Released: Jan 01st, 1981
Running Time: 101
Director: Anthony Spinelli
Company: Cal Vista
Cast: Holly McCall, Robyn Whitting, Richard Pacheco, John Leslie, Tigr, Elizabeth Randolph, Erica Boyer
Critical Rating: AAAA
John Leslie and Richard Pacheco return as the mismatched pair of skirt chasers (from Talk Dirty to Me), but this time around the story focuses more on Lenny (Pacheco) who's not so hot with the babes. Director Anthony Spinelli once again serves up an interesting character examination and the results are at least entertaining if not totally arousing. When Leslie brings home a babe and then tosses her like a bone to his buddy, the girl comments, "Why not, I've never done it with a retard before," which sends our forlorn fellow running. Luckily and lustily, he bumps into (literally) a goof ball of a babe just like him and it's love at first sight. This is some wonderful acting by two of porn's great comedic talents and even though more attention is paid to the plot and the participants than to the sex and the heat, we are still left satisfied in a humorous sort of way. The one sexing that does deem mentioning is with Leslie and a girl in sports car, who after a bit of front-seat fondling drags our deranged dude up to her apartment and almost forces him to rape her. Mind-boggling, to say the least. Voted film of the year in 1982, this is actually worth the watch just for the fine cast and their wonderful performances.
As erotic entertainment, Nothing To Hide is tepid at best. But this movie packs undeniable power due to director Anthony Spinelli's credible-even-brave-attempt to intertwine a touching story of two friends into a film with hardcore footage.
Spinelli and writer Michael Ellis genuinely make Nothing To Hide say something about emotional relationships, not just sexual ones, between friends and lovers. It's a decent, though not perfect, job which should be seen by those seriously interested in the growth of erotic cinema. As a well rounded production, Nothing To Hide is a step forward indeed.
The film starts off predictably with Jack (John Leslie) caught with his pants down with a cheating wife (Elizabeth Randolph) who gets no satisfaction from her dumpy husband (Richard Dove). He's alerted to the arrival of the spouse by his good friend —and lookout— Lenny, played by Richard Pacheco. (As erotic film buffs know, the characters of Jack and Lenny were first introduced in Talk Dirty To Me, also directed by Spinelli.)
At that point, Nothing To Hide looks like another wham-bam-thank-you-mam sex film in which the cynical, aggressive, and street-wise Jack will conquer a number of panting ladies while the slow-witted Lenny watches, learns, and eventually enjoys the ins and outs of sex. At least the audience knows that they'll view some stunning love scenes.
However, Spinnelli dares to be different by having Lenny who initially only wants to have sex, question his friend's motives. This is because Jack, who sees women as vulnerable, cunning creatures to be treated as objects of sex, not desire, appears unhappy in his continual conquests. After Lenny has his limited ego crushed by one of Jack's girlfriends —("I never made love with a retard before," she says when Jack insists she seduce his buddy), he goes out and discovers love and then lust with Karen, played by the sexy Chelsea Manchester.
The gropping sex scene between Lenny and Karen clearly caught the theatrical crowd I way Nothing To Hide with off-guard. Some snickered as the dim-witted couple awkwardly made love and some gave off exasperated tones as it became obvious that the director didn't intend to present a typical hardcore sexual interlude between the couple. Spinelli treats the scene, which would have posed problems for any director, with a degree of restraint rarely found in today's XXX fare.
In an abusive-man segment which would have fit right into the critically-acclaimed, pro-feminist Roommates, Spinelli nicely contrasts jack's growing disdain for women (and himself) with Lenny's loving treatment of Karen. The filmmaker shows the virile-but-loveless Jack coldly seduce an old girlfriend and degrade her, even though she begs him not to.
The film grows a bit heavyhanded near the end as an old friend psychoanalyzes Jack telling him that he's angry about Lenny's wedding plans because the dim-witted man represents "the only child you ever had." Jack, of course, sees the wisdom of the words and arrives a the wedding in a wonderful sequence which could have just as easily fit in a segment of The Love Boat as in the XXX-rated Nothing To Hide.