The Lonely Lady (1983)


(director: Peter Sasdy; screenwriters: Shawn Randall/John Kershaw/novel by Harold Robbins/Ellen Shepard; cinematographer: Brian West; editor: Keith Palmer; music: Charles Calello; cast: Pia Zadora (Jerilee Randall), Lloyd Bochner (Walter Thornton), Bibi Besch (Veronica Randall), Joseph Calio (Vincent Dacosta), Anthony Holland (Guy Jackson), Jared Martin (George Ballantine), Ray Liotta (Joe Heron), Carla Romanelli (Carla Maria Peroni); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Robert R. Weston; Universal Pictures; 1983)

“A true candidate for one of the worst films ever.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A sleazy Hollywood drama about Hollywood as a place of vice. It’s a true candidate for one of the worst films ever. This is the kind of film you may feel like taking a shower after viewing. Mediocre helmer Peter Sasdy (“Taste the Blood of Dracula”/”Charlie Boy”/”Visitor from the Grave”) had better success directing Hammer horror pics . Writers Shawn Randall, Ellen Shepard and John Kershaw base it on one of Harold Robbins’ lesser novels–which should tell you how bad this one could possibly be. It was filmed in Italy, which might qualify it as a “spaghetti drama.”

Jerilee Randall (Pia Zadora) suffers in a bad marriage with an older, jealous, impotent writer (Lloyd Bochner) and they break up because the famous writer is pissed she had the nerve to re-write a scene from a script he was working on. This leads to all kinds of setbacks and kinky bedroom romps for the lady. Our misfit heroine is willing to do anything to be a writer, even if she lacks talent.

The film was fianced by Pia’s wealthy husband, which explains why such a terrible actress got the starring role.

The film’s highlight was Pia getting raped by a weird dude (Ray Liotta) doing it to the 18-year-old with a garden hose. It would be hard to top that for trashy entertainment. Everything about it was offensive and unconvincing, and an embarrassment to those who consider writing and acting an art form.