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Rated PG
Copyright 1978 Briggs and Sullivan
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 9 September 2001

The Characters:  

  • Marlo Manners - Mae West! She is supposed to portray a seductive and sultry movie star, but her being well over eighty makes this more disturbing than anything else. To whoever invented soft focus lenses: thank you.
  • Sir Michael Barrington - Timothy Dalton! Guess who just married Marlo? Guess who got a vat of KY Jelly as a wedding present? Ew, ew, ew...
  • Dan Turner - Dom DeLuise! Marlo's manager and generally a nuisance.
  • Laslo - Ringo Starr! Previously married to Marlo (husband number four of six) and now inflicting untold damage on society by directing films.
  • Alexei - Tony Curtis! Russian leader who was also married to Marlo (number two) and still has an aching for her. His feverish pleading for nookie is a perfect example of unnecessary verbal imagery.
  • Vance Norton - George Hamilton! Mobster and husband number five; she thought him dead until he walked back into her life.
  • Marlo's First Husband - A trilobite. Extinct for two hundred and forty-five million years.
  • The World Leaders - The only one they took any care in resembling an actual person was Jimmy Carter. Who plays him? A guy with gray hair and prominent incisors. That's what I want for a president, a caricature.
  • The Cameos - Regis Philbin! Alice Cooper! (Yes, that "Alice Cooper.") Walter Pidgeon! Keith Moon! The list goes on!
  • The People Who Made This Movie - Beelzebub probably has three or four devils set aside for each of them.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

I've said many times that being boring is the worst crime a film can commit. Forget all those instances. I'm an idiot. The movie in question is mildly boring, but it caused more anguished wailing (from yours truly) than any other in memory. "Sextette" is a film that was not meant for mortal eyes. Bad comedies are painful, bad musicals are worse, and combining the two, then adding in liberal sexual innuendo involving a woman who is eighty-four or eighty-five years old is agony.

First problem here is the ages. Timothy is in his early thirties, while Mae looks like something you would find in an Egyptology exhibit. And, about once every three minutes, she makes some sort of licentious comment. I don't want to consider these two having sex at all, but they will not stop. You would think this would slack off after a while. No such luck. Marlo continues to suggest sexual contact with every male she meets (usually her husband, not always though) in every scene. It's hideous I tell you! HIDEOUS!

The Barringtons' honeymoon suite just happens to be in the same hotel that tense negotiations are being held between world leaders. Why talks are being held in a low security setting and what they are negotiating is a mystery. It's all just happening for the sake of Komedy (with a K, in deference to Ken Begg). An awful lot of nothing is going to happen over the next ninety minutes. Be glad that the movie ending is one of those things, because it's the only event that makes any sense.

In any case, it seems that fate (curse her silken skein) has caused Alexei to hold a critical voice in the peace/trade/whatever talks and he is being a royal jerk. Dan finds a mysterious man waiting for him in the elevator with instructions to put Marlo on the case. As fate would have it (I'm going to break that loom and stuff it down her throat) the Russian leader still has strong feelings for Marlo, especially certain parts of her anatomy, and has agreed to sign the accord if she will spend the afternoon with him. With the newest husband distracted by a chivalrous attempt to defend her honor that only results in some verbal missteps, the old lady is free to save the free world from... ...something bad.

Running concurrent is Dan's attempt to destroy his client's memoirs. Marlo has been keeping an audio diary for years and it includes all sorts of dirt on her various husbands and lovers (including Uncle Sam). The mere existence of a festering worm pile, certain to eventual discovery by some lucky reporter, scares the agent to death. He takes the tape downstairs to the kitchen and tosses it in an oven. Surprises of surprises, a cake is delivered to Alexei's room and the tape is inside. Marlo makes up some nonsense story about the dessert going right to his hips and convinces him to toss it out the window. A passing dog picks up the cassette, then drops it where a member of the U.S. Track and Field team is practicing the javelin throw. See it coming don't you? Yes, he skewers the tape and somehow doesn't notice it on the end of his spear. Oracles and prophets are miserable for many reasons; this movie is one of them.

Michael is now running damage control to cover up the pitfalls in the English language he fell into. Seems that due to a misunderstanding over the word "gay" the newspapers think he's a homosexual. With great care he explains the truth of the matter; now they think he's bisexual. Hahaha! It's funny! Get it? KILL ME.

That confounded tape is still floating around and pops up again when Marlo visits the athletes in their training center. She's mercifully distracted from making suggestive comments to the men for nearly thirty seconds as it bounces off a trampoline and into a stone lion's mouth (located several stories up the building). Baked, chewed on by a dog, and then hit dead center with a javelin; this thing should no longer be part of the plot. Some poor schmuck taking part in a quarterly "Adopt a Highway" cleanup should be cursing as he gathers up the un-spooled remains.

The Englishman is perturbed with all the interruptions his new wife is allowing on their first night together. For some reason he likes being alone with the monster from beyond time as it struts around the room (well, stands there and tries not to fall over) with fluffy boas and poses in front of three mirrors. Do you know what that means? Including her reflections, there are four of her! Something snapped in my brain at this point and I lost consciousness, awakening to find Katie had thoughtfully paused the movie. I took off my belt and thanked her profusely.

While proving himself to be a manly man, vice a man's man, Lord Barrington finds out about the tape and its present location in the battlements. Luck is with him and he retrieves it before Vance and Dan arrive. They are intent on listening to the diary for another reason: Marlo thought the gangster was dead and cannot remember if she divorced him or not. Only by replaying her memoirs can the crooks (a cheap shot against mobsters there) determine if she now has two husbands. Anything to advance the plot and reach closure at this point. Really, I mean it.

Celebrations in the hotel's special United Nations room are interrupted when Marlo, Vance, and the cassette end up there together. For some reason the leaders of every worthwhile nation want to hear the movie star's diary played. Hey, it's sad enough that her life fits on a sixty-minute tape, what more could you want? Al Capone Jr. decides to hold up the world (blame him for this analogy) and grabs the tape. He is thwarted when the crowd parts to reveal the Godfather. What the heck is he doing there? Boy, this movie just threw every scrap of believability it had out the window.

I'd tell you that the movie had a happy ending, but that only applies to the fictional characters (if having sex with an eighty-five year-old woman qualifies as "happy"). The viewer's side of the experience is something far less pleasant.

I am now going to get roaring drunk. Thank you and goodnight.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Negotiations for lasting world peace are held at public hotels.
  • Some things do not look right superimposed over Old Glory. Moscow is one of these things.
  • British people are uneducated about homosexual lingo.
  • "Shake it, don't break it" has a special meaning for grandmothers.
  • Expensive champagne is sealed with foil.
  • Twenty-one is the age of consent.
  • Women: you should divorce your deceased husband before getting married again. Just in case.
  • Arabs and Israelis should not hold potluck dinners together.
  • Alice Cooper looks awfully gay without his makeup.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 6 mins - She probably needs an oxygen tank even when she's not "exercising."
  • 12 mins - Arrgghhh! Stop making sexual comments! Arrgghhh! No! Now he's doing it too!
  • 26 mins - Mae West touching her breasts (I've gone blind at this point).
  • 27 mins - At least I still have my hearing... ...noooooo! (Mae and Timothy singing "Love Will Keep Us Together.")
  • 36 mins - Sight and sound returning to my body.
  • 38 mins - The movie is still playing and Dom DeLuise is singing! Please kill me.
  • 54 mins - What sort of sicko are you that a woman that old gives you an erection?
  • 67 mins - He hits the pavement, dying instantly! Hoora... ...what? You cheating @%&*@! of a movie!
  • 78 mins - I wonder how many sleeping pills we have in the house?
  • 85 mins - Please make it stop!


  • Michael: "And, as for your manager, he really rubs me the wrong way."
    Marlo: "Don't worry honey; I'll rub you the right way."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note sextette1.wav Michael: "I feel like the first man who landed on the moon."
Marlo: "In a few minutes you're gonna be the first man who landed on Venus. Mmmm!"
Green Music Note sextette2.wav Michael: "Collecting husbands seems to be a hobby of yours, like collecting stamps or books."
Marlo: "Well, marriage is like a book, the whole story takes place between the covers."
Green Music Note sextette3.wav Laslo: "Forgive I should mention it. You know when your wife was my wife? Your wife was some wife. I only hope my wife is your wife like your wife was my wife."
Green Music Note sextette4.wav Dan: "Sir Michael is one of England's top secret agents. He's bigger than 007!"
Marlo: "I never got a chance to take his measurements!"
Dan: "Oh!"
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipsextette1.mpg - 3.6m
By clicking on this video you agree to waive of any and all responsibility. Including, but not limited to: physical, mental, and spiritual suffering.

May God have mercy upon your soul.

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