Take a Girl Like You (1970) starring Hayley Mills, Oliver Reed, Noel Harrison, John Bird, Sheila Hancock directed by Jonathan Miller Movie Review

Take a Girl Like You (1970)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Hayley Mills in Take a Girl Like You (1970)

Chasing the Chaste

Jenny Bunn (Hayley Mills) having been raised in rural tranquillity heads South to start a new job as a school teacher, taking up lodgings with Labour councillor Dick Thompson (John Bird) and his wife Martha (Sheila Hancock). It is there she meets Patrick Standish (Oliver Reed) the boyfriend of her fellow lodger who immediately sets his sight on scoring with Jenny, seeing her refusal to succumb to his charms just her playing hard to get until he finds out she is a virgin which makes him all the more keen. But it is not just Patrick which Jenny must keep her eye on as Mr. Thompson is a bit of a letch whilst his campaign manager Julian Ormerod (Noel Harrison) also is a dangerous charmer with an eye for the ladies.

I will give you the two reasons to watch "Take a Girl Like You" and I hate to say this they are incredibly shallow reasons although please remember that this was technically a sex comedy all but one with no sex. The first reason is Hayley Mills who is absolutely gorgeous with a pretty face, trim figure and the sort of blonde hair which glows when the light catches it just right. It is easy to see why because as Jenny she would be the centre of much attention for men with an eye for a pretty girl. The other shallow reason is Sheila Hancock who quite simply looks just as gorgeous with killer cheek bones but having the look of more experience.

Sheila Hancock and John Bird in Take a Girl Like You (1970)

Once you get past the attractiveness of Hayley Mills and Sheila Hancock what we have are some lecherous, randy men seeing fit young girls as conquests and with Jenny giving them a run around as she plans to stay a virgin till she meets the right man. And that is it which quite simply is not enough to make the movie come to life despite the decent cast with Oliver Reed doing an entertaining job of playing the lecherous Patrick who is driven mad by Jenny's resilience to his charms to bed her. In fact one of the pleasures of watching "Take a Girl Like You" now is spotting various actors from Ronald Lacey as a teaching colleague called Graham and Penelope Keith showing up as a Tory lady at the poll station.

There is also of course one other charm to watching "Take a Girl Like You" now is of course it being a British movie from 1970 which gives you a sense of nostalgia when you see various shops and old cars from the era. Plus there are other aspects such as seeing Jenny and Patrick having a romantic stroll through the long grass next to an airfield strip which of course would never be allowed now.

What this all boils down to is that "Take a Girl Like You" might have entertained back in 1970 when it came out but now is quite twee and a bit of a much ness. But it is entertaining to see a young Hayley Mills playing a more grown up yet charming innocent role as well as having a certain nostalgic charm.