How to Seduce a Woman (1974)

R | 106 or 110 mins | Comedy | 1974

Director:

Charles Martin

Writer:

Charles Martin

Producer:

Charles Martin

Cinematographer:

William H. Cronjager

Production Designer:

Jack Senter

Production Company:

Forward Films, Inc.
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HISTORY

       A 21 Nov 1972 DV item announced that principal photography was set to begin 27 Nov 1972 at Goldwyn Studios in Los Angeles, CA. The project was the first of a ten-film slate to be funded by Forward Films Inc. over five years, and reportedly cost $1 million. In a 31 Mar 1973 interview with QP Herald, writer-producer-director Charles Martin noted that the budget went from $500,000 to $975,000 after he determined from early rushes that the project was on par with major studio fare and set out to increase the contributions of existing investors.
       According to a 3 Dec 1973 Box item, in conjunction with the late Jan 1974 theatrical release of How To Seduce a Woman, the Feb 1974 issue of Playboy would feature the actresses who starred in the film.
       Although Zsa Zsa Gabor was initially cast in the role of the female psychiatrist, she was fired and replaced during production, according to a 31 Jan 1973 LAT column by Joyce Haber. Martin stated that Gabor had demanded rewrites to the script, showed up late to set, and complained about her wardrobe, costing the production “‘between $50,000 and $80,000.’” As reported in a 16 Feb 1973 DV news brief, Gabor sued Forward Films for $1.5 million, accusing the company of “breach of contract” and claiming that Martin made her use “‘lurid and vulgar language.’” Forward countersued for $3.5 million in damages, arguing that Gabor had approved the script before filming. The outcome of the lawsuits could not be determined as of the writing of this Note.

      The actor who played “Guido” ... More Less

       A 21 Nov 1972 DV item announced that principal photography was set to begin 27 Nov 1972 at Goldwyn Studios in Los Angeles, CA. The project was the first of a ten-film slate to be funded by Forward Films Inc. over five years, and reportedly cost $1 million. In a 31 Mar 1973 interview with QP Herald, writer-producer-director Charles Martin noted that the budget went from $500,000 to $975,000 after he determined from early rushes that the project was on par with major studio fare and set out to increase the contributions of existing investors.
       According to a 3 Dec 1973 Box item, in conjunction with the late Jan 1974 theatrical release of How To Seduce a Woman, the Feb 1974 issue of Playboy would feature the actresses who starred in the film.
       Although Zsa Zsa Gabor was initially cast in the role of the female psychiatrist, she was fired and replaced during production, according to a 31 Jan 1973 LAT column by Joyce Haber. Martin stated that Gabor had demanded rewrites to the script, showed up late to set, and complained about her wardrobe, costing the production “‘between $50,000 and $80,000.’” As reported in a 16 Feb 1973 DV news brief, Gabor sued Forward Films for $1.5 million, accusing the company of “breach of contract” and claiming that Martin made her use “‘lurid and vulgar language.’” Forward countersued for $3.5 million in damages, arguing that Gabor had approved the script before filming. The outcome of the lawsuits could not be determined as of the writing of this Note.

      The actor who played “Guido” is credited as “Joseph Alfasa” in opening credits and “Joe Alfasa” in the end credits.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
3 Dec 1973.
---
Box Office
28 Jan 1974
p. 4659.
Daily Variety
21 Nov 1972.
---
Daily Variety
22 Nov 1972.
---
Daily Variety
30 Nov 1972.
---
Daily Variety
26 Dec 1972.
---
Daily Variety
16 Feb 1973.
---
Daily Variety
6 Jun 1973.
---
Daily Variety
23 Jan 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Oct 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Dec 1972
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Dec 1972
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
31 May 1973.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 1973.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jan 1974
p. 3, 10.
LAHExam
28 Nov 1972
Section C, p. 4.
LAHExam
23 Jan 1974.
---
Los Angeles Times
31 Jan 1973
Section G, p. 9.
QP Herald
31 Mar 1973.
---
Variety
30 Jan 1974
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Forward Films Presents
A Charles Martin Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Still photog
Key grip
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Original drawings by
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
COSTUMES
Men's cost
Women's cost
MUSIC
Mus supv
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Title visualization
Titles, opticals & processing by
DANCE
Miss Tompkins' dance choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod asst
SOURCES
SONGS
"Song From How To Seduce A Woman," music Stu Phillips, lyric Arthur Hamilton, sung by Johnny Prophet.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
1974
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 23 January 1974
Production Date:
27 November--late December 1972 in Los Angeles, CA
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Eastmancolor
Duration(in mins):
106 or 110
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At a restaurant in Los Angeles, California, four friends named Estelle, Bill, Jim, and Mary, tell writer James Bacon about a notorious womanizer named Luther Lucas. The four explain that they were part of Luther’s “seduction squad,” helping him find attractive women. Estelle recalls the time that Bill spotted Ramona Kent, a bank teller, and Luther set out to sleep with her. Sometime earlier, Luther goes to Ramona’s bank window and asks to make a deposit of $10,000. He flirts with Ramona and invites her to a party at his apartment that evening, but she declines, explaining that she does not date bank customers. In turn, Luther promises to withdraw his account and informs Ramona that Greta Garbo, her favorite actress, will be at the party. That evening, Ramona goes to Luther’s apartment and meets the seduction squad, who are posing as British socialites. Estelle introduces herself as “Greta Garbo,” but admits she is not the famous actress. Hoping to impress his new guest, Luther sits down at a player piano and pretends to play a classical tune. Making up excuses, Luther’s seduction squad leaves abruptly, as does his housekeeper, Matilda. Left alone with Ramona, Luther announces that he does not plan to seduce her. Sitting down to dinner, Ramona says she has recently put a down payment on an unborn horse and plans to train it as a racing horse. Luther claims to have a knack for horse betting and agrees to go to the racetrack the next day with Ramona and her friend, Sally. There, he buys two tickets for each horse in the race so he cannot lose. When one horse wins, he hands over the ... +


At a restaurant in Los Angeles, California, four friends named Estelle, Bill, Jim, and Mary, tell writer James Bacon about a notorious womanizer named Luther Lucas. The four explain that they were part of Luther’s “seduction squad,” helping him find attractive women. Estelle recalls the time that Bill spotted Ramona Kent, a bank teller, and Luther set out to sleep with her. Sometime earlier, Luther goes to Ramona’s bank window and asks to make a deposit of $10,000. He flirts with Ramona and invites her to a party at his apartment that evening, but she declines, explaining that she does not date bank customers. In turn, Luther promises to withdraw his account and informs Ramona that Greta Garbo, her favorite actress, will be at the party. That evening, Ramona goes to Luther’s apartment and meets the seduction squad, who are posing as British socialites. Estelle introduces herself as “Greta Garbo,” but admits she is not the famous actress. Hoping to impress his new guest, Luther sits down at a player piano and pretends to play a classical tune. Making up excuses, Luther’s seduction squad leaves abruptly, as does his housekeeper, Matilda. Left alone with Ramona, Luther announces that he does not plan to seduce her. Sitting down to dinner, Ramona says she has recently put a down payment on an unborn horse and plans to train it as a racing horse. Luther claims to have a knack for horse betting and agrees to go to the racetrack the next day with Ramona and her friend, Sally. There, he buys two tickets for each horse in the race so he cannot lose. When one horse wins, he hands over the two winning tickets to Ramona and Sally, who rejoice at their good luck. Luther does the same with several more bets, handing over the winning tickets to Ramona, who wins enough money to pay off the cost of her horse. She later offers Luther part ownership, but he declines. That night, Ramona makes aggressive sexual advances toward Luther, who pretends to be offended but eventually succumbs. Sometime later, Luther’s friends pose as members of the Italian Consulate to gain access to a party hosted by a rich woman named Fanny. A haughty guest named Melissa Van Der Meer arrives and reprimands Fanny for the lack of eligible bachelors. Estelle overhears and tells Melissa about Luther, promising that he is rich and irresistible. When Estelle bets Melissa $2,000 that she will fall for Luther’s charms in one night, Melissa doubts it and agrees to dine at his apartment the following evening. At dinner, Luther pretends to be homosexual but says he wants to change, asking Melissa for help. Although his psychiatrist has suggested making sexual contact with a woman, Luther pretends to feel no excitement when he gropes Melissa’s breasts. After dinner, Melissa has sex with Luther and declares that he is the best lover she has ever had. One day, Luther’s seduction squad shows him Dr. Winifred Sisters, a psychologist, on television, and informs him that she is his next target. He goes to see Winifred as a patient and says he no longer wishes to be a womanizer. He encourages Winifred to talk about herself, and she confesses that her husband cheated on her. After Luther’s session, Estelle sees Winifred, claiming to have nymphomania. At his next appointment, Luther later asks Winifred about Estelle, pretending to be interested in her. Winifred agrees to bring Estelle to Luther’s apartment for dinner; however, Estelle does not stay long, using the excuse that she has a sick baby at home. After Estelle has gone, Luther tells Winifred he plans to marry Estelle because she is completely liberated. Annoyed, Winifred leaves the apartment despite Luther’s threat that he might kill himself. Back at Winifred’s office, Luther announces his new problem: he is infatuated with Winifred. Pretending to have overheard their session from the office next door, Luther’s friend Jim poses as a German psychologist and offers to mediate a discussion between Winifred and Luther at dinner. That night at dinner, Jim excuses himself early, and Winifred allows Luther to make love to her. Soon after, Luther poses as a painter in order to lure Nell Brinkman, a gallery worker, to his apartment. There, he shows her eleven paintings, claiming they are his, and she agrees to show them at her gallery. Luther convinces Nell to pose topless for photographs so that he can paint her portrait as well. Bill comes over, posing as Monsieur Devereaux, a French art connoisseur, and says he wants to buy all of Luther’s paintings. Luther delivers Nell’s photograph to Guido D’Angelo, an artist, and commissions him to paint Nell's portrait. At the gallery show, Nell announces that all of Luther’s paintings have sold. Seeing Guido in the crowd, Luther confesses to everyone that Guido is the real painter; in turn, Guido confesses that his son, Toulouse, did the paintings. Later, Nell tells Luther she wants to buy back the portrait of herself. Luther calls Mary, who bought the painting, but she comes over and convinces Nell that the portrait has reinvigorated her sex life and she must keep it. After Mary leaves, Nell goes to the bathroom to undress, assuring Luther that she does not expect him to paint her this time. One day, a secretary named Pamela Balsam takes dictation from Luther, who is writing a book about a womanizer, although he insists he is not talking about himself. Suggesting that Luther’s main character is despicable, Pamela admits to being a virgin. Pretending to be a book agent, Bill bursts into the apartment, warning that Luther has not registered his new book yet and must do so the next morning. Since Luther cannot trust Pamela with what he has already dictated, he insists she sleep over. He offers her a drink, and although Pamela admits to being an alcoholic, she breaks her sobriety and drinks. Luther offers to drive her home once she is drunk, but Pamela cannot recall where she lives. Promising that he is a virgin too, Luther persuades Pamela to have sex. Back at dinner with James Bacon, Luther’s seduction squad says Luther has since vanished. Meanwhile, Luther arrives at a suburban home, greeting his wife and two children. Luther’s wife congratulates him on his latest book, “How to Seduce a Woman.” Smiling, he envisions the real-life experiences that inspired it but claims he used his imagination to make it up. He declares that he will write about family life next. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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