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Oh! Calcutta! Reviews

OH! CALCUTTA! is remembered more as the first nude musical comedy revue to play Off-Broadway rather than the hapless film presentation this turkey is. The film was originally shown in theaters via a special closed-circuit television broadcast, and the resulting videotape was cleansed of technical problems and rereleased in theaters two years later. They needn't have bothered. Though controversial for live theater, nudity in the cinema was no longer shocking or daring, thus making the film a dinosaur. Unimaginatively photographed, with a tame treatment of the show's most controversial elements, the result plays more like a third-grader's jokes about sex rather than a sophisticated adult revue. Considering the writing talents involved (Sam Shepard, Jules Feiffer, and John Lennon, among others) one might have hoped for better results than this. Sketches include a newlywed couple who hope for a better sex life with the husband ending up with a mannequin. Another has some self-induced fantasies of a male trio destroyed by a television projection of "The Lone Ranger." It's not just that this film fails on its own level; OH! CALCUTTA! desperately pretends to be something it woefully is not, which makes it all the more repellent.