The Golden Lady (UK 1979)

Rating: **
Review Date: 7/2/21
Cast: Ina Skriver (as Christina World), June Chadwick, Anika Pavel, Suzanne Danielle, Patrick Newell, cameo by Desmond Llewelyn

International spy Julia Hemingway (Ina Skriver) is hired to sabotage an oil deal with an Arab sheik by utilizing her feminine wiles. She hires a couple of other agents to help her, including a small arms combat expert (Suzanne Danielle) and a nymphomaniac model (Anika Pavel). Desmond Llewelyn shows up for a few seconds in the beginning of the film to deliver spy gadgets to the ladies, in a blatantly tacky nod to the James Bond franchise. Through charm, seduction, and access to a super computer, the ladies find enough dirt on the competition to ensure that the deal doesn't go through, but they don't shy away from violence when it becomes necessary.

The film is billed as "the female James Bond," but it falls woefully short due to its small budget, confusing plot, weak action, and uninspired acting. Only June Chadwick and Patrick Newell seem to know what they're doing, while everyone else stumbles through the script. On the plus side, despite having little to no character development, the ladies are all enjoyable. They're strong, smart, sexy, cunning, confident, in control, and never compromised. The sexual attitudes are very much a product of the 70's, with women having sex on their own terms while men fall helpless before them. The film is also surprisingly open-minded and forward thinking by including some gay and bi-sexual characters, and not as a source of comedy or derision. Unfortunately, the pacing is tediously slow and a lot of the film is unnecessary filler material. The strangest scene by far is when Julia and Max have a private conversation at a fetish club, which includes two bizarre musical numbers. It's very reminiscent of low budget Blaxploitation films that just randomly insert performance art into the narrative. Perhaps it was just a cheap way to get footage in exchange for exposure. It's by no means a bad film, and it even contains a handful of nicely staged helicopter shots, but overall it's dull and fails to live up to its potential.