Imagine This Is Your Motion Picture Debut!
A provocative title and a controversial casting – what’s new when you are Director Jess Franco?
This week’s “2020 Sex Kitten Countdown” looks at the wild cinematic career of Susan Hemingway!
Susan Hemingway was born Maria Coutinho, and like many of the Cult Movie Queens featured in my “2020 Sex Kitten Countdown”, Hemingway wasn’t in cult cinema for long – only seven films total – but what a wild collection of cinema they were – all for Director Jess Franco – and all very controversial!
Hemingway made her film debut in this shocker:
Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun!
Susan jumped right in to the deep end of the sexploitation pool for her film debut, with a “Nunsploitation” shocker!
Director Jess Franco tells the provocative story of Maria, a girl in Inquisition-era Portugal, whom a priest sees cavorting with a boy. He orders her to become a nun as penance. In the convent Maria gets subjected to all sorts of torture and humiliation at the hands of the priest and the mother superior.
Hemingway continued to work with Franco, this time in a classic “Women In Prison” film – there didn’t seem to be an exploitation genre that Franco wasn’t willing to explore!
“Women In Cellblock 9!”
“Women in Cell Block 9” is notorious for many things, including scenes of “chained up women” in prison – and of course, trying to escape in the nude!
The film remains banned in the United Kingdom due to large amounts of sexual violence and because Susan Hemingway was just 16 years old at the time the film was made!
The film was rejected by the British Board of Film Classification when submitted in 2004 and has since not been successfully appealed!
Of course, this is a classic cute movie genre – here are some of the best “women in prison” cult films!
In 1979, Hemingway appeared in two more Franco films:
“Je brûle de partout” – “I Burn Everywhere!”
Hemingway was on a roll to be sure!
In this film, she stars as a young woman who is kidnapped and forced to participate in an orgy her father takes part in!
Do you see who the star was?
That’s right: the stunningly beautiful Brigitte Lahaie starred – you can see more of her terrific career here:
Next up for Hemingway was Jess Franco once again:
“Elle Font Tout” AKA “She Do Everything”!
This 1979 erotic comedy has three couples are staying at a hotel and all are having sexual issues. One day a professional porn star (Lina Romay) shows up and teaches everyone how to do it!
I haven’t seen some of these available, but I also know that great cult movie companies are continuing to remaster and release Franco’s work!
Hemingway’s next film was, of course, with Jess Franco as well, one of his better known films:
This has been remastered and re-released – a great thing of run cult cinema fans!
In this Franco film, Hemingway has an erotic scene with Lina Romay – she was truly willing to put it all out there for the Director!
In 1980, Susan and Lina teamed up again for another of Franco’s better known works:
“Fire Opal: Merchants of Sex” AKA “Two Female Spies With Flowered Panties!”
This was recently released in a restored blu-ray edition: two strippers are released from prison to work undercover for the U.S. government.
In 1983, Hemingway last film – and yes, it was with Franco, was “Voces de Muerte” – which translates to “Sorry Wrong Number”, a classic film noir from the 50’s in the US…I can only imagine Franco’s take on it!
And that was it: Susan Hemingway’s acting career was over…there is nothing else inherently biography!
Hemingway’s career was short-lived and certainly unique: all of her films were for Franco, whose wife and life partner Lina Romay also starred in many of his films:
“Night Has A Thousand Desires” is filled with full frontal nudity, but it’s also Lina’s most mature acting – see it here:
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