London In The Raw details
|Formats:||15 DVD, Blu-ray|
|Directors:||Norman Cohen, Arnold L. Miller|
London In The Raw
|Run time:||1 hour 16 minutes|
|Rental release:||25 May 2009|
Most helpful review
HmmmBy MovieNut (14 reviews) from Dumfries, Scotland , 18 Jul 2009
[Highly rated reviewer]This film was slightly amusing, (not sure if it's supposed to be or not) in a kind of creepy way. It takes a look at life in London in the 60's. My life is no better having watched this film. I have no idea why this was even on my rental list. If i had the chance to go back in time I'd remove it. One thing's for sure though, if this film is a true account of life in the 60's, I'm very glad I wasn't alive back then. Very odd, spoofy documentary type thing. Not sure what to make of it.
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Flawed But Fascinating Historical DocumentBy wilberforce (19 reviews) , 13 Sep 2013This is a somewhat-contrived but genuinely interesting period piece featuring swinging (and seedy) London that is worth watching for the flavour of the times, although some of the scenarios chosen are somewhat curious (for instance, a woman carves up a chicken to feed her cat, which is hardly a unique London experience unless the rest of the country could only afford Kit-e-kat), and others are dwelt on for too long (such as a Jewish vaudeville-style theatre event). Much of this jaunt around the citys social hotspots (some of which are not so hot) appears to be documentary/fly-on-the-wall style reportage footage - watch out for two buxom blondes (one in panto principal boy-style Beefeater garb) that I presume act as our tour guides for these various dens of iniquity, and for a brief appearance from Noel (son of Rex) Harrison as an MC. However, some of the more sensationalist scenes are obviously staged: one where a punter visits a prostitute in her room (shes got her name Trixie on the door, which kind of gives the game away), and probably those featuring illicit wearing-shades-in-the-dark drug addicts and meths-slurping vagrants as well. Despite that I certainly recommend it for all fans and students of the era. However, dont watch the main feature on the DVD: instead go to the special features to view the uncut/uncensored version, which has a little something extra (in more ways than one) and is probably the most fascinating part of the whole thing - it seems that its perfectly alright for various voluptuous ladies breasts to be exposed throughout this film but not those of a surgically-enhanced female impersonator!
Bonkers, but barely watchable.By Nevsky (1 review) from London , 29 Jan 2010This 1964 exploitation-doc directed by Arnold L. Miller and Norman Cohen is more of a ramshackle collage of various footage than the insightful treatise on London life that it is touted as. Sequences linger too long, and are certainly not as titillating or as 'raw' as you'd expect: it all starts with the upper crust (Harrow schoolboys, horse-riding tailoring), before stumbling through other slices of society, from beatnik amateur erotic photographers and life drawing classes, to variety clubs and themed restaurants.
It is all tied together by a droll narration from David Gell, which attempts to craft something of a narrative of a complex culture in flux but it's a little forced and, at times, a little xenophobic, with its focus on immigrant subcultures (bellydancing shows, Cypriot socials, German and Swedish exchange students, Black soul clubs). In comparison, British culture is suffering, especially after the closure of the music halls, and the rise of 'anti-social' pastimes like strip joints and revue shows. It's all definitely barmy, in particular a sequence involving startlingly graphic imagery of hair-replacement (and removal) treatment, and a stab at horrific hysteria as homeless drunks snaffle purple meths and druggies cruise the streets for a fix.
However, while the proceedings are doubtlessly interesting for social historians, London in the Raw probably won't keep the attention of most viewers.
(The other, shorter pieces on the disc, 'Pub', 'Strip', and 'Chelsea Bridge Boys', are equally valuable as historical documents.)
So good I've just bought itBy TristanWhite (307 reviews) from London, UK , 12 Dec 2009This is a brilliant documentary, I kid you not. A great snapshot of what London was like in the mid 60s. You don't want to rent this for tittilation, this is very mild stuff. But it's fascinating to see the London that my parents grew up in.
The main feature is superb, delving into everything from burlesque, transvestite clubs, clubs where people went to dance/meet with people from other races, etc. I loved it. I learned a lot. I learned that Boots in Piccaddilly Circus used to be somewhere where you could legally get your daily quaaludes. I learned that the current 'sketch burlesque' fad is nothing new. I learnt so much. Recommend++
As for the other features, there is an alternative version which is the same but it's worth scrolling a few minutes into it after seeing the main film to see how a peep show used to work. The short 'PUB' is a bit of a drag, but the one on 'CHELSEA BRIDGE BOYS' is essential viewing for any enthusiasts keen to see how the Mods and Rockers lived in the period. A final short, STRIP, is OK but not as good as the latter. But for the main feature, and for Chelsea Bridge Boys, this is an essential piece of history.
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A fascinating and a rather crisp looking documentary.By a customer from london , 20 Oct 2009
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS Show review anywayHideA fascinating and a rather crisp looking documentary. which details some aspects of what life in London was like in the early 1960s. You have seedy looking bars, plastic surgoens, burlesque performers and strippers, pubs and reconstructed footage of gentlemen getting 'mugged' in clip joints and tramps drinking meths! The film has been cleaned up and looks like it was only filmed yesterday! Because of the high focus of footage, framing and the colours of the film stock, it does make the film look amazing. It really captures a set moment in time and is a wonderful historical piece. This is a sort of a 'Mondo' film, but is less exploitive and shocking, then the Italian versions of this type of 'shockumentary' made in the 1960s.
a great look back in timeBy itstinks (703 reviews) from North of Reading , 25 Sep 2009The film starts with an observation on the good manners of the people in London and immediately you think 'things change'. Considering the film covers prostitutes, strippers and junkies there does seem to be a relaxed attitude to their behaviour and is all done in what seems a fairly innocent way. Especially interesting are the well spoken accents of some of the striptease girls and the fairly talentless entertainment in the East End pubs. The extras are pretty good as well.