villa of one of their fathers who's gone to the coast with his youthful mistress while leaving his daughter Pauline (Pauline Larrieu) to her own devices. The girls just want to have fun and the place could looks like heaven for a man who would join in,

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

France | West Germany

Language:

French

Release Date:

19 July 1973 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Erotic Escape See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title is a parody of Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange", released two years before. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Les pornocrates (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Girls Aloud
11 July 2008 | by NodriesrespectSee all my reviews

Following disastrous box-office for his ambitious fantasy film LE SEUIL DU VIDE, Jean-François Davy returned to territory he had mined earlier with his commercially successful if critically frowned upon erotic drama LA DEBAUCHE. Lightening the mood considerably, he had five pretty young things roaming the French country side in search of a holiday they can't afford, due to an economic reality the perpetually penniless director knew all too well. He may very well have been alone in incorporating this aspect into a genre generally focused to an (appropriately) almost obscene degree on lavish luxuries out of reach to the vast majority of its intended audience. BANANES MECANIQUES – its title a reference to Kubrick's A CLOCKWORK ORANGE which was called ORANGE MECANIQUE in France – was the first and most financially viable installment in what was to become Davy's "trilogie paillarde" (which would translate as naughty or ribald trilogy) and remains one of the first seriously sexy movies to play regular theaters in France, outside of the "specialized circuit".

The story, hastily penned by Davy over the course of a weekend, may seem like a simple-minded mix of broad comedy routines (the girls distracting a man pushing a wheel-barrow, prompting him to bump into a wall and fall down), cute cinematic references (all five kissing their communal lover goodbye, shot like a western showdown, complete with Morricone type music) and severely dated politics (chairman Mao is paid considerable lip service), but is presented with such a hell bent for leather enthusiasm that it hits more than it misses. As a result, while clearly a product of its time, the movie retains an infectious charm lacking in many of its contemporaries.

Summer's here and five girlfriends who have trouble making ends meet at their dead end jobs decide to semi-squat at the villa of one of their fathers who's gone to the coast with his youthful mistress while leaving his daughter Pauline (the exquisite Pauline Larrieu) to her own devices. In tow are a temperamental wannabe starlet, portrayed by skin flick stalwart Anne Libert (who starred in Jess Franco's cut-rate horror trilogy LES EXPERIENCES EROTIQUES DE FRANKENSTEIN, Dracula CONTRA FRANKENSTEIN and LA FILLE DE Dracula), who was dumped by the roadside with her kid sister (sweet Marie-Georges Pascal from Jean Rollin's LES RAISINS DE LA MORT, who tragically took her own life in 1985) following a spectacular row with her manager (Davy regular Philippe Gasté), the sister's best friend (played by the director's sister Marie-Claire, stepping in for another actress at the last moment) and the sympathetic salesgirl who allows Pauline to nick stuff until this behavior gets her sacked, a nice turn from seldom seen Elizabeth Drancourt who had appeared in Julien Saint-Clair's LE DESIR ET LA VOLUPTE with equally alluring lookalike (and ex-Davy acolyte) Denyse Roland. Not an awful lot happens. The girls sit around, talk, dance, get naked (a lot, thankfully) and try to catch the eye of the local menfolk. Contrary to the director's subsequent endeavors (PRENEZ LA QUEUE COMME TOUT LE MONDE and Q), the sexual content isn't played for purely laughs here – a slapstick styled tale of a burglar satisfying neglected housewives notwithstanding – and, as its free-wheeling (largely improvised, as Davy readily admits in the accompanying DVD interview) approach leaves pacing all over the place anyway, nudity is lingered upon to enchanting erotic effect. Highlights include luscious Libert carnally contorting in front of a full length mirror and the ubiquitous fireplace love scene involving good-looking Gasté and lovely Larrieu, the latter a respected French thespian who graduated from "au naturel" appearances in Daniel Daërt's LE VOYAGEUR and LES FELINES to tons of TV work in some of the country's best-loved and longest running shows. As an actress, she's clearly head and shoulders above the others. Like most dedicated amateurs, Libert would either go full throttle, as this part allows her plenty of opportunity for, or remain strictly decorative with little room for nuance between both extremes. She possessed a zesty personality that translated well to the series of the undemanding yet lively sex comedies that called upon her services.

Watch for a cameo by the director as the fledgling communist who tries to bed the delectable Drancourt, whose tearful reaction to this character's self-inflicted death late in the proceedings plays more like an in-joke rather than honestly attempted drama. The soon to be Mrs. Davy, Dominique Vallée, appears at film's end as the mistress to middle-aged character actor Jacques Robiolles, playing Pauline's ill-tempered pops, throwing the lot of them out of his house after a drunken orgy. With colorful camera work by Roger Fellous, on the verge of gaining considerable if largely genre-related recognition, the movie holds up as a pleasant and completely unpretentious piece of fluff, presumably best viewed within context for the place it occupies both within Davy's body of work and erotic cinema history in general.


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