Personal Services 1987 R CC

Amazon Instant Video

(22) IMDb 6.3/10
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From the director of several MONTY PYTHON classics comes a story of the rise of a madame of a suburban brothel that caters to older men, inspired by the real life experiences of Cynthia Payne.

Starring:
Julie Walters, Shirley Stelfox
Runtime:
1 hour 46 minutes

Personal Services

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Product Details

Genres Comedy
Director Terry Jones
Starring Julie Walters, Shirley Stelfox
Supporting actors Alec McCowen, Danny Schiller, Tim Woodward, Victoria Hardcastle, Dave Atkins, Ewan Hooper, Alan Bowyer, Anthony Carrick, Beverley Foster, Leon Lissek, Peter Cellier, Benjamin Whitrow, Stephen Lewis, John Shrapnel, Anthony Collin, Nigel Le Vaillant, Ron Pember, Arthur Whybrow
Studio Lionsgate
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Super romp of a movie with a serious under-tone.
N. Daniel
Its a great way to generate discussion in a BDSM organization or maybe even get you and your partner discussing things.
TammyJo Eckhart
While the characters were charming, the subject matter is not something I wish to explore.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Peter Shelley on August 23, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This film has a preface that it is fiction, and though the writer David Leland was inspired by a book by Cynthia Payne - the infamous British Madam - this is not the story of Cynthia Payne. The disclaimer is repeated at the end, and then we see that the production consultant was Cynthia Payne. Perhaps there was a legal necessity for Madam Payne and the film-makers to provide this escape clause, since the film's madam, named Christine Painter, was charged with possessing obscene material for gain and running a brothel. What makes this madam's brothel different is that Christine's clientele is gentlemen over 40 with a taste for kink, though the bondage and discipline we see is very mild. You would have to be extremely prudish to be offended by such behaviour. What makes these scenes so funny is how ordinary the customers are, which only reinforces the hypocrisy of the laws that consider prostitution a crime, and the insight the "tarts" have into men's sexuality. I loved the line "When the balls are full, the brain is empty", and the madam's argument that wives would never be wanting for anything as long as they kept their men "de-spunked". As Christine, Julie Walters delivers a brilliant comic performance. She is a no-nonsense uppity woman, constantly in motion, who has never cared for sex but enters into the business for economic reasons. The ads posted in a shop window are deliberately double entendre-d eg large chest for sale, french polishing available. Walters looks surprising voluptuous here though as she becomes more successful she starts to resemble a drag queen. When she attends her sister's wedding, there is a confrontation scene with her father, and we see what a fool he is for not appreciating her.Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ianphillips@uk.dreamcast.com on November 24, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
A witty, if sometimes oddly coy attempt by director Terry Jones to re-create the eventful career of "luncheon voucher madam" Cynthia Payne. The wonderful Julie Walters was an ideal choice to play the role of Christine Painter, a prostitute who always has her eye on bigger and better things. Julie Walters puts in an extremley effective and enduringly fascinating performance as she displays different dimensions to her character. Walters heart was in the right place and carries the film convincingly. The fast, witty scripts race along with Walters always sparkling in every scene and is given superb support from Shirley Stelfox as Shirley and Danny Schille in the role of transvestite, Dolly. Its jolly approach almost encapsulates the naughty seaside postcard humour of the Carry On films and infact the last half hour of the film where the police begin raiding the brothel Walters is running could easily be titled Carry On Whoring. Whilst the sad aspects of prostitution is merley glossed over the film on the whole stands as an excellent comedy, packed with superb performances and fast, furious scripts. Cheerfully British!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 17, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
My review will be brief which in no way reflects the enthusiasm I have for this film which brilliantly shows a side of the sexual scene heretofore unbeknownst to me. While presented with wit and humor, the unusual sexual preferences are also treated with dignity and a certain tenderness. Always excellent, Julie Walters (of "Educating Rita" fame) exceeds even herself as she cleverly portrays the marvelous madame in this apparently true story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 31, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
Loosely-based around the infamous London madam, Cynthia Payne, PERSONAL SERVICES is a delightfully-dirty comedy about "kinky people" and the woman who decides to meet their needs. Christine Painter (Julie Walters) is a single mother struggling to keep her son in a private school, working in a greasy cafe and renting out rooms to prostitutes to help keep up with the schoolfees. When one of her renters suddenly walks out of the job, Christine decides to replace her, catering to the fetishists and those who require a more `personal service'. She's joined by her best friend, dominatrix Shirley (Shirley Stelfox) and their maid Dolly (Danny Schiller) who hides her own little secret..

Director Terry Jones ("Monty Python and the Holy Grail") has a fantastic time with the assortment of characters and the screenplay by David Leland has some wonderful moments of comedy and pathos. As an actress and comedienne, Julie Walters never fails to deliver, and in her performance of Christine Painter she is marvellous. PERSONAL SERVICES is a comedy I heartily recommend.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TammyJo Eckhart VINE VOICE on January 15, 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
you'll enjoy the movie far more if you do. This movie is based on the real life of a prostitute turned professional dominant in England. I like that the main character is human and not a shallow prodom as is common in movies and tv shows claiming to show the kinky world. I think the movie shows the gritty reality of such work because we see her work her way up, adapting to a worldview that she did not have previously, and frankly providing a safe space for a variety of people to explore their sexuality and kinks. There aren't tons of beautiful bodies here to look at because that is not the reality of the scene community or even the prodomcommunity. Yet we the viewer feel like the main character grows to appreciate the kinks even if she never shares them; I never feel that she does regardless of the fate that she makes friends with several clients. Its a great way to generate discussion in a BDSM organization or maybe even get you and your partner discussing things.
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