Eating Out: Private Moments (1983)

It’s dinner for six in this Gary Graver porno, while Dave explains his love for anything the maestro wrote as well as directed.

His nickname might have been Rembrandt in honour of his eye for composition, but Gary Graver’s ability to turn his hand to any aspect of filmmaking is just as impressive. Screenwriting is perhaps one facet of his dexterity that regularly gets overlooked – yet he frequently penned some of his best movies. Sandra: The Making of a Woman (1970), And When She Was Bad… (1973) and ‘V’: The Hot One (1978) are unquestionably the standouts, but even in his most rudimentary adult work, a Graver script represented wit, energy, and a medley of trademarks.

Indeed, beginning with that iconic Graverism of an expansive wide shot bearing down on Los Angeles, PRIVATE MOMENTS gradually pulls us down to Lincoln Boulevard, just south of Santa Monica, where, at the famed Casablanca restaurant, three couples are chowing down in their weekly social. To paraphrase Rick Blaine, Graver’s rounded up the usual suspects for this fantasy-fed feast of fornication, and the marriages of Laura Lazare and Eric Edwards, Janey Robbins and Jon Martin, and Honey Wilder and Herschel Savage have all gone a little stale. The guys are all high-powered attorneys, you see, and they seem to get more satisfaction from talking than porking – much to the chagrin of their libidinous lovers.

What could have been a rather staid roundtable of horny housewives, each giving way to a fondling flight of fancy, steps up a gear after some initial introductions. Graver takes a plate of food and transforms it into a three-course dinner. The starter is purely eatery based, with the ladies imagining affairs with their friends, while the main course moves to a manufactured and monogamous mating session that teases some of their husbands’ inadequacies. The highlight is Wilder’s dream-sequence where she appears on a chintzy quiz show called ‘Guess Whose Wanger?’ [1] and, finding herself faced with a triple-gloryhole, she has to identify her husband’s penis. “How did you know it was me?” muses an impressed Savage. “You came so fast!” is Wilder’s frank retort.

The dessert segment of this porno portmanteau is where Private Moments really hits its stride, as our three ladies step their vivacious visions up a notch and begin to bed strangers. Wilder opts to take a very young Tom Byron (Private Teacher (1983)) under her wing and teach him about the birds and the bees; Lazare fellates a rock star (Blair Harris) mid-guitar solo [2]; and Robbins indulges in an interracial threesome (with Jesse Adams and Billy Dee) on the shop floor of an adult bookstore.

Featuring the instantly recognisable music of the mysterious Tom Barger (performing as ‘Horizon’), who supplied Graver’s horror movie Trick or Treats (1982) with a key track (‘Help is on the Way’). Barger would go on to work with the maestro on one more picture, Private Teacher (1983), which, presumably, was shot back to back with Private Moments as it carried over key personnel like editor Andres Simpson, production designer P.B. Jacobs, and actors Robbins, Wilder, and Edwards.

USA ● 1983 ● Adult ● 74mins

Laura Lazare, Janey Robbins, Honey Wilder, Eric Edwards, Jon Martin, Herschel Savage ● Dir. Gary Graver ● Wri. Gary Graver, Ursula Evans

[1] Replete with an overenthusiastic host performed by an uncredited actor whose similarity to Graver himself is uncanny…
[2] If you draw your eyes away from the action and towards the guitar player, you’ll see it’s none other than Graver regular Jean Clark, credited as just ‘Scumbag’. Not only that, you’ll notice that he’s wearing the same wig and same coloured shirt he had on when he hammered the keys for Shauna Grant’s in-movie band in Suzie Superstar (1983).

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