Working Girls (1986) from Tuna

Working Girls (1986) is an indie "day in the life of" film about a relatively upscale New York whore house, and centers around Molly (Louise Smith) who works two days a week, is in a committed lesbian relationship with a black woman, is co-parenting her lovers daughter, is college educated, and is also a photographer. Keeping in mind that this is one of the better places for a "working girl" to be, it still doesn't come off as someplace you would want to work. They did their best to de-eroticize the film, and succeeded. As a matter of fact, the MPAA didn't mind the nudity, but was livid about a scene of Molly trying to insert her diaphragm 
Two other girls get naked in the film, Helen Nicholas and Marusia Zach. Amanda Goodwin showed some very skimpy panties. The women are mostly portrayed as people who think their job sucks. Three of the women quit, including first timer Mary (Nicholas), and an aging hooker has become less in demand and hard to get along with. The madam is the prissy bitch from hell, and has totally forgotten that before she owned her "dating service" she was also a working girl. 


see the main commentary

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.66:1

  • Full-length director commentary. with other crew

Leonard Maltin loves it, praising its honesty. Indeed, it is so realistic, it seems more like a documentary than fiction. The film was made for under $100K, and was shot in the writer/director's flat in New York on super 16. 

The DVD transfer has a feature length commentary that is worth listening to. 

The Critics Vote

  • Consensus: three or more stars. Ebert 3/4, Maltin 3.5/4

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.5. 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics - or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C+.

Return to the Movie House home page