Confessions of a Window Cleaner (1974) was one of the most popular films of the sexploitation genre, and its backing by a major studio ensured that it became part of the commercial mainstream, rather than remaining on the grubby fringes more commonly associated with films of this genre. Loathed by critics, the film was dismissed as tawdry and vulgar, yet its massive popular appeal makes it an important indicator of popular taste. As Hunter has recognised, such films offered ‘valuable insights into the tastes, values and frustrated desires of ordinary filmgoers.’1 The film cannot be dismissed on the grounds of its quality, for as Andy Medhurst has recently pointed out in relation to the Carry On films, ‘texts which are abysmal by most conventional aesthetic standards can nonetheless have significant importance when considering the complicated dynamics of identity and belonging.’2 The massive popularity of the film makes it significant in terms of audience preferences and reveals the uncertain and complicated nature of popular taste in the period, with a particularly acute contradiction between popular taste and notions of ‘quality’ and critical approbation.
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- Confessions of a Window Cleaner: Sex, Class and Popular Taste
- Palgrave Macmillan UK