In London, people who've seen a private screening of Ken Russell's latest, "Whore," say the film is bound to stir the usual controversy accompanying a Russell film.
The 94-minute movie, which opens June 21 in Britain, features:
* Star Theresa Russell indulging in flagellation with an old-age pensioner in a rest home--while the other occupants listening behind the bedroom door writhe in curiosity and envy.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday June 9, 1991 Home Edition Calendar Page 87 Calendar Desk 1 inches; 18 words Type of Material: Correction
Deborah Dalton co-wrote the screenplay for "Whore" with Ken Russell. Last Sunday's Film Clips said Russell wrote the script.
* Russell making love in a huge American car, with the client finally expiring on the back seat.
* Her ruthless pimp beating her senseless in a car park when she tries to keep her earnings.
Ken Russell, 63, wrote the script from the play by David Hines, a London taxi driver who turned a vivid mirror on the women he saw parading the pavements. Russell moved the setting to Los Angeles.
Roger Burlage, president and CEO of Vidmark, the company that's releasing the film in the United States, said that "Whore" passed the British film ratings board--which is reportedly more conservative than the U.S. one--without any cuts. (The film is rated for 18 and over in England.)
But it's been rated NC-17 here. Russell, Burlage said, feels they delivered an R film per their contract and is surprised by the NC-17.
"Ken Russell was informed of the MPAA rating of NC-17 about a week ago. The filmmakers feel, however, that 'Whore' is not NC-17. They're trying to get more feedback from the MPAA through us. At this point we have three options: stay with it (the decision), appeal the decision or do some re-editing." At this point, the MPAA is scheduled to review the NC-17 rating.