We’ve been thinkin’ about hookers lately, after last week’s poll and our new obsession with Secret Diary Of A Call Girl. After researching ladies of the night in films and TV, we’ve noticed an interesting trend — pricey call girls are incredibly fashionable, as Secret Diary suggested, but news that Darren Star would be producing an HBO based on Diary Of A Manhattan Call Girl proves it. Play a hooker in a relatively “serious” movie, and guess what? Oscar is the only man you’ll take home! (Your chances are even better if the director is Woody Allen.) After the jump we break it down with the help of a fun timeline of sex workers on TV and in the movies.
By the look of these movies and characters, prostitutes on celluloid fall into three categories: the seductive slut for whom sex is power; the conflicted whore who just cannot choose or doesn’t have a choice between a normal life and her job; and the princess trapped in a hooker’s body who just needs to be saved. So how did these films rank?
1929 – Pandora’s Box A temptress (Louise Brooks) with a undeniable power over men that leads to tragedy! Verdict: SEDUCTIVE SLUT!
1932 – Blonde Venus Marlene Dietrich must choose between between being a Madonna-like mother or a whore. Verdict: CONFLICTED WHORE!
1960 – Butterfield 8*** Elizabeth Taylor plays a working girl who has a turbulent affair with a married man, who will of course never leave his wife for. Verdict: CONFLICTED WHORE!
1967 – Belle de Jour A frigid housewife (Catherine Deneuve) has a prostitute alter ego. Verdict: CONFLICTED WHORE!
1971 – Klute*** A call girl is the only one who can help them find a killer! Verdict: NONE OF THE ABOVE.
1976 – Taxi Driver *** A teen prostitute befriends and is “saved by” a deranged Vietnam War vet. Verdict: PRINCESS!
1983 – Risky Business It’s all fun and games for Tom Cruise and lady of the night Lana. Verdict: SEDUCTIVE SLUT!
1990 – Pretty Woman A streetwalker goes from rags to riches thanks to the generosity of Richard Gere. Verdict: PRINCESS!
1993 – True Romance Bad boy meets bad girl, steals coke from her pimp, and the two of them take off on a wild trip. Verdict: SEDUCTIVE SLUT!
1995 – Mighty Aphrodite*** Woody Allen’s finds his adopted son’s real mother — a dumb as rocks prostitute! But guess what? She has a heart of gold! Verdict: PRINCESS!
1995 – Leaving Las Vegas*** In possibly the most depressing movie ever, a prostitute and a raging alcoholic find solace in each other’s company. Verdict: N/A
1997 – L.A. Confidential*** Kim Basinger plays a conflicted femme fatale who’s selling point is her Veronica Lake looks. Verdict: CONFLICTED WHORE!
2001 – Moulin Rouge*** Satine, a courtesan at the Moulin Rouge, gets involved in a love triangle, with tragic results. Verdict: PRINCESS!
2003 – Monster *** The true story of Aileen Wuornos, a Daytona Beach prostitute who became a serial killer. Verdict: N/A
2005 – Memoirs of a Geisha Will the top geisha in all of Japan ever find her true love? Verdict: PRINCESS!
2008 – Finding Amanda Matthew Broderick tries to save his young niece from her life as a prostitute. Verdict: PRINCESS!
2008 – “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” The show explores whether Belle can juggle her real life and the dual life she leads as a high class call girl. Verdict: CONFLICTED WHORE!
2009 – “Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl” To be seen, but we have a sneaking suspicion that HBO is trying to steal away some of Showtime’s Secret Diary viewers with this similar show.
Future – Ashley Dupre to get a reality TV show?
Kudos to Klute, Leaving Las Vegas, and Monster for thinking outside the box!
***Indicates the actress who played the prostitute/call girl in the film was nominated and/or won an Academy Award for her portrayal.