Respectable: The Mary Millington Story online movie review - Queen Of The Blues
Showing on Netflix, this is an informative documentary for those who do not know much about the 1970s British pornographic film industry and its one time leading light who lived every cliché before dying.
I had heard of Mary Millington growing up in the 1970s because she got a lot of coverage in the newspapers that were published on Sundays, and her films were always advertised in the fronts of cinemas.
The films themselves when seen on tape in the 1980s were rather bland unfunny smut fests than full on sex films. If it wasn't for magazines like Whitehouse and Playbirds being passed round school playgrounds the Mary Millington of porn legend would have been long forgotten.
The film was obviously made by a film maker who likes his subject and keeps the tone of the film positive and zips through her life with stories and photographs of Mary Millington from her child hood through to her tragic suicide. There are lots of talking heads who were there during this time including the man who turned Mary into a publishing house and made David Sullivan a millionaire many times over.
The documentary contains many clips from Marys rather explicit back catalogue and though not full on sex is displayed it manages to convey what her films were like outside of her soft porn career. Be warned there are brief glimpses of fellatio, rutting and girl on girl action from her porn loops and brief snippets and covers from the magazines she appeared in.
It's interesting to see how mainstream celebrity at the time led to her downfall, and brought her into the world of cocaine and high living, whilst also battling depression. Even in her early days according to the film she was earning £200 a film (worth £4,000 in today's earnings), those 8mm loops cost £1,000 to make and could sell 300,000 units across Europe. Millington also appeared in porn magazines during the 1970s and these could sell upwards of a million copies per issue.
This film is worth watching and it handles its subject with respect