Friday, 6 May 2011

Keeping The British End Up

Titan Books are still winning the race to send me books to waffle about, and as much as I'm loving their work it seems a shame that Aurum Press haven't found time to throw a spare copy of 'The Making Of The Empire Strikes Back' my way. I expect Ebury Press are also wishing they'd popped 'The Complete Making Of Indiana Jones' in the post too, and I can only imagine how hard Hodder Paperbacks must be thinking about passing me a copy of Michael Caine's autobiography 'The Elephant To Hollywood' (just to clarify, that's the paperback. Hardbacks are a bit cumbersome on the train).
Anyway, in the absence of any of those, here's Titan's new edition of Simon Sheridan's 'Keeping The British End Up', a big, hard look at the sleazy, saucy world of British sex films.
After spending quite some time looking at the pictures in this book, and being disappointed that there were so many of Robin Askwith in alarming underpants, I noticed there were also some words, so I got dressed and gave them a look too. Turns out they're all very interesting.

Given that I've never seen films like Confessions Of A Window Cleaner, The Sexplorer or What's Up Nurse! (take a wild guess), 'Keeping The British End Up' is a massively informative tome covering the history, social context and legacy of the X-certificate industry that rose up and stood proud in the UK between 1958 and 1983. Not only am I now au fait with the particular talents of stars like Mary Millington and Sue Longhurst, I'm also primed with plenty of trivia for my next film quiz. E, as they say, g:
  • Jeremy Bulloch (the original Star Wars trilogy's Boba Fett) starred in Can You Keep It Up For A Week? as an accident-prone berk "continually getting into sexual misunderstandings with luscious females". Sample dialogue: "I've got an adjustable spanner in my pocket." He means his cock.
  • Christopher Wood, co-writer of The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, also wrote the novels and scripts of the Confessions Of... series, which might explain why his Bond films are practically sex comedies.
  • Britain's first "nudie movie", Nudist Paradise, was shot in "glorious Nudiscope", a process which would improve a lot of today's movies exponentially.
Sheridan's loving attention to detail (despite being fully aware that most of the films he's talking about are, literally and figuratively, a load of balls) and exhaustive synopses of 158 examples of the genre make for fascinating stuff, and the stills might be titillating but the full-colour shots of some of the posters for these films really do make you want to stand up and salute.
Bravo. I'm spent.


  1. The Titan method of keeping the end up is not a book, not even a hard back with a stiff spine, no, it is a Titan One Touch Release Inflatable Penile Prosthesis. See

    This Titan device is always ready for an encore.

    A woman walked into a cocktail bar and asked the barman for a double entendre so he gave her one.

  2. Perhaps you could remake some movies as low budget British sex films.
    Sinderella, Tit Anic, Glad He Ate Her, Bed Knobs and Broomsticks, Shitty Shitty Gang Bang, Goldie Licks the Three Bares, Lord of the Flies, Dirty Harry, Dr. Yes, Captain Corelli's Manhood and The Eagle has Entered, "Pork Sword to Dildo Boy."

  3. Andrew, yes a long day. The longest day, the Summer Solstice will be 21st June.

  4. Back in the day we all had the hots for Mary Millington. We being 5G. And it was 1977. I recently watched a (grainy) copy of Come Play With Me; all the sex had been taken out. It was like watching a football match with all the goals edited out. Very odd.

  5. I'd contest that the final Sunday in October is longer, but I feel it might be a moot point

  6. Andrew, I'm puzzled.In London on Sunday 30 Oct 2011 sunrise 06:50 sunset 16:38 length of day 9h 48m 07s. What moot point makes that the longest day? 16h 38m 21s is the length of day on 21 June 2011 in London.

    Is it a dreadful occasion that makes time drag for you for personal reasons? Your wedding anniversary? Your mother in law's birthday? Your annual colonic irrigation session? Preparing your online tax return?