The Film: Lady Beware, 1987
The Principals: Diane Lane, Michael Woods, Cotter Smith, Tyra Ferrell, Peter Nevargic, David Crawford, Edward Penn, Chelsea Benedict.
The Premise: Katya Yarno is a trendy and upwardly mobile young Pittsburgh department store window dresser. She likes to add more than a bit of sex and kink to her mannequin displays, including making them 3D through the window. When she’s not turning Horne’s department store into Frederick’s of Hollywood, she likes bubble baths and the occasional fling with a guy. But when she gets stalked and her life gets turned upside down, it’s time for Katya to get out of the department store window and take a trip to Paybackville.
Is it Good: That depends on your POV. If you were a 15-year-old in 1987 and you caught this on TV, it was friggin’ Gone With The Wind. It was very of it’s time, full of ’80s cheese and music, and a fairly formulaic sexual thriller. Why does it stand out then? Four words: young naked Diane Lane. I haven’t laid eyes on this movie in over 20 years. I’ve never seen it rerun late at night on Skinemax, nor HBO, Showtime, TNT, TBS, Nick At Night, The Cartoon Network, TBN or anywhere. I’ve never seen it in the bargain bin at Best Buy, the mom-and-pop video store on the corner that’s since been turned into a Starbuck’s, nor even in the local sleazy adult video store…not that I frequent such places…these days.
15-year-old-me to Diane Lane: “Marry me.”
37-year-old me to Diane Lane: “Marry me…and what was the deal with Untraceable anyway?”
Other than being a teenager and transfixed by Ms. Lane’s twin future facial depositories for Josh Brolin, my recollections of this particular film are of Lane being sultry in a film that was standard cable fare of the period, yet with the titillation factor on high. This was the first film I ever noticed Lane and even though she’s frequently had to slog through such films as, Murder at 1600 and Untraceable, there has been the occasional Indian Summer, A Walk On The Moon or Unfaithful.
As Yarno, Lane was memorable as a single young woman in the Me Decade. She played a fairly commonplace role of the independent girl who meets the wrong guy, Jack Price (Michael Woods), and then runs into trouble with him. Price is married, yet obsessed with her because he’s really feeling her her erotic window displays (I mean, who wouldn’t?). He ends up stalking her and causing havoc with her personal and professional lives. When she’s had enough, she decides to do the same to him. It was a whole female empowerment thing. I was just interested in remembering as much as I could because I couldn’t afford a friggin’ VCR to record it and hold onto it for 20 years until I’m the dirty old man I’ve become.
Is it Worth a Look: Absolutely. Especially if you don’t mind bad VHS copies or torrent downloads of rips off of said bad VHS copies. Or you can just take a quick look at this very NSFW clip:
Random Anecdotes: 15 or 16, late ’80s, and I’m staying at my uncle’s place for a week. He had the Arecibo-sized satellite dish in his back yard. I would tune it to the scrambled Playboy channel. When I got tired of trying to make out tits from squiggly Picasso images on the screen, I found this flipping around the dial – unscrambled – and pretty much thanked God.
“I must break you, Diane Lane.”
Cinematic Soulmates: Fatal Attraction, Emmanuelle (The Sylvia Kristel variety), Lionel Richie’s music video for Alone.
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