The Good Old Naughty Days

2002, NR, 69 min. Directed by Michel Reilhac.

REVIEWED By Steve Davis, Fri., June 6, 2003

Upon first blush, this collection of mostly European "blue" short films shot prior to the advent of sound is a little disconcerting – the panoply of sexual acts portrayed might upset any naive notions you might have about what people (e.g., your grandparents) did in bed in the early part of the last century. Once the initial shock subsides, however, The Good Old Naughty Days will likely (depending on your proclivities) reinforce any views you already have about the entertainment value of porn. With innocuous titles (translated from the French) such as "The Musketeer at the Restaurant" and "Tea Time," the short films invariably follow the same narrative pattern: Two women begin to get a little randy, only to be interrupted by a man who soon joins in to prove that three is not a crowd. The sexual musical chairs mechanically performed in these films is familiar to anyone who has watched any porn – it’s all about the act of sex, and has little to do with eroticism. What is somewhat intriguing here, however, is how a couple of these otherwise heterosexual stag films foray into male-to-male sex, a pansexual plot twist you would never see in latter-day porn. Other than (God help us) a vignette featuring a nun and one frisky pup, there’s not much kinkiness on display – other than that glimpse of bestiality, the sex in The Good Old Naughty Days is plain vanilla. The best short in the bunch is an animated one made in America featuring a gentleman named Everready Harton and his rather lengthy appendage; the clever physical bits in this piece are worthy of Disney or Chuck Jones. What is sorely lacking in this film compilation is any sociological, historical, or cinematic perspective on the blue movies presented. The title cards between each film short attempt to give some of this background, but most of the stuff there sounds speculative, even made-up at times. (You get the impression that all of the effort has gone into finding these films, and very little into researching them.) So, unless you’re a true aficionado of this kind of fare, there may be little to keep you watching The Good Old Naughty Days in its entirety. Once the novelty wears off, you might find yourself instinctively reaching for the fast-forward button on a non-existent remote.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Films
Replicas
What hath science wrought? A dull cloning thriller, that's what.

Richard Whittaker, Jan. 18, 2019

Glass
M. Night Shyamalan's meta-comic trilogy crashes into Earth with a dull splat

Marc Savlov, Jan. 18, 2019

More by Steve Davis
A Dog’s Way Home
They're all good doggo adventures, Brent

Jan. 18, 2019

Destroyer
Nicole Kidman's grimy noir mistakes grit for intrigue

Jan. 11, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

The Good Old Naughty Days, Michel Reilhac

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle