Actress Sarah Kennedy’s Obscene Caller Obsession! Is “The Telephone Book” The Strangest Grindhouse Film Ever?

Meet Sarah Kennedy!

Sometimes, an Actress can show up in a number of films in a short period of time, when fade away from the spotlight.

That’s the case with Sarah Kennedy, who had some TV fame before starring in one of the most bizarre and obscure films of the early 70’s!

Sarah was born in 1948 in Coquille Oregon…and made her first big splash on the ABC comedy series “Laugh-In” in 1972: note how similar she looks to Goldie Hawn, who became a star on the show and then left!

But Sarah’s film debut is what I want to focus on – one of the wildest grindhouse films of all time!

A Times Square Grindhouse Oddity!

There was a time when you could wander down New York’s 42nd street and find some of the most bizarre and bizarrely entertaining movies ever…here is an example – get ready to have your mind blown by Sarah’s provocative starring role!

“X-Rated” Art!

First of all, check out the poster…the top line says it all because that is, in fact, the exact plot of the film – but it’s just the starting off point for one of the strangest and yet most entertaining X-rated oddities ever committed to celluloid!

Perhaps the star, Sarah Kennedy, is why!

Sarah was one of the most adorable stars you could ever hope for in a film…this is her movie debut – and it’s a role that sees her in virtually every scene in the film, usually saying stuff like this in a very innocent voice:

sexy Sarah Kennedy

She gives a fearless performance as a quirky, lonely New Yorker who gets an obscene phone call, which begins to have a strange impact on her:

Now, imagine that she finally meets her obscene caller, and he’s –


obscure cult classics
Sarah Kennedy cult actress

A Lost Cult Classic Is On The Phone! You Have To Answer This Call!

“The Telehone Book” is a mind-blowing camp classic! It’s a day in the life of a lonely, sensitive young woman – who meets a very special person on “the telephone.” Thus begins one of the most original and surreal romantic comedies ever made…

There is SO MUCH to share with you about this incredible cult classic, but let’s get started by checking out the trailer:

Thanks to the maniacs at Vinegar Syndrome for releasing this mind-blowing obscurity from the halcyon days of the early 70’s!

Kennedy plays Alice, a young woman who lives in a New York City apartment decorated with pornographic images and knickknacks.


She’s sexy, quirky and liberated, but she really gets off on obscene phone calls, with rotary dial work from an unknown man, identifying himself as Mr. Smith, who brings Sarah to orgasm with his wild calls!

This film is so simple and sweet – yet it’s X-rated! Yes, Sarah wanders onto adult film sets and gets involved in orgies and more!

Vinegar Syndrome cult movies

Alice’s goal is simple: she must find her gloved Romeo – who wears a pig mask and claims he can seduce the President of the United States! Is this strange enough for you yet?

I won’t give away any more of the plot except to say that it’s an X-rated film for a reason!

The Film’s John Belushi Connection!

According to the great IMDB website, “The Telephone Book” was written and directed by Nelson Lyon, who went on to participate in the early years of “Saturday Night Live.” Lyon also achieved infamy as John Belushi’s partner during the drug-binge weekend that took the superstar’s life.

Vinegar Syndrome weirdest cult movies

Calling Andy Warhol!

Here’s another great piece of trivia: According to producer Merv Bloch, the movie originally came with a specially shot intermission which he eventually decided to cut out. During the intermission Andy Warhol was shown sitting in a chair eating popcorn until the actual movie would continue again!

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This intermission was meant as an in-joke to Warhol’s own films that often showed the most mundane things for an extended amount of time, like a person sleeping for several hours or a person eating something without anything extraordinary happening. The footage of this intermission is currently considered lost!


“The Telephone Book” also includes one of the most surreal animation sequences ever, which pushes the film into X-rated territory, but it’s all quirky and fun, and therefore surprisingly innocent…an adult film with tons of full nudity that is anchored by an innocence that is charming…


Writer-director Nelson Lyon helmed “The Telephone Book” as a kinky vaudeville revue. When Alice’s obscene phone caller boasts that his talents could seduce the President of the United States and the entire First Family, he suffixes his claim that he would not try it because “I have no political ambitions.” And yes, he wears a pig mask the entire time!

Yes, the entire time!

Vinegar Syndrome films
telephone book cult classic

There are several recognizable people in the film, including Jill Clayburgh, who would go on to receive an Oscar nomination a few years later!

jill clayburgh telephone-book

Thanks to the folks at Vinegar Syndrome, who have released a blu-ray with radio spots, production stills and a feature-length audio commentary! What a great job saving one of cinema’s most obscure films ever!

And bravo to Sarah Kennedy, what a performance!

Sarah went on to appear in a few other films, like this cult gem:

Ultimately, Sarah went into TV work before retiring from the business.

Bravo to Vinegar Syndrome for putting ghtis wild film out – they have rescued many an obscure film:

Adult Film Actress Laura Cannon is a revelation in their remastered “Fleshpot Of 42nd Street” – see more about her provocative career here:

And don’t forget: thanks to this company we got a naked swing sequence in another strange film:

You have to see this one to believe it!

Click here for more:

If you like these stories, and don’t want to miss any of my “2021 Sex Kitten Countdown”, then go to my website’s front page and sign on to follow me – there are NO ads at all, just lots of stories to come about the wild world of exploitation and cult films!

Click here and see the “follow” button on the upper right!

Let me know if you’ve seen this unique gem of a film!

Categories: 70's Films, Artsploitation, Camp Cult Classics, Cult Classics, Exploitation Films, JRsploitation, Nudity, sex kittens, Sexploitation Films, Talent / Celebrites

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6 replies

  1. I would see Sarah a few times on old Match Game reruns. She was sweet but so painfully thin! You’re right, Vinegar Syndrome did movie buffs a big favor selling discs of long forgotten exploitation movies as did Something Weird Video. I have purchased a “ton” of them myself from them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your British readers (including me) probably associate the name Sarah Kennedy with a now retired TV/radio Presenter (both blonde, and that’s probably were the similarities end…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had never heard of this crazy film. It looks like ‘Monty Python Does Porn’! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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