In this feature, I navigate vintage pornography. It’s 6/9 and management is riding my ass, so what better time for the second installment? Today we have an American production filmed partly in France. To Western swine like myself, France is known for its artwork, elegance, fashion, and relaxed attitude toward nudity. Its “romance language” is seen as innately seductive and its people are said to be skilled lovers. It seems like a natural to cast them in sex films, especially when you’ve already flown there to make one. A natural to anyone besides the director, a favorite around here, whose every move baffles me. The incomparable Nick Millard!
“I must have been turning into a faggy, lesbian bull dyke, because I was certainly growing excited at the sight of the gorgeous, enormous tits.” Many profound things have been written and said throughout history. This tops them all. Let’s examine who says it and why.
A young blonde steps off a plane onto a tram, then pushes a cart through an airport. I feel like most of Millard’s movies start this way. “Dr. Christina of Sweden was the pretentious name under which I wrote sex articles for a Stockholm tabloid.” the blonde explains. “I was in Paris to do an article about the sex scene.”
Already the title has gone out the window. To me, it suggests the focus will be an insatiable Swedish physician. However, the unknown main actress never disrobes or joins in the “fun”, is likely American, and plays a newspaper columnist. The exteriors were shot on location in Paris, whereas all posteriors were filmed in the Bay Area. Confused? Me too! Uschi Digard (Supervixens, Kentucky Fried Movie) shows up at the end, but as we’ll find out, her connection to Europe’s fifth largest country is tenuous at best.
This exercise in dishonesty was filmed without sound. The only audio is jazzy stock music relieved by occasional first-person narration. I watched it online, though I’ve read the After Hours Retro DVD available from Alternative Cinema (Dot Com) contains a five-minute interview with Millard in which he reveals that Dr. Christina of Sweden was an aborted softcore feature he reworked to be hardcore. If Christina’s outfits are anything to go by, principle photography lasted two days. The bottom right corner of the image is watermarked with a Retro Seduction Cinema logo.
There are quick shots from a car of the Place de la Concorde, an 18th Century execution site home to magnificent twin fountains, an ancient Egyptian Obelisk, and a colonnaded, Roman-style temple. Christina proceeds to explore the French capital. There isn’t much of a story beyond that. Famous attractions, street markets, back alleys. They all leave her awestruck. At times, this feels like a tourism commercial, especially when Christina says “Stop whatever you’re doing and come to Paris right away. You won’t be sorry.” Interested in seeing what the City of Love was like fifty-odd years ago at the height of the sexual revolution? Millard has you covered. I wonder if he travelled to shoot these movies, or planned them around his vacations.
During her stay, Christina witnesses three couples do it, in the process discovering she is a bisexual voyeur. Her first experience is by accident. The second she dreams about. The third she goes looking for. Since these sex scenes were filmed separately at a later date, Christina simply reacts to them and it’s edited to make it seem like she’s there.
“[Paris] was just as I’d imagined it to be. Colorful, vibrant, exciting!” Christina marvels while struggling to carry her suitcase past a cigarette stand. She appears on a balcony overlooking a busy street, stating she could have afforded a better hotel, but wanted to see the “real” Paris. The narrator sounds like Priscilla Alden (Criminally Insane), yet I can hear this in Nick Millard’s voice. He always spun his cost-cutting measures as basic filmmaking techniques employed the greats. The man rode a fine line between artistry and economy. His actors weren’t pretty? Neither were Roberto Rossellini’s. It’s called neorealism! He cast the same ones over and over? Well, so do repertory theatres! He basically only used one set (his house)? First of all, it’s a sound stage. And guess what? The major studios do that as well!
“This place was absolutely charming.” Christina continues. “It filled me with a delight that I hadn’t known in many, many months.” Two people stack cans in front of a restaurant. An old woman wrings out a rag. Discarded plastic blocks a storm drain. The camera zooms into a patch of road that’s been torn up for repair. Charming indeed. A regular Xanadu. Every blemish, every imperfection, impresses Christina. Watching her is like watching myself watch a Z-movie. Do shiny objects catch her eye too? I’ll admit, she has an infectious joie de vivre. I kinda wanna go here now. Oh god, it’s folie à deux! Double reverse Paris Syndrome! A theatre marquee advertises, among other films, Luis Buñuel’s Tristana, which I pulled up on Tubi to expand my knowledge of world cinema.
“I breathed the air of kings.” Christina exclaims. “Please bear with me, as I tend to lean toward the melodramatic.”
Again, I can hear this in Nick Millard’s voice. He constantly romanticized France. At sixteen, he dropped out of high school and got a job at the Stage Door Theater. “[It] was my new classroom.” he wrote on Facebook. “And no kid ever had a better one. This was the beginning of a sophisticated, cultured, daring Nick Millard. I saw a French film entitled And God Created Woman starring the magnificent Brigitte Bardot. The scene took place in St. Tropez. Bardot was lying naked in a garden, her exquisite derriere in full view. That is the day I fell in love with France, the Côte d’Azur, French red wine, and most of all, Bardot.”
But destiny had different plans for Millard. He found real love with a German named Irmgard who shared his passion for movies. They married in May of 1966 and spent their honeymoon at the Cannes Film Festival. Later, they purchased a home in the village of Mandelieu, where they made friends with an ex-Nazi who’d faked his death because he too was enthralled by France (!).
Millard’s favorite part may have been how the women sunbathed without their bikini tops. He was a horndog who credited Irmgard with keeping him on the straight and narrow. He also wrote that he wanted his ashes scattered at the Folies Bergère and Crazy Horse Saloon, the latter because they had the best strippers. He even went so far as to say that everything else besides France was boring.
After ambling around a bit more, Christina tells us she was given the names of two college students to interview. They’re not important people or experts on anything. Why her employer has their contact information is unclear. She might as well pick a random couple off the street. What do you think she’s going to ask them about? The preconceptions I listed above? Their passionate style of kissing or fondness for urine-soaked bread? Au contraire, mon frere! She wants their opinions on “free love, promiscuity, pussy… Stock questions that would no doubt render stock answers.” She flew a thousand miles to conduct this interview, and that’s the best she came up with? Some journalist!
When Christina finds the apartment, the front door is ajar and the couple is fooling around on their couch. Christina decides to spare them the embarrassment of interrupting and watches their entire twelve-and-a-half-minute encounter from the doorway. This laissez-faire approach awakens her inner scopophiliac. The woman is wearing blue stockings, a garter belt, and a horse riding cap. Her partner is naked except for his glasses. The woman drags her boobs across his squishy penis.
The man uses one hand to fumble around the woman’s externals and his other to jab fingers inside her. He leans in close like a scientist examining a rare specimen. I don’t think he knows what he’s doing. Aren’t Parisians supposed to be great in the sack?
“Hot, moist, demanding pussy fulfilled by hard, young manhood.” Christina commentates. Whose dick is she looking at? This drugged-out hippie has yet to enter a state of tumescence, let alone a vagina. The exhibitionists 69 for a while. “So imaginative!” Christina remarks as the woman bites the tip of the man’s penis. That’s one word for it! “La bite” is actually a French term for “penis”. Something was lost in translation! As soon as Monsieur Flaccid is ready, he sits with his head draped over the back of the couch and his partner mounts him. He never moves again. Time of death: 16:50.
“Better to make love than to kill and maim on a battlefield.” Christina muses. I agree, but I’m not sure where that came from. Oh, wait, this was 1970. Vietnam was still heavy on everyone’s mind. End the war before it ends you!
Christina is shown sitting down taking notes. I thought she’d made herself at home and was disappointed to hear she was at her hotel. She heads back outside for more sightseeing. A leisurely stroll down a famous street called the Boulevard Saint Michel leads her to the Eiffel Tower. She later visits the Arc de Triomphe. Ten to twenty kids ride atop a car and are pulled behind it on skateboards. Christina walks through a fountain. She tops off her morning by eating an ice cream cone along the Seine. She strikes up a conversation with a local Maoist on the cement banks of the river. Christina tells us the Maoist is a fan of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point (which I also watched) and wishes to recreate the ending by setting off an explosion. She flirts with him, smiling and playfully squeezing his cheeks. As she walks away up the steps, though, her attitude changes. “Goodbye, freak!” she says tauntingly, satisfaction gripping her voice. “No pussy for you today! Not with those weird ideas. You’re probably too sick to enjoy it anyway.”
Such wanton destruction. I nearly spit out my drink. 9-1-1? Yes, I’d like to report a murder. What did the poor guy do to deserve this? I doubt Millard told him what would be said. I choose to believe he was nothing but kind and respectful, humbly bragged about the small role to his family and friends, unaware of the fact that he’s actually in a porno, eventually saw it by chance, and went “Hey, that’s me!… Aww, sonuva bitch!” That’s assuming he found Christina attractive. He could have been gay, or just not that into her.
Afterward, Christina wanders around some more, saying she wants to get wasted and celebrate life. It skips that part, cutting straight to her lying in bed. “I’d drunk perhaps a bit too much wine.” she explains, cueing the second sex scene. “I was having rather bizarre dreams. Dreams of a lesbian nature.” We saw this plot contrivance in Fräulein Leather. You’ll notice the same actresses, props, and sex toys as well.
Two women in leather boots are going at. Their burning desire is symbolized by what looks like a fire on a beach. The submissive one, Suzanne, plays with herself while the dominant one, Alida, licks her footwear. Alida then fingers, tongues, and nipples Suzanne’s cooter, spreading her ass for the camera can see. Millard captures every glistening detail. Alida has on the black, zippered underwear worn by the man in Wendy’s Naughty Night, Mac-10, and Dracula in Vegas. Channeling the awesome power of the unisex panties, she tickles Suzanne’s asshole with a feather.
Is it true that French women don’t use deodorant? If so, between their BO and secretions, the smell in this room must be crazy. Through his writing, Millard refers to the women as sinful, subhuman creatures. As a Catholic, were these his beliefs? No, I think he was trying to make the scene hotter and more provocative by portraying same-sex, uhh, sex, as wrong. Forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest, they say. Alida is now wearing a strap-on. She and her partner gyrate against each other in slow-motion. This scene lasts forever. Highlight: Suzanne treats Alida’s nipple like a radio dial.
The next morning, it rains, limiting what Christina can do. She writes under an awning at a sidewalk cafe, drinking coffee, watching women walking by. After making prolonged eye contact with a giant bust of an African man, she enters a nightclub of sorts where Uschi Digard and a blonde wearing a headband are performing a stage act on a set resembling a living room that was likely just a living room. Christina seats herself at a table and watches. Digard’s titanic naturals swing low like sweet chariots coming for to carry me home. According to Boobpedia, which I take to be an extremely reputable source of information, her bra size is 44F.
“I can tell you about the first time I ever saw her, because I will never forget it.” Millard told Search My Trash, circa 2012. “It was in March of 1970, at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, California (very close to Beverly Hills). One word can describe Uschi — magnificent. I had never seen anything like her breasts in my life (and I was raised around a burlesque theater, the Moulin Rouge theatre in Oakland, California). She also had a very pretty face and a nice derriere. She was from Switzerland, she spoke German with Irmi… sometimes they write that she was from Sweden, perhaps they are thinking of Anita Ekberg.”
Christina echoes Millard’s sentiments. “What a pair of tits. This voluptuous darling possessed the Taj Mahal of bosoms.”
Digard’s Wikipedia page includes a quote that starts “I was born in Saltsjö-Duvnäs, a little town outside Stockholm, Sweden, and am of Swedish/Swiss heritage.” attributed to “The Big Book of Breasts”, which sounds like another legit publication. It probably comes from a nudie mag. The bios in those are often fabricated.
During a rare interview given to Ashley West of the Rialto Report, Digard clarified that she’s Swiss, is of French heritage, and spent three years in Sweden as an adult. Her story is quite fascinating — she had a strict, religious upbringing/education, became multilingual to read foreign books, and travelled the world for years before landing in California.
Hold on, there’s a little more plot left. The performers make out with and tease each other. Digard pretends to finger bang Headband. Headband pretends to eat Digard’s ass. Digard repeatedly smashes a boob into Headband’s vulva, then presses just her nipple against Headband’s roast beef. They faux-finger bang a bit more. Finally, Digard pretends to eat Headband out. This scene is the least explicit of the three and in my opinion shouldn’t have been last. I get why it was, though. Digard is the closest Millard ever came to having a star. Most sources claim she did softcore exclusively. While she and Headband show quite a bit of restraint here, they do still fondle each other’s va-genitals. At what point that’s hard is up for debate, I suppose. Or should I say up for da bates?
Christina goes window-shopping for shoes. She walks toward a venue called Lido. Fin. Huh. Ok. Overall, today’s pick is fine, a 2 or 3 out of 5 because so little happens. I’m surprised I was able to crank one out… a review, sicko! The title, premise, and narration provide a few laughs, and the footage of Paris is mildly interesting. Millard’s immense admiration shines through, making me keen to visit someday. Without sound or enthusiasm, the American sex is the least exciting part, supporting Millard’s position that everything else besides France is boring.
I’m setting a “featured image” for this post in hopes of preventing the screenshots below from displaying in the reader 🤞 Again, they’re for purely educational purposes! Enjoying them is a violation of our terms and conditions!
Next time on Sweatin’ to the Oldies: an actual French movie with French performers. Perhaps the most insane porno I’ve seen! Au revoir! Continue reading