Not including this very popular whore…
It’s a common misconception that the selling of the human body for sex is the oldest job in the world – more of that later – but, even so, Hollywood has given prostitutes much more screen time than, say, bread manufacturers, or the people who make lucky horse shoes, or even the clever throbbing brains who design silencers for guns. How do they do that? It’s a gun, but it’s silent – weird. Anyway, with all of these actors playing women/men of the night in mind, we thought we’d list our favourite movie prostitutes of all time. Julia Roberts didn’t make the list for Pretty Woman, which might come as an almighty shock. You can find out why here…
1. Patricia Arquette, True Romance
Arquette’s finest moment comes as an inexperienced call-girl who turns up to a kung-fu film to sex up Christian Slater, because his kindly comic book shop boss thought it would make for a nice birthday gesture. In this instance, the pair fall in love, she comes off the game, then they embark on a wild journey with a suitcase of cocaine. However, in real life, were your employer to send you a birthday prostitute, chances are your story would be considerably different, possibly involving a very tearful next-morning shower, and a silent resignation.
2. Jon Voight, Midnight Cowboy
For just $20/night, back in the 1960s you could have scored an evening of massage, ointments and sweaty lunges with a muscular Texan called Joe Buck. Or, at least, that’s according to this movie. Jon Voight plays the young male stud-for-hire – a big man, who insists on swanning around New York dressed like he’s just come to town from lassoing cattle, and awkwardly sharing a tent with a couple of guys up on Brokeback Mountain who kept checking their watches every thirty seconds, practically reciting train timetables. What was their problem?
3. Jamie Lee Curtis, Trading Places
For many teenage boys growing up in the 1980s, Jamie Lee Curtis’ breasts have been branded on the underside of their eyelids, thanks to the moment in Trading Places where gets them out. Both of them. In that split second, all dismissive thoughts of her just being another cash-hungry hooker called Ophelia, trying to snare herself a rich “John” who used to be a city boy but is now a vagrant, vanished. Completely vanished. We didn’t judge her. She was a woman. We were a man. And by the end of the movie, she’s not even selling intercourse for money any more. Yay!
4. Richard Gere, American Gigolo
There’s a message in this film. It’s saying something along the lines of how being a gigolo might look fancy, cool and hilariously sexual at first, but really, once you scratch the surface, and remove the oily thighs and tiny underpants, you’re just setting yourself up to be framed for murder. Come on, think about it. You are. So next time you’re squeezing into a tight pair of trunks intent on wooing a sassy older woman, stop and think for a second. Consider what you’re doing. Is this going to end up with you going to prison for murdering someone you had sex with for money, but didn’t actual kill? It’s a messy business. Don’t be a proz, guys. Don’t be a proz.
5. Kim Basinger, LA Confidential
Yes, Kim Basinger did some pretty wild things in that 9 1/2 Weeks with Mickey Rourke. They did it down a rainy alleyway at one point. And who could ever forget that scene where Mickey blindfolds his woman and raids the fridge, feeding her hot chillies, honey, a couple of mini scotch eggs, some leftover salmon, a steak bake, three swigs of Orangina, some cheese and onion Walkers, and a Rustler’s chicken burger? It was hot stuff. But it was also just a simple, tender expression of frenzied sexual passion from a couple of extremely horny adults. No money exchanged hands. Unlike in LA Confidential, where Basinger plays a kindly call girl mixed up in some very complicated police enquiries. As expected, she ends up with Russell Crowe, but not before having a quick one with Mike from Neighbours.
6. Rebecca De Mornay, Risky Business
While Elisabeth Shue was on around $500/hour in Leaving Las Vegas, Rebecca De Mornay was really feeling the pinch of the 1980s recession in Risky Business, where Tom Cruise was given the opportunity to dart around her body with his cat-like tongue for just $300 – for the WHOLE NIGHT. That equals at least two love makes with the future star of Top Gun. Over the course of the film, the pair – him a student, her a sex-for-money kind of gal – become friends, and eventually go into business, turning Cruise’s home into a brothel for the night. Making him the madam. Afterwards they do it on a train to celebrate. On the house!
7. Catherine Deneuve, Belle du Jour
As probably happens with so many bored housewives, Catherine Deneuve thought she’d spice up her day by going on the game during the afternoons. A sensible idea, you might think. Gets her out of the house. She’ll make new friends. But have you considered that some of those so-called friends might turn out to be weird stalky gangsters who end up shooting her husband and sending him into a coma? No you hadn’t. That’s what happens here. Or, at least, we think so. It’s all in bloody French.
8. River Phoenix, My Own Private Idaho
Ask anyone is the sex trade, and they will probably tell you that sleeping on the job is a bit of a no-no. Unless, they might continue, you’re a gay rent boy who looks exactly like River Phoenix. Then there might be room to make an exception. In this film, Phoenix plays a narcoleptic male trollop, who still seems to do pretty decent business, regardless that he can’t help falling to sleep when the nitty gritty starts. The whisper on the grapevine is that this film was based on Henry IV, Part One, by William Shakespeare. Yeah, didn’t really get that from the play, to be totally honest.
9. Kathleen Turner, Crimes of Passion
Like so many people working in the fashion industry, Kathleen Turner’s China Blue would wander the streets at night, blonde wig on, dressed like a hooker. Only, the clever twist here is that she wasn’t being subversive and ironic, she really was moonlighting as a nighttime prozzie! The soundtrack comes courtesy of Rick Wakeman and his magic synthesizer, and the film features a very harrowing death at the hands of a marital aid. On watching the film, any aspirations to grow up and become an escort pretty much vanished. For the most part.
10. Warren Beatty, The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone
In real life, Warren Beatty used to be legendary for his sexual hunger. He was even considered so vain, that he probably thought that famous song about being vain was about him. And here, he plays to type as a sexy young hooker making an old rich woman fall in love with him, even though he couldn’t give two monkey nuts about her feelings. Silly old crow. Cue lots of weeping, soul searching, and one very smug male prostitute lording it up in Italy.
11. Jane Fonda, Klute
Something about Jane Fonda’s voice could never quite sell her as a woman of the night. A street crawler. A floozy. It was an ill-fitting combination – that strong, educated vocal, and those small, clingy, prostitute outfits. It would provide a similar mind-freeze if Jordan opened her mouth to speak, and Gordon Brown’s rich Scottish textured voice came oozing out. Even so, Fonda still snagged an Oscar for her role as a wild sexual whirlwind helping Donald Sutherland track down a harlot killer. Hence The Academy was convinced. And they’d probably know.
12. Charlize Theron, Monster
Of course, on the flipside to movies like American Gigolo, where the creatures of the night don’t do any killing, here’s proof that some prostitutes can eventually develop a taste for blood. They graduate up from love bites, to frenchies, to gropes, to h-jays, to bee-joes, to the full shag. And then… to murder. It’s the story of a hideously withered old hooker called Aileen Wuornos, who decided to bring her paid-for sexual encounters to an almighty crescendo by getting stabby-stabby and shooty-shooty with her clients. It scooped a very surprising Oscar for Charlize Theron, who up until that point had only played parts that involved slowly walking towards a camera mouthing something about how beautiful she is.
13. Monica Bellucci, Malena
For those who didn’t realise, sex for money is an international trade. It’s not just an English-speaking fad. Some people even argue that it’s the oldest profession in the book, but those people are wrong. Everyone with a brain knows that much-needed recruitment consultants and celebrity journalists came first. Nitpicking aside, this is a sad tale that focusses on the downside of being a beautiful hooker, as Monica Bellucci becomes so lacking in funds that she has no choice but to entertain Nazi servicemen during the War, believing her husband to be dead. Only he isn’t! He’s totally alive. Cue rather awkward post-War conversations about what Monica got up to while he was away.
14. Paul Newman, Sweet Bird of Youth
Like so many sex workers, Paul Newman’s Chance Wayne just wanted to make it in showbusiness, then marry the love of his life. Instead he ended up working as a pool boy, which everyone knows is a euphemism for crack whore, and at one point he even gets really badly beaten up, just to hammer the point home that getting paid to do it with rich woman comes at a cost. Even if you look almost exactly like Paul Newman.
15. Elisabeth Shue, Leaving Las Vegas
As a rule of thumb, you’re going to get a lot of propositions from drunk guys if you go on the game – it’s the crazy fumes coming off that booze that’s making them feel all lightheaded and horny. And if they so happen to be drinking themselves to death in Las Vegas, you can bet your pretty little micro skirt and boob tube that they’ve got a pocketful of bread, sister. Something Elisabeth Shue – once spotted discussing log cabins with Tom Cruise in Cocktail – came to know pretty well, when she played a put-upon prostitute in Leaving Las Vegas, opposite Nicolas Cage, famous for being in The Rock, Con Air, and his part as “man in red sports car” in Never On Tuesday. Unfortunately, for those looking for an Ocean’s Eleven style Las Vegas romp, don’t bother – the only romps here seem to end with people crying.
16. Rob Schneider, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo
Of course, most of the movies so far have merely highlighted the downside of prostitution. But what about the good stuff? The laughs? The great jokes? The ridiculous amounts of slapstick opportunity? Not missing a trick, the celebrated American actor, Rob Schneider – famous for his near-continuous Billy Crystal impression – thought he’d latch on to the fun you could have if you were a man on the game. Here, his particular gigolo learns that sometimes women aren’t just demanding sex panthers, they are also real people. Real people, standing there with real insecurities, asking you to mock them. If they could just learn to laugh etc…
17. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Last Exit to Brooklyn
If a family member or a friend has expressed an interest in street walking, a wise move would be to sit them down in front of Last Exit to Brooklyn. They would learn two important life lessons. One would be to never sit down to watch Last Exit to Brooklyn ever again. And the other would be to throw away those fanciful notions of picking up Richard Gere and having one heck of a time teaching those po-faced shop assistants a thing or two about how to talk to a working prostitute, who is busily smearing her filthy hands all over their Versace dresses, being all hookerish. Here, Jennifer Jason Leigh puts in a great performance that we shall never see again. Ever.
18. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Basketball Diaries
Something we haven’t really touched on yet is the correlation between drug use and prostitution. One is often used to feed the other. It’s rare that you’ll find someone using drugs to feed their prostitution habit – although it does happen – but regularly, it’s the other way around. Such as in this film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a young man hooked on the dreaded horse, so much so that he’s taken to servicing slobbering elderly men in a nearby lavvy. He is saved by basketball… or something. We can’t really remember. Not the best film ever, that Basketball Diaries. He was better in Titanic, where he plays a non-prostitute having sex in cars for free.
19. Elizabeth Taylor, Butterfield 8
In modern tabloid-terms this is the story of Sophie Anderton – a cheerful young model who unwittingly finds herself basically being a call girl. The film came out in 1960, years before Pretty Woman made it great to be a hooker, so what starts with Liz Taylor swanning around town getting her groove on left, right and centre, ends with her dying in a terrible driving accident, involving a car, some unforeseen road works, and a broken whorish heart. The lesson here is not to be a prostitute. Or to pay more attention when your driving. One of the two.
20. Heather Graham, From Hell
To avoid becoming typecast after her role as a porn actress in Boogie Nights, Heather Graham took a part as a sassy prostitute in From Hell – a story about Johnny Depp channeling the voice of Ian Beale, whilst simultaneously attempting to decipher who Jack the Ripper might be. Graham plays Mary Kelly, a flame haired young street walker, who looks like she’s going to be on the Ripper‘s menu, but evades him at the last minute, when another girl gets it instead. Much to Johnny Depps utter relief and elation. Unfortunately, in real life, Mary Kelly wasn’t quite so lucky. So, a mixed message there.
That’s right, people dancing (not with cats)
Nothing quite lifts the soul like the sight of watching strangers dancing. In many cases these people are so wrapped up in their own personal performance that they really do appear to be “dancing like no one is watching”, which seems somehow ironic, being that not only are people actually staring, but they’ve also taken the trouble to film the whole debacle. Excellent friend and relative of the site, Matthew S, has been trawling through the popular film-it-yourself site Youtube, and he came up with these beauties. Some old, some new, some homemade, some professional. Enjoy…
1. Pissed-Up Breakdancing
2. Old Lady Street Dancing
3. Amazing First Dance
4. Dancing in Secret
5. Astonishing Boddypopper
6. Dancing at Nan’s House
7. Disco Diva
8. James Brown Dance Class
9. The Great Gene Kelly
10. Tom Cruise Humiliation Dance
Classic cartoon fun…
Don’t be surprised if Orange Wednesdays suddenly morph into Orange Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays, because at this rate, no one’s going to have a job, so cinema trips are likely to lose out in a toss up between film or food. Should that happen, then Hollywood will have roughly ten years left to prosper before decaying from the inside out and ending up a smelly ghost town, spattered with people who look like Tom Cruise and his wife feasting on squealing rats in a wheelie bin. It’s a strange, unusual time. Which is why we get stroked by the feathery hand of happiness whenever we hear about a wonderful bargain. Just this very week, friend of the site Johnny stumbled across a fantastic find in his local Protect The Kids (or some such). “I haven’t seen a good film in absolutely ages,” he confided over a Woodbine and a brandy, “so when I saw Akira in the local charity shop, I lurched forward, grabbed the thing, then bought it.” Sounds like standard shopping procedure. And for those who don’t know, Akira is probably the greatest Manga cartoon of them all, certainly the most famous one. So come on, Johnny, how much for this fantastic movie? “50p”
Here’s the trailer…
Darth Vader feels the Blues
For those of you wondering, Jennifer Lopez is 39 today, which means that it’s her birthday. Hence she’ll be much more demanding than usual – the staff will have to divert their eyes as they hand over their presents, all drinks will be served at a few degrees short of room temperature, and Tom Cruise and his beer swilling buddies will be over later to bust through a few cans and dance around to house music. That’s just how they do things in Hollywood. That’s the birthday vibe. So we thought we’d get her a gift, and after exactly nineteen minutes of very half-hearted conversation, it boiled down to a toss up between some of those wonder-knickers that make your bum look bigger, or a clip of Darth Vader that over three million people appear to have enjoyed, but we’d never once come across. That’s right, we’re pretty with it. In the end we got her both. Happy Birthday Your Lopezness!
Jimi Hendrix and Curtis Knight
Our favourite passive-aggressive actor, Tom Cruise, turns 47 today. That makes him nearly 50. How ridiculous that Maverick from Top Gun is nearly 50. Goose must be spinning in his grave. Anyway, he’s had quite a life with all the films, the curiously hollow-eyed girlfriends/wives, and the whole Scientology thing, so we thought we’d buy him a gift. To get into the mood we made up a story about aliens eating the souls of real people, and then got down to present talk, which boiled down to a toss up between a cold slap in the face or a clip of Hendrix singing a funky Birthday song. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Tom Cruise!
Janis Joplin, The Dick Cavett Show
And so Posh Spice – Mrs David Beckham – turns 35 today, and she will presumably find a quiet corner where she can reflect on her achievements. She made up a non-singing fifth of the world’s most magnificent nightmare, The Spice Girls, and then she spawned a super-race now known universally as the WAGs – you’ve seen them, with their ironed hair, and their plastic credit cards, loudly demanding salads. No doubt, she will one day add the final insult by joining the Cruises in their quest to vanquish the lizards that lurk deep in our souls. But until then, we still kneel in the presence, so we thought we should get her a gift. In a heated bar discussion, it all boiled down to a toss up between a Tron poster, or a brilliant clip of the marvelous Dick Cavett interviewing one of the world’s actual female superstars. In the end we got her both. Happy Birthday Victoria!
Oh, quite a few of you then…
Should your eyes still be hungry for more words, we have been doing odds and ends for the grown up gossip site, Hecklerspray. This week, we decided to shine a spotlight on a fistful of celebrities who look absolutely wonderful, but sound completely awful. You can read all about that here.
And for those totally sick of listening to Chris Moyles explaining how far he can jog, feel free to traipse along beside us on Twitter.
A classic scene from V
And so L. Ron Hubbard – the man behind Scientology – would have turned 98 today, had he not died in 1986. He’s given us so much: a great story about some lizards coming down from space to kill Jesus, the word Thetan, and he’s also provided a much needed spiritual home for legendary Hollywood heterosexuals Tom Cruise and John Travolta. We simply had to get him a decent present. After some serious auditing to weed out any non-Thetans, we discussed this long into the night, before it boiled down to a toss up between a great big blow up banana, or a clip from 80s sci-fi classic, V. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Your Most Thetanist!
Please, stop smiling, you maniac
In the current global climate, it’s important that we all learn to love one another. After all, it’s only a matter of time before we’re all huddled in underground sewers, shoulder to shoulder, hungry and singing love songs to stay awake. Hence, we thought it high time to work on forgiving the public faces that have stirred such bile in the pits of our stomachs and – on occasion – made us actually shout at the television. The kind, innocent television. It didn’t deserve that. First up, Tom Cruise.
He is, of course, an easy target. Numerous po-faced critics have already done a good dismantling job on him, citing his ridiculous religious beliefs – aliens bombed a volcano, now we’re all lizards? – or his weird wife, who was excellent in Dawson’s Creek, but now looks dead behind the eyes. But, we haven’t got a problem with any of those things. We can’t like Tom Cruise because he’s so aggressively friendly. Read more…
It’s a shoo-in for GMTV‘s Kate Garraway
There is much that people will do to stay in the limelight. Demi Moore famously took her clothes off when she was bulbous with child, Tom Cruise always makes a point of mingling around with the sweaty maniacs outside movie premieres. But those two have got nothing on Kate Garraway. Last year she made her mark by being a horrible ballroom dancer on Strictly Come Dancing, so in 2008 she was really going to have to pull something out of the bag. Hence she invited The Guardian Weekend to photograph her breastfeeding a goat/cow. Next year, we imagine she’ll probably do a poo in public.
These men did not make the cut…
Actors tend to get divided into two camps early on. You get the pristine stars with their squeaky clean images, questionable religious beliefs and arranged marriages. And then you get the real heroes – the men with bad skin, anger problems, strange methods of preparation, addictive personalities, worrying intensity. They tend to be the ones that we like the most, the ones who can turn a good film into a brilliant one. Here are four of the best:
1. Mickey Rourke
By far the coolest man ever, he has enjoyed two excellent careers. One as the great looking heartbreaker in films like Angel Heart, 9 1/2 Weeks, and The Pope of Greenwich Village (below), and another as the heavy set lunatic in Sin City, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and The Wrestler. He has never been bad in a film.
Children, ignore the bad man…
Much has been made about how Top Gun is secretly the story of two young homosexual gentlemen – Maverick and Ice Man – coming to terms with their feelings, but it really isn’t. It’s simply the tale of a spoilt young twat behaving like a total cock.
There is no doubting that as a fighter-pilot sky romp, few films come close to it, and when Goose shatters his skull on that aeroplane window before floating to his death, Interestment sobs hysterically every time. But the man at the helm, Tom Cruise, is so hard to like, and impressionable youngsters should be actively discouraged from watching this. After all, this is what they would learn:
1. It’s perfectly fine to turn up late to a first date, and tell your host to carry on cooking while you have a shower. Read more…