Score - Lilith Likes to Watch

Title: Score
Starring: Claire Wilbur, Lynn Lowry, Gerald Grant, Casey Donovan
Director: Radley Metzger
Synopsis: In the mythical European city of Leisure, married couple Jack and Elvira have an ongoing bet regarding who can seduce whom. This comes up in the wake of a swinging night with a couple of tourists picked up via a newspaper ad. Elvira, a self-professed “sexual snob” has bet she can seduce newlywed Betsy, married to handsome marine biologist Eddie. If she fails by midnight, then Jack gets to seduce Eddie. - Via
Lilith's Notes: This has been on my list longer, perhaps, than this blog has been a thing.
Watch: Amazon | PinkLabel.TV | Adult Empire

"You are a sexual snob."

First off I want to acknowledge that at the time of writing this review, the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike is ongoing. We here at Lilith Likes to Watch are not under any deals that may conflict with the strike. Currently the Guilds are not asking for a boycott so in light of these facts, we have decided to continue to review films, but will consider the mainstream films we review in a more critical light. We support the strike and encourage you to see how you can get involved.

It feels like it's been too long since we have delved into the classics, and what better return than with the talented trash person, Radley Metzger?

Score has been on my to watch list for oh, so long, but I'm not sure what I expected. What I was given was a maze wrapped in a riddle, stuffed into a finger trap.

But that's appropriate because you like to play games, sometimes, right? I like to play games.

So do Elvira (played by Claire Wilbur) and Jack (played by Gerald Grant). Every so often they wager which one of the can fuck whom and by when. Tonight they have their sights set on Betsy (played by Lynn Lowry) and Eddie (played by Casey Donovan). They have to score with these two to, well, settle the score.

This has a surprising amount of dialogue for a skin-flick. Then again, perhaps I've been away from the golden age for too long. But no actual sex happens until about 20 minutes into the film, save for one tryst that doesn't even last 30 seconds. That's unusual and not what I expected, especially when compared to other Metzger films.

All this interpersonal communication really gives respect to anticipation, to the build up and edging of it all. The main event, the score, will, ideally, be all the more fulfilling.

And then finally we get to the main event and after all that we get…simulated sex.

You alright Mr. Metzger? Off your game a little bit? I expected harder cores from the man who brought us Misty Beethoven and The Image.

The faux-fraternizing is very distracting, especially where it appears that Elvira is using a strap on on Betsy, and she's just sort of hula-hooping her hips this way and that. It's awkward, aimless, and not the least bit convincing.

As the movie roles on, a hidden desire begins to make itself known. The women are filmed in this room of mirrors, which I guess is meant to be alluring but just distorts their reflections in this sort of uncanny valley way that makes the shots unsettling.

A similar set piece was used three years earlier in the Sly Stallone vehicle The Italian Stallion, and this is nearly as softcore as that film. Was it an inspiration for Score? We may never know.

In contrast to the poorly choreographed, wiggly women, Jack and Eddie get some actual action, and some artistry to go along with it.

Jack plays a film of male eroticism for Eddie, and the projector is pointed at Eddie's clothed crotch while the film shows nudity. It's artsy and I love it.

Then the men go down on one another. With authenticity.

It was then that we devised a theory that what Metzger actually wanted to do was film a gay movie and the ladies were just sexy Trojan horses.

The women are filmed with an image-warping mirror that disfigures them while the men get fun time with film projection and double exposure tricks.

The women simply press their mouths together when they kiss as the camera focuses up their nostrils while the men's tongues dance and explore in profile.

The women hide behind limbs and rock back and forth in a facsimile of intimacy while the men lovingly jerk and suck each other off.

When it comes to feminine wiles, we barely see anything below the belt.

It's like he had to pitch the film as a scandalous tale of bisexuality to get it out into the world.

You thought you could sneak your true intentions past me, Metzger? Little did you know that 50 years after this film's release some know-nothing lady on the internet would come across the movie and see if for what it truly yearned to be.

Overall it's a fun time, if surprisingly low key. It's pretty, with great locations and set design and the ladies are beautiful in that early 70s way. Despite rumours of certain cast members not getting along, everyone has amazing chemistry and I very much wanted them all to hook up and explore their personal liberations and desires.

Maybe this was viewed as daring and transgressive in the 70s. But by today’s standards, Score feels like a scheme, either a plot to slip past laws, or a way to get more gay content in front of audiences. Both of which are commendable.

Best Moment: Despite my snark, it is beautifully shot and is soaked in that classic golden age vibe.

Worst Moment: It couldn't decide if it was hardcore or not and despite being hailed as a major win for Bi representation, it focused entirely on the male coupling and let the women be hazy arty shots


Until next time, my voracious voyeurs. I’m Lilith, and I’m always watching.

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