Prudence and the Pill (1968)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Farce, Sex Comedy  |   Run Time - 92 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Considered rather shocking when originally released, Prudence and the Pill is nowadays on the tame side -- although the manner in which people blithely substitute placebos for birth control pills is still a bit disconcerting. Prudence would have perhaps have been a better film if either of its two directors had been with the film from start to finish, but truth to tell, neither Fielder Cook nor Ronald Neame are really inspired choices for this type of picture. Someone with a good deal more mischief is needed, who can take advantage of the black edge that laces the film; without that advantage, the edge is dulled and what could potentially come across as blackly entertaining comes across as rather smarmy. Matters are not helped by the fact that the screenplay itself is simply not very funny, but the haphazard direction mutes even those moments that do produce amusement. The film also feels as if large portions have been cut from it, rather sloppily. Fortunately, Prudence does have some stellar talent in its cast, with David Niven and Deborah Kerr once again giving their considerable all to material that is beneath them. Robert Coote and Joyce Redman also provide some good moments; Edith Evans comes off a bit less well, although some of this effect may be due to unfortunate editing of her role.