The Sex Thief (1973)

THE SEX THIEF is a British sexploitation movie from 1974 with a surprising amount of professional qualities given the usual standards of the genre. It has a plot, for instance, rather than a series of random vignettes, and although it’s quite obviously a comedy, it’s also rather serious in places. There’s – gasp! – characterisation too, and a script co-written by Hammer scribe Tudor Gates and MARK OF THE DEVIL helmer Michael Armstrong, amusingly writing together under the pseudonym Edward Hyde. THE SEX THIEF was directed by Kiwi-born Martin Campbell, who has gone on to such famous features as CASINO ROYALE and GREEN LANTERN, and he gives the production a fine and slick look.

The tale, about a notorious cat burglar who more often than not seduces his female victims, is fairly familiar stuff, but enlivened by some fun performances. David Warbeck, well known for a career in Italian exploitation, is a delight as the titular character in what is a surprisingly show-all performance. The engaging supporting cast features Armstrong himself in support, alongside the lovely Jennifer Westbrook as a kung fu fighter, Harvey Hall (the butler in THE VAMPIRE LOVERS) as Warbeck’s contact, Christopher Biggins, and plenty more besides. There’s plenty of rather explicit sex scenes here and lots of nudity, as you’d expect, but take that all out and the film would still work.