The Adam & Eve Club.
JUNGLE STREET (what a great and meaningless title that is!) is a low-rent British exploiter in the BEAT GIRL mode. It’s really about crime and theft and juvie violence, but by centering some of the narrative comings and goings on a strip club, the boys behind the camera get to stop the plot throw in some random sleaze every now and again.
And here they are… the girls of the Adam and Eve Club:
Note how, as in BEAT GIRL, the black girl reveals the most, with a generous line of… I don’t want to say “arse cleavage”, but the only English-language alternative is “bum crack”. Couldn’t we have a nicer term? Help me out here. Suggestions?
Faye Craig is actually credited as “Native Dancer”, which is pretty bad. I mean, native of where, Croydon? (Mind you, her other roles, according to the IMDb, were “Black Woman” and “Slave Girl”.
The eternal issue with stripper movies seems to be that the star, or “star”, or “girl with actual lines to say” — in this case, Jill Ireland (!), always reveals the least. This unbalances the drama-to-skin ratio in a disturbing way.
But JUNGLE STREET isn’t just gratuitous non-nudity. There’s a sliver of plot, involving young crims David McCallum and Kenneth Cope, both of whom are startlingly young and unformed. McCallum, who might have been the greatest Scottish movie icon of the ’60s if it hadn’t been for Connery, is slim to the point of invisibility. Not so much wiry as positively FRAIL, but endearing and vulnerable yet dangerous. One awkward moment: he’s shouting threats at the girl he loves, then suddenly kisses her full on the mouth. It’s one of those “God I hate you but DAMN you’re attractive” moments that usually work, but McCallum omits the customary “but” — he goes IMMEDIATELY from threatening to kissing, so that one fears he might actually start threatening her WHILE kissing her: “Mmmff mmfff or I’ll mmmfff mmmmff mmff,” possibly with a warning wag of the finger thrown in.
Kenneth Cope would soon put on a bit more chub around the face, transforming him from his weaselly appearance here into the handsome babyface Fiona fell in love with as a child. In TV detective/ghost show Randall and Hopkirk: Deceased, Cope played the spook in the white suit, and became Fiona’s first Celebrity Husband (she suggests a future post on the topic of Celeb Hubbies) in a psychic nuptial whose occurrence he is still unaware of to this day. A few years later he would be starring in low-rent ’70s sex romps like SHE’LL FOLLOW YOU ANYWHERE (actually, perhaps the CITIZEN KANE of British softcore shit cinema), for which he piled on the poundage and trained greasy sideburns to extrude from his follicles, the better to fill UK audiences with the shame and nausea which such films sought to evoke.