After a flash forward to the films highlights in the opening credits, we meet Harry Clegg, private eye and “loser since the day I was born” who is about to be executed by a disgruntled swinger client. A flame thrower cunningly disguised as a lighter produced by Clegg during a “one last cigarette” request saves the day, why do bad guys always fall for that trick? don’t they watch any movies?…
After a flash forward to the films highlights in the opening credits (a usual Shonteff touch), we meet Harry Clegg (Gilbert Wynne), private eye and “loser since the day I was born” who is about to be executed by a disgruntled swinger client. A flame thrower cunningly disguised as a lighter produced by Clegg during a “one last cigarette” request saves the day, why do bad guys always fall for that trick? don’t they watch any movies?. The subsequent plot follows Clegg going from A to B, meeting clients, sleeping around, driving around London (in fact the film must hold some kind of record for ‘shot from a car window’ images of London) and being beaten up, but generally just being beaten up. “I figured Lips Louie and Charlie the Chin were basically nice people” narrates Clegg as the two goons in question beat him senseless “they’d obviously been influenced by the violence in today’s films”, a scene given an extra layer of irony by appearing to have been heavily cut by the British censor. Eventually the plot becomes more err focused as Clegg is drawn into the world of ‘Suzy the Slag’ a former blue movie actress turned hit woman, who often relies on her past profession to perform ‘seduce and destroy’ hits on salivating old geezers. Gilbert Wynne who Shonteff also used in Permissive and Night After Night After Night really fits the part of Clegg like a glove. Not unlike Mike Pratt he has a disheveled cool quality about him, and the kind of face that suggests its owner hasn’t slept for a week. The image of Clegg in his cheap suit shooting to death two gangsters in an approaching car, actually makes you think of Reservoir Dogs, though I’m sure its just coincidence. Still this is a hyper-violent film for 1969, with the kind of amoral anti-hero who doesn’t mind shooting people in the back with a machine gun or kicking a terrified man out of his car for him to be shot to death. Clegg is also something of a ladies man, in fact he goes through girlfriends in a manner that makes James Bond look celibate by comparison. GAVCRIMSON
Harry and the Hookers
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