Salon Kitty (1976)
Directed by: Tinto Brass
Written by: Antonio Colantuoni, Ennio De Concini, Louise Vincent, Maria Pia Fusco, Peter Norden, Tinto Brass
Starring: Helmut Berger, Ingrid Thulin, Teresa Ann Savoy
Salon Kitty is directed by Tinto Brass (Caligula) so expect lots of nudity. Set in Germany at the start of World War II, Salon Kitty is about a whore house, run by Madame Kitty, an experienced whore and business woman who loves nothing more than drinking champagne and singing songs with her girls and the clients at the Salon Kitty. When war is declared with Europe, Kitty is forced to move her beloved establishment to more private, upmarket territories, as ordered by SS officer Wallenberg.
Wallenburg trains twenty of the most beautiful staunch young Nazi women as prostitutes and puts them to work in the opulent brothel of Madame Kitty. But what exactly are Wallenburg’s motives?
I really enjoyed the musical numbers in this. It was quite refreshing and showed a life of joy in a very dark place in time. There is some light comic relief from a few characters, including a general with a sexual appetitite for phallic baguettes. Tinto Brass has his strength of creating laughter through the most sadistic of stories, the other being Caligula. Both these films have a controlling, fuelled temper due to the story. Although dark in some areas, given the Nazi theme, this film has character and emotion, showing the views of people directly and indirectly involved in the rise of the Third Reich, as well as those affected by it. It’s interesting to note that this film is based on a true story. Sadistic and pornographic yet merry and heartwarming in places, this film shows both sides of Nazi Germany and the characters within.