Je t’offre mon corps aka Take My Body (1984)
With the current revival of interest in adult film actresses of the French Golden Age (or “L’Age d’Or” which – for argument’s sake – we will situate between 1975 and 1985, running just a little bit shorter than its US counterpart then), mostly because of French industry giant Blue One releasing its humongous Alpha France back catalog onto little shiny discs, the lion’s share of fans attention has so far mostly gone to the likes of Brigitte Lahaie and Marilyn Jess. While the first dominated the tail end of the ’70s, the latter could justifiably be regarded as the heiress apparent to her throne of flesh at the dawn of the subsequent decade. As this friendly take-over was taking place, another performer made an indelible mark on fans and critics alike, an effect hardcore history will hopefully in time acknowledge. Her name was Olinka Hardiman (the surname was quickly dropped by the French who like their monikers short ‘n’ snappy and not too hard to enunciate) and publicity claimed she was a Polish former ballerina, her formal training allegedly responsible for the downright impressive athleticism she brought to her newly chosen career. Litheness of limb aside, she possessed yet another great gimmick. Thanks to the best efforts of the good people in hair and make-up she made for a convincing fornication film facsimile of legendary screen goddess Marilyn Monroe. Working with most of the “name” directors at the time, she would achieve her greatest successes with ’60s cult actor turned filmmaker Michel Lemoine who – as “Michel Leblanc” – put her through her paces in a string of frothy farces. Having labored extensively in the non-explicit erotic field (yielding genre classics like LES DESAXEES, LES PETITES SAINTES Y TOUCHENT and LES CHIENNES), Lemoine wisely refrained from taxing his star’s virtually non-existent thespian talents, basically allowing her to primp and prance Monroe-ishly and getting down ‘n’ dirty with infectious enthusiasm.
Coming at the final stage of their extensive collaboration, JE T’OFFRE MON CORPS clearly shows signs of fatigue creeping in. It certainly pales by comparison to the best of their joint efforts like ROSALIE SE DECOUVRE, L’ETE LES PETITES CULOTTES S’ENVOLENT (a/k/a FLYING SKIRTS) or MOBILE HOME GIRLS. Its vague espionage plot is treated with such utter disregard, you’ll wonder why they even bothered. Ah well, here goes. Russian spy Natacha (Olinka) is sent to Lyon by her surly superior (John Oury, who had co-starred with his leading lady before in Joe De Palmer’s idiosyncratic MELODIE POUR MANUELLA) to retrieve mysterious blueprints that would enable air traffic to double. I suppose the nice way to describe these unspecified plans would be to label them this movie’s attempt at a “McGuffin” ! The engineer responsible, Bertrand (played by the star’s frequent partner Gabriel Pontello), has hidden these invaluable plans behind a painting in the apartment of his semi-serious girlfriend Gaby (the sophisticated Cathy Menard in yet another role unworthy of her considerable talents), presumably because a bank vault would make entirely too much sense ! Natacha stages a hilariously unconvincing accident to make Bertrand’s acquaintance and, since this is porno, winds up spread-eagled on his couch within minutes. Gaby soon joins the festivities while not exactly super-spy Natacha ransacks the place in search of the documents with absolutely no one taking notice ! Her attempts are thwarted by another amorous agent, Daniel from counter-espionage (superhunk Eric Dray a/k/a “Eric Saville” who burst onto the scene in Jean-Claude Marchetti’s underrated LA PROF ENSEIGNE SANS PRESERVATIF), who became smitten after being boinked by the ravishing Russian on the night train at film’s start. Anything to avoid the boredom of those long train trips, huh ?
Thanks to a regular crew that comprised DoP Guy Maria (an occasional director, of the unforgettably titled LES KARATECHATTES) and composer Philippe Bréjean (a/k/a “Gary Sandeur” who also worked on Jean Rollin’s deeply personal KILLING CAR), Lemoine’s explicit outings always had a professional sheen that belied their humble budget. Narrative indifference aside, this also holds true for this casual carnal confection. Ladies look lovely, but most of the sex comes across as dispassionately mechanical. Two great exceptions though. Intrigued by Montmartre streetwalkers, Olinka poses as a hooker, inadvertently picking up rough Jean-Pierre Armand for a scorching tryst, perfectly scored with a solitary accordion. The other highlight comes when Pontello talks dirty over the phone to our heroine while he’s being pleasured at the other end, so to speak, by his secretary Solange, played by the vastly undervalued Laura Clair, Marilyn Jess’ mirror image best friend from Gérard Kikoïne’s superlative CHAUDES ADOLESCENTES. Far from a total loss then, this inconsequential bit of fluff might provide quite a pleasurable way of wasting an hour and a half even if not exactly the best introduction to one of Euro adultdom’s more appealing starlets of yesteryear.