Beverly Hills Madam (1986)

Faye Dunaway and Louis Jourdan in Beverly Hills Madam (1986)

It's a Hard Knock Life

Lil Hutton is beautiful and successful; she is also a Beverly Hills Madam whose small group of girls cater to a range of wealthy clients. Lil runs a tight ship, having been in the business for a long time, and she expects her girls to live up to her high standards. But being in charge of the girls is not easy as each has their own agenda from looking for a career to falling in love. But as many a prostitute learns, when people learn what you do they don't tend to think of you as wife material.

Let me take you back in time to the mid 80s where not only did the size of a woman's shoulder pads seem to signal their status in the world but so did the size of the rock they had weighing heavy on their hands. It is one of the things which now makes "Beverly Hills Madam" slightly enjoyable, that look back at 80s glamour which now seems to all be a bit tacky and comical. In fact at times the best thing about "Beverly Hills Madam" is the cheesiness of it all.

Terry Farrell in Beverly Hills Madam (1986)

But beyond that the best way to describe "Beverly Hills Madam" is the trials and tribulations of a madam and her girls, written with the glamour of a Jackie Collins novel but toned down for those who would watch a TV movie. The end result is a movie with some nice layers such as one of Lil's girls learning the lesson that hookers don't make wife material whilst there is always the risk of running in to a previous client when out with your boyfriend. There is also a subplot featuring a young girl who ends up being looked after by Lil and who on seeing the wealth which her girls acquire becomes lured in to the profession. But whilst there are layers and we basically are shown the life from Lil's and her girl's perspectives it is not the most gripping of movies.

As for the acting well it has to be said that "Beverly Hills Madam" features a surprising amount of talent for a TV movie with Faye Dunaway and Louis Jourdan bringing some class to the proceedings. And the younger actresses Melody Anderson, Donna Dixon, Terry Farrell and Robin Givens all play their parts well. But to sound like a broken record this is a movie from the 80s and the performances are typically 80s, I don't mean the character's look but the emphasis on certain words and cute shoulder raises are from the past and are now one of the things which make it feel corny.

What this all boils down to is that "Beverly Hills Madam" is in truth a semi enjoyable movie partly because of it being an 80s movie which is now dated but also because it does have some layers of depth even if those layers have been done before in other movies which deal with prostitutes.