Director(s): Joseph Losey
Available Quality: DivX
IMDB Rating: 5.9 out of 10 (181 votes)
A film about self-discovery and triumph based on the popular play.
Edgar SoberÃ³n Torchia (21 May 2013)
Patti Love's often unbearable performance, during the first two acts ofÂ«SteamingÂ», almost ruins Joseph Losey's final film. Nell Dunn's playdecidedly must work much better on a theater stage, where the distancebetween the audience and the play being performed, where the sort ofsingle frame with the same size and same gaze position that becomes thestage, and where the direct voices coming directly from actors' bodies,create conditions that make us take some poetic intimacy in the midstof the prosaic rawness of the representation, and make more tolerablesudden outbursts of intense drama out of the blue, for the simple factof being in front of a live performances. As captured by a camera, andas set up in shots of different scales and angles, in an almostpointless intent to give some kinetic life to what is, in the end,nothing more than the filmization of a theater piece, it only stressesthe artificiality of what we are watching. In compensation for thisstrange kind of cinematic product, there are fine and controlledperformances by Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles, and Brenda Bruce asclients, and Diana Dors (in her last film) as manager of an old Turkishbath in London, where regular female customers meet and exchange factsabout their lives, in spite of their class differences. Love, as anamoral stripper addicted to brute men, and Felicity Dean as Bruce'steenage (and apparently mentally ill) daughter are in charge of thehysterical scenes. There is not much going on in Aristotelian terms:this is more a confessional kind of drama, where stories, emotions andmorals are shared. Only when Dors breaks down as she informs that thebath is going to be demolished for the construction of an entertainmentcenter (or mall), the action follows a more traditional structure.According to drama conventions, it is Love's Josie, the character whosechange is more significant. Her performance is built on scenes whereshe delivers diatribes of social resentment, sexual gossips, andscreeching, until the moment her character becomes the spokesperson ofthe group and the tone changes. In any case, even when the sense ofhuman existence is often crushed, there is a positive and joyful senseof life that, besides the opportunity of seeing women interacting (andsuch a good cast playing them), makes the viewing rather amenable. Itis also a respectable ending for the careers of a remarkable director,and of cinematographer Christopher Challis, both taking good advantageof the single set.
SanDiego (21 May 2013)
I probably would have never seen this movie if it were not for the factthatI was offered the part of Josie in the stage version. My husband and Isatdown to review the film to help me decide if I would venture into my firstrole with nude scenes. I was partially happy with the film's adaptationandloved the performances. This is a chatty film, perhaps a little too muchlike the stage version, and the sets (though appropriately drab) couldhavebeen spiced up a little. Surprisingly this is not a sexy film at all (notcompletely devoid of charm and cuteness, the women are on the downhillsideof middle age and their personalities only increase their speed down thehill.) I had read some lesbian or bi-sexual overtones into the scriptthatdon't translate well in this film. The director could have had thecharacters more nurturing and gentle with each other in massaging orbathing(unfortunately the film was made in the eighties not the nineties).Influenced by the film, I accepted the stage role. It's the only film Iever saw that influenced me to disrobe in front of family, friends,neighbors, and strangers so that must count for something.
rlcsljo (16 May 2013)
I have not noticed a lot of British nudie cutie films make the hop over thepond. I was not expecting many either, given the Brit's public persona asbeing presented as very reserved (Benny Hill not withstanding).What a pleasant surprise to see this film about some rather good lookingolder and a few good looking, but kind of plump, younger women, letting itall hang out while going around a lot in their starkers!The director managed to make the nudity both titillating and non-exploitiveat the same time--This was not too hard considering the caliber of theacting talent involved. And the fact that no men appeared anywhere in thefilm probably made it more of a "lets hide a camera in a women's steam cluband see what they really talk about!". Surprise--it's men! No femininehygiene, breast cancer, yeast infections, or even babies!The one thing about the limeys is that even when they don't do somethingoften, they do it right! Rather old bean, top drawer!
4dtvman (16 May 2013)
While this is not a real great piece of film making, I found it to beeroticin a very subtle sort of way. First, the whole concept of a movie about40ish and 50ish women hanging out (in more ways than one) at spa is veryexciting to me. Then add the fact that we have established actresses likeSarah Miles and Vanessa Redgrave spending a lot of time lying around intowels and less and you have a very erotic film in my opinion. I reallyhated to see it end. If you find this concept much more sexy that overtsexuality, then you might want to check out this film. It's hard to find,though. I found it in a small independent video store in 1987 and haven'tcome across it since.
Review total: 4, showing from 1 to 4