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Once is Not Enough

4.0 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A has-been Hollywood producer marries a rich woman to support his wild daughter's lifestyle.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Kirk Douglas, Alexis Smith, David Janssen, George Hamilton, Melina Mercouri
  • Directors: Guy Green
  • Writers: Jacqueline Susann, Julius J. Epstein
  • Producers: Howard W. Koch
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: September 28, 2010
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003V4JU0I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,712 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Once is Not Enough" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on November 14, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
Deborah Raffin is really worth seeing in ONCE IS NOT ENOUGH. I remember seeing this film when it first came out and thinking it ghastly, but now when I watch it, I'm in awe of Raffin. Okay, she's not much of an actress and will never give Meryl Streep any competition, but, well, I sound like a perve but she just exudes youth and beauty in the part of January Wayne, and her coltish, extremely thin clotheshorseness is so endearing, even when she gives out one of her questionable line readings I just love her.

She's great when she's obviously in love with her own father (but she doesn't realize this until the very last minute of the movie, and instead of a psychic shock, she evinces only a typically cat-like smile, as though a pleasant memory were running somewhere in her mind). I love her playing the newbie to Brenda Vaccaro's Manhattan media slut. She can't believe how vulgar Vaccaro is, and yet she seems to delight in it, Vaccaro's sex talk brings her alive in a way nothing else seems to.

I love her as the stepdaughter of the jealous, Lesbian stepmother "Dee," played by Alexis Smith with a small arsenal of oversized, elegant coups de theatre. Smith is ludicrous as Dee, and even though she not's young like Raffin, you manage to appreciate her performance in just the same way. It's as if both Smith and Raffin believe somehow they're acting in a Eugene O'Neill drama--they're giving it everything they've got, which in Raffin's case is "not much" and in Smith's case it's "everything but the kitchen sink." All Kirk Douglas can do under the circumstances is duck.

It sounds as though I'm ascribing an element of camp to these two performances, but I'm not.
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Format: VHS Tape
Although I wasn't as disappointed with this film as the previous reviewer, it was quite a letdown after reading the book. The "vitamin shots" and other assorted goodies (gang rapes, Karla's secret retarded daughter, etc.) that didn't make it on screen severely lower the scandal and glamour level of this film, but the exotic locales and Deborah Raffin's innate charm are undeniably great. It's also fun to see some of the retro kitschy sets (especially George Hamilton's swingin' bachelor pad), and the disco sequence. The film's saving grace is definitely Brenda Vacarro as the unabashed man hungry corporate sleep around Linda Riggs. Her Oscar nomination for the role was well deserved, and I am disappointed she didn't win. The bottom line, however, is this: NOT ENOUGH DRUGS!!!
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This movie was ahead of its time. It touched on a role reversal of a man relying on a rich woman and sacrifices he made for his only daughter. This movie also touched on bisexuality of a wealthy woman that could have anything she wanted but choose to maintain the status quo. This movie shows the importance of money and status; as well as, the pressure to maintain a high lifestyle. The role of African Americans in films has advanced but great to see the black maid in this film treated like a close trusted friend. All of the actors did a brilliant job and this awesome movie will live on forever. RIP Deborah Raffin (January), Alexis Smith (Deidre), David Janssen (Tom Colt), Lillian Randolph (Mabel), & Melina Mercouri (Carla...Deidre's lesbian lover). Kirk Douglas (Mike), Brenda Vaccaro (Linda), and Gary Conway (Hugh) are still blessed to be here.
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Format: DVD
In the lexicon of bad film, there is surely a top spot for the delightfully skewed adaptation of Jacqueline Susann's "Valley of the Dolls." "Valley" is perhaps the most famous side of Susann's literary "trash trilogy" which includes "Love Machine" and "Once Is Not Enough." All the novels were fabulously popular in their day and all have been produced into movies with varying degrees of success. Sublimely ridiculous, "Valley" is beloved as a camp classic for so many terrific reasons. If possible, the film of "Love Machine" was even more preposterous--and much more of a "love it" or hate it" proposition. And then we've got "Once Is Not Enough." Easily the most subdued of the film adaptations, "Once" doesn't actually benefit from this distinction.

The film starts out promisingly enough with Kirk Douglas as a down and out filmmaker willing to do anything for the light and love of his life, his daughter January (Deborah Raffin, alternately charming and annoying). He marries a wealthy acquaintance, the terrific Alexis Smith, in a business arrangement to secure his daughter's future. Disturbingly, Douglas and Raffin are as close and co-dependent as any father-daughter team can be. A smarmy George Hamilton is on hand as a possible suitor for Raffin, and a man hungry Brenda Vaccaro camps it up as Raffin's friend and employer (although for the life of me, I could never figure out why she was getting a paycheck). I genuinely enjoyed the beginning and set-up of "Once Is Not Enough," but when Raffin meets David Janssen--its all over. Raffin romances Janssen (an older man--she does have daddy issues--that despises her father) and the film turns a bit too earnest for its own good.

I didn't hate "Once Is Not Enough.
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