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Too Hot to Handle (1960 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Too Hot to Handle
Too hot to handle02.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTerence Young
Screenplay byHerbert Kretzmer
Story byHarry Lee
Produced byPhil C. Samuel
CinematographyOtto Heller
Edited byLito Carruthers
Music byEric Spear
Distributed byWarner-Pathé Distributors
Release dates
  • 16 April 1960 (1960-04-16) (West Germany)
  • 22 September 1960 (1960-09-22) (United Kingdom)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Too Hot to Handle (released in the United States as Playgirl After Dark) is a 1960 British neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Terence Young and starring Jayne Mansfield, Leo Genn and Carl Boehm. Christopher Lee appears in a supporting role.

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Johnny Solo, the owner of the Pink Flamingo club in London's Soho area, battles with rival club owner Diamonds Dinelli and the police. When Johnny receives threats and demands for protection, he fights back.

Johnny's girlfriend Midnight Franklin, one of the club's headliners, wants him to leave the business. In the background are a sadistic client, an underage chorus girl, a wisecracking siren who is not averse to rough trade, a visiting journalist and a dancer who guards her past.

The journalist becomes involved in the strip scene while writing a story on the clubs. The competition between the two clubs intensifies. Johnny unknowingly plays a part in the death of the chorus girl. Midnight informs on him to save him from the violent blackmailers who are pursuing him.



Too Hot to Handle was Mansfield's first film away from 20th Century Fox after achieving stardom in the mid-1950s. However, her box-office popularity had faded, and Fox loaned her to other studios while awaiting a suitable film for her. This film had incorporated the title of Some Like It Hot starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon released in 1959.

The film was billed as "an exposé of 'sexy, sordid Soho, England's greatest shame'."[2] Mansfield's risqué see-through clothing and the film's racy musical numbers caused some controversy that delayed the American release until January 1961, and the sexiest frames were displayed in Playboy magazine. For its American release, Too Hot to Handle was retitled Playgirl After Dark and was edited to meet censor requirements. Halliwell's Film & Video Guide described the film as a "[r]otten, hilarious British gangster film set in a totally unreal underworld and very uncomfortably cast."[3]

The film was shot in England from 10 August until around October 1959.[4]

Filming was temporarily halted at the order of Actors' Equity when £100,000 of the budget failed to materialize, partly because of the illness of Sydney Box, who was slated to produce.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Work on Film Resumed". The Daily Telegraph. No. 32486. 26 September 1959. p. 8.
  2. ^ Willetts, Paul (2013). The Look of Love: The Life and Times of Paul Raymond, Soho's King of Clubs. London: Profile Books. p. 190. ISBN 978-1-8476-5994-1.
  3. ^ Halliwell, Leslie (1999). Walker, John (ed.). Halliwell's Film & Video Guide 2000 (15th ed.). London: HarperCollins Entertainment. p. 848. ISBN 978-0-0065-3165-4.
  4. ^ Weekly Variety. 2 September 1959. p. 22.

External links

This page was last edited on 8 March 2023, at 16:37
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