Keep It Up in Spain

One of the favourite cinema posters I have in my archive is from Mary’s 1978 release El Decapendon. If you’ve never heard of this film before, that’s totally understandable, since it’s the Spanish version of 1976’s historical sex romp, Keep It Up Downstairs, directed by the wonderful Robert Young.

Keep It Up Downstairs premiered in the UK on 29 July 1976 at the now-demolished ABC cinema on London’s Edgware Road. The film was the first in which Mary was credited on-screen with her ‘Millington’ moniker, and despite relatively lavish production values (for a British sex comedy) and a cast boasting Diana Dors, Francoise Pascal and Willie Rushton, the movie was sadly not a box office success.

El Decapendon Mary Millington

As with most sex comedies of the era it was shot with additional hardcore sequences. In the case of Keep It Up Downstairs these extra scenes were overseen – rather surprisingly – by producer Hazel Adair, best known as the co-creator of ITV soap opera, Crossroads. The more explicit (and dubbed) version of the film was released throughout Europe, to varying degrees of success. Nearly two years after its British debut, it premiered in Spain on 5 June 1978, released by Mundial Films, under the title El Decapendon, a spoof on director Pier Pablo Pasolini’s hugely controversial Italian film, Il Decameron.

El Decapendon 1978 poster

Despite Mary’s fairly small supporting role in the movie, as saucy scullery maid Polly, on the Spanish poster she totally dominates the colourful artwork – caught in a clinch with co-star Simon Brent.

All words strictly © Simon Sheridan 2017

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