Candida Royalle – Three Daughters (1986)
In 1986, Candida Royale retired from performing in hard core films, and decided to make some of her own, but with a huge difference from the norm. She wanted to create hard core films that portrayed healthy consensual sex in a way that would serve as a positive role model, and appeal to women. In researching for the screenplay, she read a lot of women’s erotica, and noticed that a frequent theme was the perfect first time, so that became the basis for her script. Three Daughters (1986) is a coming of age story, and a tool used by many sex therapists as an example of normal, healthy sexuality. It is also a serious attempt to incorporate hard core sex footage into a mainstream Hollywood style film and reach a larger audience. Does it work? You be the judge.
Candida cast the female roles first because that was the toughest part of the casting. She needed women who looked young enough that would be believable as sisters. She turned to her old friend, Gloria Leonard, to play the mom, and this was the last time Leonard did a hard core sex scene. The part of the pianist sister was played by a young Israeli law student, Nina Preta, who is probably practicing law somewhere in Israel now. The oldest sister was played by Annette Heinz, who only has a few other credits. Carol Cross, a fairly prolific porn actress, played the girlfriend. The crucial part of Heather went to Siobhan Hunter.
Siobhan had a huge porn career, and has more acting ability than the rest of the cast combined. She nailed the transformation from girl to woman, and the climactic first sex scene was amazing. Part of the reason for the believable sex scenes was that Candida ask the actresses whom they would like to work with, thus each of the cast was having sex with someone they actually wanted to have sex with. When they were ready to shoot the final sex scene, Siobhan broke into tears. It seems that her real first time was not a good experience. In fact, it was a near rape, and happened in a room the same color as the one they were shooting in. Candida convinced her to use this scene as a way to relive her first time, substituting good memories for the bad ones. When the scene was over, Siobhan was actually crying from happiness, and the entire crew was silent and frozen in place, not believing the honesty and power of what they had just filmed. Candida didn’t use any monster shots (genital closeups) or money shots (cumming outside). She showed either full bodies, or head shots to catch the expressions. This has been far and away her most successful film for sales, and has earned her a position as a sexuality researcher. She is frequently used as a guest lecturer, and this film is often prescribed by sex therapists. IMDb readers have it at 7.0. which is unusually high for a hard core sex film. This was an era when the porn industry was moving closer to real films. Unfortunately, it takes performers who can do more than bone, a real budget, and more than a two hour shooting schedule to make a real film, and the money is there for the gonzo boning material they are churning out now. Some recent indies, however, are including some hard core scenes in real films, which is encouraging. My hope is that we will finally get a great film, that also includes some great sex scenes.