Released: Jun 01st, 1984
Running Time: 102
Director: Anthony Spinelli
Cast: John Leslie, Veronica Hart, Lisa DeLeeuw, Samantha Fox, Cameron Mitchell, Juliet Anderson, Kelly Nichols
Critical Rating: AAA
Who would think that a film garnering a AAA rating could be disappointing. Yet, Anthony Spinelli's Dixie Ray, Hollywood Star falls short of being an unqualified success simply because the overlong sex scenes become tedious 30 minutes into the film, retarding the development of what's really the best screenplay I've encountered in an adult film this year.
Like a Hollywood musical that has lousy songs, Dixie Ray has every element you need in an adult film, with the exception of hot sex. Those elements include superb cinematography, moody lighting, themes related to the best American film noir suspense yarns of the 1050's, meticulously crafted sets that mimic the era depicted (1942), jazzy music that sets the proper tone and superstars such as John Leslie, Lisa DeLeeuw and Juliet Anderson. But that erotic flavor seems to fall short of expectations.
Originally released about two years ago as a softcore feature called It's Murder, Baby, the film depicts the exploits of private investigator Nick Popodopoulis (Leslie) as he tries to find out who is framing movie actress Dixie Ray (Lisa DeLeeuw) for some nude pictures she had taken. Plenty of neat twists and turns lead Leslie on a trail of murder and revenge.
So what we have in Dixie Ray, Hollywood Star is a reversal of sorts. The sex scenes (which include John Leslie every time except once) serve only to slow down a surprisingly complex and provocative script (written by Dean Rogers). Many films with great sex seem to suffer from lack of story. Shorter and more varied encounters would have spiced up the proceedings. I timed one scene at 20 minutes … 17 minutes too long. Even the one lesbian scene – with DeLeeuw and Juliet Anderson – goes o too long until Leslie intervenes.
Nonetheless, Spinelli and his crew have done a masterful job of creating 1942, with spectacular use of sepia-toned photography, some creative editing and the music score of the year by Daryll M. Keene. Despite good performances by Samantha Fox, Veronica Hart, the Cameron Mitchell and, especially, Lisa DeLeeuw, Dixie Ray, Hollywood Star proves to be ultimately unsatisfying.
John Leslie's the detective hired to find out who's blackmailing Hollywood star Dixie Ray with nude photos. Could it be her ex-husband? Her confidante (Juliet Anderson)? Her daughter (Kelly Nichols)?
Whoever it is, one thing's for sure: Leslie gets laid a lot - though the best is from his secretary, the uncredited Hillary Summers, who teases him with pussy rubs, gives a classic b.j. and spreads for a phenomenally hot mish and doggie.
Other top-notch scenes include John and Kelly, and a threeway with John, Veronica Hart and Samantha Fox, but in fact, it's all well worth watching - and there's even a real Hollywood star, Cameron Mitchell!