Blue Money (1972)

BLUE MONEY is a sleazy piece produced by Bob Chinn who’s more known for the Johnny Wadd films.  He also produced another favorite with Barbara Mills, THE LOVE GARDEN.  Director Alain Patrick stars as free spirited Jim in this meandering tale about maintaining one’s independence over perceived cultural mores.  Jim is a family man with his lovely wife Lisa (Barbara Mills credited as Barbara Caron here) and baby.  He’s also a pornographer under the intense surveille of the FBI who are hoping to catch him while filming.  Shooting and distributing pornography is targeted by the government and the feds are watching him and stinging almost everyone he and his partner, Mike (Jeff Gall), deal with.  To top it off many of those they deal with know the pornographers are over a barrel so they screw Jim and Mike out of a third–or more–of what is owed to them per film.

Jim wants to make it as a legitimate filmmaker but that dream has eluded him thus far.  He is now trying to get enough money together so he can repair a boat he is working on and take his wife and child off to live away from the city and all of its problems.  The problems begin wearing down on Jim as aspiring starlet Ingrid (Inga Maria) tries to seduce Jim eventually wearing him down until a sexual liaison on the boat.  Of course Lisa decides to visit Jim on the boat and she returns home hurt but letting him have his fun.  Even though he feels the Feds’ noose tightening he tries to coax Mike into going for broke.  Mike is hesitant so Jim goes it alone and gets his ass busted in the middle of a shoot.  Jim is stuck holding the bag and has to take stock of his life and decide what he wants his life to be from that point on.  The final scene may be a bit simplistic but it does work for this film.

Alain Patrick looks for all the world like a proto-Ashton Kutcher in this flick and he plays the part well.  Barbara Mills is always a sight for sore eyes.  She looks as good as usual and delivers a poignant and thoughtful performance of the hippie wife adjusting to motherhood.  She is able to convey such emotion without over emoting when she finds out she is a cuckquean.  The viewer can tell she is torn about what choice she should make.  Whether to leave Jim or stick with him especially now that he’s been arrested.  The film may even come across as a bit of cinema vérité when you realize it parallels Barbara’s life.  After she quit acting, Barbara went on to do make up for adult features.  Generally those produced by Bob Chinn and featuring her friend John Holmes.  The film even has a reference to the infamous discovery of John’s ummm….singular talent.  

BLUE MONEY is a fairly staid piece considering its subject matter.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nudity in the film and we do get to see Barbara’s stunning figure, but it is not done to excite or entice.  It mainly serves to illustrate the story as it moves along.  You do see some of Jim’s actors but it is done so in an almost clinical manner and the only scene which would have been salacious, Jim’s affair, doesn’t even happen on screen.  BLUE MONEY is a thoughtful look at a turbulent time by the people who were there.  It also features Mrs. Barbara Mills quite prominently and that is always a good thing.  Check it out.  

Screen caps from Ian Jane’s review of the Dangerous Babes Collection on Rock! Shock! Pop!.

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