London in the Raw (1964)

The second of Stanley Long and Arnold Louis Miller’s colourful ‘mondo’ documentaries offers viewers a forbidden tour of London’s dimly-lit backstreets.

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“London in the Raw proves to be a valuable record of a rapidly changing society, one that sees England moving away from post-war austerity into a modern world closer to the one we recognise today.”
Noel Megahey, The Digital Fix, 2009

Following on from his films West End Jungle (1961) and Take Off Your Clothes and Live (1962), legendary British low budget movie mogul Arnold Miller concocted this fascinating exploitation-style documentary, once again influenced by the world-wide success of Italian ‘mondo’ movies, combining sometimes shocking documentary footage with staged sequences for added effect.

The film’s sensationalist thrills include prostitutes entertaining German tourists, beatniks eating cat food, drug dealing, strip clubs and a rather gruelling sequence of hair replacement surgery. Peering voyeuristically behind the grimy net-curtains of London life into seedy bars and clubs for beatnik art lovers, London in the Raw provides a cynical, sometimes startling vision of life on and off the rain-spattered streets of 1960s London.

Primitive London (1965) would offer more exploitative thrills the following year, while Derek Ford’s finger-wagging The Wife Swappers (1969) casts a leering look over Britain’s sexual mores.

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