Three Daughters (1986) is a hard core
sex film, a coming of age story, a tool used by many sex therapists
as an example of normal, healthy sexuality and one of my ten
favorite hard core films from the Golden and Classic eras.
My ten favorites, in no particular order, are:
Debbie Does Dallas (1978)
The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1976)
Behind the Green Door (1972)
Love You (1980)
The Devil in Miss Jones (1973)
Three Daughters (1986)
Talk Dirty To Me (1980)
The Grafenberg Spot (1985)
Coffee, Tea or Me (1984)
The only one not available on DVD now is John Derek's Love You.
Taboo, The Devil in Miss Jones, and Talk Dirty to Me all have good
sequels. Of course, this list represents my personal taste, and they
all have several things in common. I like some story with my
celluloid boning, and they all have one. They plots are either
sensitive or humorous, and are all respectful of women. Even Behind
the Green Door, which, on the surface, is a kidnap and gang rape,
actually plays to a common female fantasy, that of being helpless,
and tenderly ravaged for hours. Which brings us back to Three
In 1986, Candida Royale retired from performing in hard core films,
and decided to make some of her own, but with a huge difference from
the norm. She wanted to create hard core films that portrayed
healthy consensual sex in a way that would serve as a positive role
model, and appeal to women. In researching for the screenplay, she
read a lot of women's erotica, and noticed that a frequent theme was
the perfect first time, so that became the basis for her script. She
eventually settled on a family with three daughters during Spring
Break. The oldest is visiting from her great London job, and seeing
her boyfriend, who has proposed. She is torn, as she loves him, but
also loves her London job.
The second is a promising composer and pianist home from the music
conservatory. Her parents worry because she seems to have no
interest other than the piano, but she has been secretly having sex
with her piano tutor. The last and youngest daughter is Heather, a
High School senior, and still a gangly teenager, but becoming
interested in sex.
First, Heather catches her sister and the tutor gong at it on the
shag carpet (the pun was unintentional). That night, she pulls out
her hidden stash of sex books and a hand mirror, and explores her
privates, resulting in her first orgasm. The next day, she sees her
sister trying on lingerie and getting ready for her boyfriend to
visit. Heather promises to keep her secret from mom and dad, in
exchange for permission to try some of the sexy under-things. We
see the sister with her fiancÚ, obviously in love, and engaging in
more imaginative sex play, including tying each other up, doggy
style, etc. The punch line for that scene is when he tells her he is
willing to move to London to marry her, erasing her problem. This
leads to a shower scene with Heather, where she fantasizes while she
soaps her body.
The now engaged couple are to announce the wedding plans at dinner
with her fiancÚ, the whole family, and one of the fiancÚ's friends,
who was intended to get the middle daughter away from the piano.
She, of course, is not interested, but young Heather is more than
interested, and starts putting the moves on him. The next day,
Heather invites her best friend, who graduated the previous year and
is now a sexually active college student, for some girl talk. Her
friend suggests that they practice sex, so Heather will know what to
do when the time comes. The friend will play the boy.
Heather does succeed in attracting the guy, and they start dating.
Eventually, she is ready to get intimate with him. Meanwhile, mom
and dad find themselves alone in the house for the first time in 20
plus years, and take advantage of it having sex in the attic. Mom
comments, it is great to be able to make noise again.
Heather's first time is everything Candida (and every woman) wanted
it to be.
Candida cast the female roles first
because that was the toughest part of the casting. She needed women
who looked young enough that would be believable as sisters. She
turned to her old friend, Gloria Leonard, to play the mom, and this
was the last time Leonard did a hard core sex scene. The part of the
pianist sister was played by a young Israeli law student, Nina Preta,
who is probably practicing law somewhere in Israel now. The oldest
sister was played by Annette Heinz, who only has a few other
credits. Carol Cross, a fairly prolific porn actress, played the
girlfriend. The crucial part of Heather went to Siobhan Hunter
(pronounced sheh-bon, like chiffon, but b rather than f).
Siobhan had a huge porn career, and has more acting ability than the
rest of the cast combined. She nailed the transformation from girl
to woman, and the climactic first sex scene was amazing. Part of the
reason for the believable sex scenes was that Candida ask the
actresses whom they would like to work with, thus each of the cast
was having sex with someone they actually wanted to have sex with.
When they were ready to shoot the final sex scene, Siobhan broke
into tears. It seems that her real first time was not a good
experience. In fact, it was a near rape, and happened in a room the
same color as the one they were shooting in. Candida convinced her
to use this scene as a way to relive her first time, substituting
good memories for the bad ones. When the scene was over, Siobhan was
actually crying from happiness, and the entire crew was silent and
frozen in place, not believing the honesty and power of what they
had just filmed.
Candida didn't use any monster shots (genital closeups) or money
shots (cumming outside). She showed either full bodies, or head
shots to catch the expressions. This has been far and away her most
successful film for sales, and has earned her a position as a
sexuality researcher. She is frequently used as a guest lecturer,
and this film is often prescribed by sex therapists. IMDb readers
have it at 7.0. which is unusually high for a hard core sex film.
This was an era when the porn industry was moving closer to real
films. Unfortunately, it takes performers who can do more than bone,
a real budget, and more than a two hour shooting schedule to make a
real film, and the money is there for the gonzo boning material they
are churning out now. Some recent indies, however, are including
some hard core scenes in real films, which is encouraging. My hope
is that we will finally get a great film, that also includes some
great sex scenes. By our system, a hard core film can be more than a
C+, but this one comes very close.