"An Exciting Step Forward into a New Realm of Adult Motion Pictures!" promised the ads for 1960's Girl of the Night and there was truth to the claim. The film was rare for its time, a sympathetic portrait of a young girl (Anne Francis in a strong performance) raised in a loveless home who drifts into a life of prostitution. Friendless and lonely, she's an easy target for her boozed-up madam (Kay Medford) and sadistic pimp (John Kerr)... until a compassionate doctor (Lloyd Nolan) helps her unlock the secrets of her past and gain a sense of self-worth. Based on Dr. Harold Greenwald's academic work The Call Girl: A Social and Psychoanalytical Study, this is a fascinating curio, a reminder of an era that was just coming to grips with the sordid side of reality.
Anne Francis stars as a young prostitute in search of a way out. She seeks out the help of a discreet psychiatrist (Lloyd Nolan), to find out why she has doomed herself to her sordid profession and why she can't seem to shake loose. At this point the film becomes a virtual monologue for Anne Francis, who is magnificent. GIRL OF THE NIGHT never quite rises above its exploitation trappings, but Ms. Francis' performance is worth the admission price alone. The film was advertised as a "case study", based on the book THE CALL GIRL by Dr. Harold Greenwald.
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