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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Sexploitation > Twilight Girls

The Twilight Girls


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: C     Film: C



A long time ago, New York had a special certifying board that anyone who wanted to show a film in the city had to go through.  This “community standard” was likely some moral safety net in the face of early, previous challenges to censorship.  This all changed when producer Radley Metzger decided to bring The Twilight Girls to the U.S. in 1961.  He took the French film with then-unknowns Catherine Deneuve (at thirteen under her real name of Dorleau, not to be confused with her sister) and future XXX star Georgina Spelvin (The Devil in Miss Jones).


As infamous as that sounds, this film is nowhere near as bad, but its insinuations of lesbianism created a showdown between Metzger and New York.  Much of the Deneuve footage was cut, while new footage was inserted to increase the sexual suggestion.  Though it was far from hardcore, New York’s board banned it, with the ensuing court case turning out to be a landmark that Metzger won.  Two years later, that board was shut down.


That is a victory against censorship, but otherwise, that is the most important thing about this film.  This new First Run Features DVD offers the uncut version, with the extras footage in its original French language.  It can also be spotted by the yellowing of the analog tape it comes from, not looking as good (comparatively) as the rest of the film.  Not that the full screen, monochrome image is so great, but it still is noticeably from grainy film stock with cleaner whites, better definition, and some better detail.


The sound is also average Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, with the English dub sounding better than the French, a few generations down from that old videotape.  The few extras include trailers for this and similar First Run DVD releases, a brief photo gallery of Deneuve, and an informative-but-short featurette on the film’s battles in the U.S. and New York.


It may be some kind of curio, but don’t get your hopes up too much.  The Twilight Girls is laughably tame by today’s standards.  This is probably the only other reason to see it besides it historical significance.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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