Monday, December 29, 2008


"I am a gynecologist. My name is unimportant. It is for this reason that you will not see my face during this film. Yet you will see exactly as I see: these human beings and their problems through the eyes of the doctor who has made this extraordinary document."

If you’re familiar with the wildly successful SCHULMÄDCHEN (SCHOOLGIRL) REPORT series or any of the West German softcore sex “reports” that proliferated during the 1970s, you’ll know what to expect from MÄDCHEN BEIM FRAUENARZT (GIRLS AT THE GYNECOLOGIST) as it follows the same anthology format: half a dozen or more young lovelies reveal their first sexual experiences in nudity-filled flashbacks, sometimes presented under the guise of a serious sociological study but usually just for the filthy leering hell of it. Adequately directed by Ernst Hofbauer, who helmed nine of the original SCHOOLGIRL REPORT movies, GIRLS AT THE GYNECOLOGIST first turned up stateside in 1972 with a self-imposed X rating as TEENAGE SEX REPORT, a Jerry Gross presentation released through his Cinemation Industries. Pic resurfaced with an MPAA rating of R in 1976 under the title THE TEENY BOPPERS, courtesy of the bottom-feeding Beacon Releasing Corporation (the short-lived distribution arm of a Boston-based tax shelter company), sometimes co-billed with SCHOOL GIRL TEMPTATIONS, a repackaging of Massimo Dallamano’s DEVIL IN THE FLESH with Laura Antonelli.

The stories are run-of-the-mill “report” material but Hofbauer breaks from the formula during the wraparound scenes by letting the camera assume the doctor’s POV in the examination room. The young women look at the camera as they converse with the doctor, whose soothing voice is heard but his face never seen. Stirrups and specula aside, the result is more intimate and non-exploitative than if a fifty-something actor had been hired to portray an onscreen gynecologist.

Ulrike (20 years old), a secretary who feels no pleasure while making love to her fiancée, tells the doctor about her first sexual experience: she was 15 and lost her virginity to a young man she met on a train (the deflowering is the film’s most memorable scene and nicely handled by Hofbauer). Ulrike rejects the young man later in favor of masturbation and a lesbian relationship with Inga, an older woman who seduces her during a photo shoot. When Ulrike meets her fiancée and falls in love, he takes her away for a weekend trip and from that point on she’s unable to reach orgasm. The doctor gives her a prescription for medication to ease cramps and encourages her to talk about her condition with her fiancée. “Nature has not placed you precisely in the category of a young woman without complications,” he says before subjecting her to a slideshow about the three different types of physical constitution recognized by medical science.

Brigitte (21 years old) is a beautician who goes on a three week beach vacation in the Canary Islands with a girlfriend, then returns to her fiancée and refuses to have sex with him. The reason: green and yellow vaginal discharge and a burning sensation while urinating. “I’m worried that it’s something contagious,” she tells the doctor with averted eyes, “You know the conditions of toilets at beaches.” (“Toilets -- always the same excuse” the doctor mutters). It’s the clap, of course, and Brigitte caught it from some sleazy guy she met while on vacation. She’s prescribed antibiotics and told to abstain from sexual intercourse for at least three weeks.

Inge (16 years old) is a sexually active high school girl whose period is 5 weeks overdue -- not because of pregnancy but because of nervousness brought on by the fear of becoming pregnant. In order to prescribe birth control pills the doctor needs the consent of Inge’s mother, which leads to an explosive confrontation.

Karin (15½ years old) is brought to the gynecologist by her father, a woefully naïve widower who thinks his little girl is still innocently sucking her thumb and sleeping with teddy bears. Lately she’s become moody, fatigued, runs a temperature, complains of stomach pains… “It’s certainly a cold or something like that” the father says just before he’s led out of the room and his daughter is brought in for an examination. Karin, who’s anything but innocent, believes she contracted gonorrhea from a construction worker, but the diagnosis turns out to be infected fallopian tubes.

Anja (17 years old) was a virgin before she went off to a nearby lake with four bikers to go swimming. The doc examines her at home and then calls for an ambulance to take her to the hospital.

Renate (18 years old) thinks her breasts are too small. The doctor prescribes hormones.

Monika (16 years old) loses her virginity to Tony, a jerk who gets her pregnant and then sends her to a back alley abortionist who nearly kills her. When Tony refuses to visit her in the hospital, Monika tries to kill herself by overdosing on sleeping pills. The good gynecologist reads Tony the riot act (“Even a doctor has the right to get annoyed sometimes!”) and at the end the two young lovers stroll out of the hospital arm-in-arm, leaving the doc with another dozen or so patients to examine.

The VHS from Something Weird, long deleted from their catalog, runs approximately 82 minutes. Print damage is mostly confined to the ends of the reels.

1 comment:

Arbogast said...

I am a gynecologist. My name is unimportant.

Worst pick-up line ever!