CANNON MONTH 2: The Happy Hooker (1975)

Xaviera de Vries was born in Surabaya in the Japanese-occupied Dutch East Indies to a Dutch Jewish doctor and a mother of French and German descent. She somehow went from growing up in a Japanese-run internment camp to becoming a $1,000 a night call girl ($7,800 in today’s money) in New York City, running the biggest brother in the city the Vertical Whorehouse and being deported after being arrested in 1971.

That year, Robin Moore took Hollander’s dictations, came up with the title The Happy Hooker and Yvonne Dunleavy either transcribed the book or wrote it outright. Whatever the truth is, it sold 20 million copies and led to this movie.

Lynn Redgrave plays Xaviera and we follow her from her marriage to a henpecked man named Carl (Nicholas Pryor) to being the biggest madam in town before a corrupt cop — who once trying to assault her — busts her. And that cop is played by Richard Lynch.

Directed by Nicholas Sgarro (who mainly worked in TV) and written by William Richert (who wrote and directed Winter Kills), this movie has a title that promises shock and never really gets all that sleazy. This movie got beaten to the screen by a movie that does have that, 1974’s The Life and Times of Xaviera Hollander, which has an introduction by Hollander and has Samantha McLaren, Karen Stacy and John Holmes in its cast.

This does, however, have Vincent Schiavelli as a john.

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