Madame Kitty / Doppelspiel / Madam Kitty
Italy/West Germany/France 1976
Ermanno Donati, Giulio Sbarigia for Coralta Cinematografica, Cinema Seven Film, les Productions Fox Europa
directed by Tinto Brass
starring Helmut Berger, Ingrid Thulin, Teresa Ann Savoy, Bekim Fehmiu, John Steiner, Stefano Satta Flores, John Ireland, Sara Sperati, Maria Michi, Rosemarie Lindt, Paola Senatore, Tina Aumont, Alexandra Bogojevic, Dan van Husen, Ullrich Haupt, Giancarlo Badessi, Luciano Rossi, Gianfranco Bullo, Gigi Ballista, Margherita Horowitz, Alain Naya (as Alain Corot), Clara Closimo, Maria Rosaria Riuzzi (as Mary Kristall), Malisa Longo, Paola Maiolini, Alena Penz, Loretta Persichetti, Margherita Petrucca, Michele Starck, Slison Swaisland, Tamara Triffez, Patrizia Webley, Salvatore Baccaro, John Bartha, Tom Felleghy, Tito LeDuc, Pietro Torrisi, Aldo Valletti
screen story by Antonio Colantuoni, Ennio De Concini, Maria Pia Fusco, screenplay by Tinto Brass, Ennio De Concini, Maria Pia Fusco, based on the novel by Peter Norden, music by Riorenzo Carpi, José Padilla, musical director: Bruno Nicolai
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Shortly before Germany invading Poland (and thus before the start of
World War II), the SS has a novel idea to spy on the German political
elite: A brothel in which every room is bugged and all the whores are
patriots employed by the SS who not only have to sleep with their
customers but also write reports about them. And to lend creidibility to
the whole thing, SS commander Wallenberg (Helmut Berger) hires brothel
Madame Kitty (Ingrid Thulin) to run the Aryan whorehouse.
One of Kitty's
whores, Margarete (Teresa Ann Savoy) falls in love with one of her
customers, Luftwaffe-pilot Hans (Bekim Fehmiu) - who even loves her back
and tells her everything about his plans to desert the German army and his
negative feelings towards the Nazis. Of course, Margarete writes nothing
about this in her report, yet a few days later, he is executed exactly
because of what he has told her ... and only now do Margarete and Kitty
begin to suspect all the rooms in the brothel are bugged.
the way only escaped being accused of treason because she is Wallenberg's
favourite concubine, she fascinates him because he, originally working
class, has made her, daughter of a rich family, his whore - and now
Margarete and Kitty plan to make use of this fact and turn Wallenberg's
own evil tricks against himself, bugging a room in which he has sex with
Margarete and tells her about his plans to overthrow the Nazi elite and
become the next Führer ... and in the last scene, we see him shot in a
thermal bath while Kitty and her girls party ... even if the enemy has by
now reached the immediate neighbourhood ...
Perverted without being sleazy, intelligent without being preachy and
entertaining without being shallow: Salon Kitty is a perfect
example of a film in which art and entertainment, sex and brains can meet
without cancelling each other out - but this of course only works thanks
to a balanced screenplay, a director who knows when to go over the top and
when to hold back, and a very capable principal cast ... and the result is
a masterpiece - and a film that has inspired a legion of utterly trashy
nazisploitation films that are nevertheless fun to watch.
review © by Mike Haberfelner
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