Hussy Blu-ray Review: You'll Wonder If You Haven't Seen It Before

Even a saucy Dame Helen Mirren can't save this clunker.
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If there was a template for the movie genre where a nice boy falls for a hooker and complications ensue then Hussy would have followed it to a “T”.   If there isn’t and you needed to write one, then you’d need to look no further than this film.  Its story is so average, so full of everything you've seen in similar films, you'll wonder if you haven't seen it before.

Follow along with me:  boy falls for the hooker, boy gets jealous of hooker for sleeping with other people, hooker’s abusive ex enters the scene, boy hatches a shady scheme and employs the ex in hopes of scoring big and ridding himself of the ex in one fail swoop.  It is a story that has been told many times before and Hussy does nothing original with it.

But as every critic will tell you it isn’t the story that’s important but how you tell it.  Sadly, Hussy doesn’t tell it all that well either.  It helps that Helen Mirren plays the hooker and Paul Angelis is appropriately menacing as the ex. It is atmospheric and I appreciate that unlike films like Pretty Woman, Hussy shows that the life of a prostitute, even a relatively high-end one, is difficult.  But the storytelling is sloppy and the plot confusing.

The prostitute is Beaty Simmons.  She works in a higher-end (though still fairly grubby) club.  It is the kind of place where the customers wear nice suits, the girls wear fancy dresses, and the lounge act features a jazz singer and half-naked dancers. The boy is Emory Cole (John Shea) who runs a spotlight at the club.

He asks her out; she says no.  He pays for her services but doesn’t ask for sex, rather he wants to talk then watch her sleep.  From this, they fall in love.  The film is skimpy on the details.  One night, he’s paying her not to have sex, the next they are driving off into the countryside where she gives it to him for free.

The ex-boyfriend, Alex, gets out of prison (or possibly a mental institution, the film isn’t too clear on which) and moves in with them.  He menaces the hell out of everybody he comes around.  Emory’s friend Max (Murray Salem) shows up with a lucrative score that Emory just can’t turn down.  He talks Alex into joining the crew with the hopes of somehow removing him from the scene afterward.  Whether that’s through murder or incarceration isn’t clear.  What the score is exactly isn’t clear either except that it involves lot of drugs, a lot of money, and some kind of coins or something that can be sold for big money outside the country.  As you can tell, it is a film that isn’t clear on many of its finer points.

Things go poorly, then they work out okay in an ending that zipped right past me.  I started to look up exactly what happened but I realized I couldn’t be bothered.  It isn’t an interesting enough movie to make me care to suss out the details that I missed.  If they are even there to begin with.

It is worth watching for that Mirren performance and fans will not be disappointed with her work here.  But other films have done this thing much better.

Twilight Time presents Hussy with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio and a 1080p transfer.  Extras include the film’s trailer.  That’s it.  Doesn’t even have subtitles. 

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