The R-rated softcore version was compared to the uncut hardcore version.
Prostitute Dusty has had enough when her boyfriend Tony demands that she find a job and finally clean up the apartment. She steals all his valuables, which she wants to sell to the greasy pawnbroker Sammy. Sammy has had a weakness for Dusty for a long time and only wants to buy the goods if she sleeps with him in return. With some money back on the street, she meets her friend, the transvestite Cherry, who offers to take her to her apartment. With paid sex, Dusty keeps her head above water and meets Jimmie, who wants it a little harder. In a bar, she meets lawyer Bob, who falls head over heels in love with her. Can Dusty leave her past behind and start a new life with Bob?
Andy Milligan began his career by shooting several low budget sexploitation films for producer William Mishkin towards the end of the 1960s, many of which are now considered lost. After Milligan concentrated more on horror movies at the beginning of the 70s, among them shoddy masterpieces like Torture Dungeon, Bloodthirsty Butchers or The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here! he returned to the sexploitation genre with Fleshpot on 42nd Street. The story is told by Dusty, a casual prostitute who sells her body at 42nd Street in New York. The main actress of the film is presented to us as unsympathetic at the beginning by first stealing from her boyfriend, pawning his belongings and finally even robbing the pawnbroker after a quickie. Over time, we learn that Dusty is a tragic character, who hasn't found her place in life yet, but with her offensive nature and good looks can end up well with men. The lawyer Bob, played by X-Rated legend Harry Reems, offers her a way out, but anyone who has ever seen a movie by Milligan can guess that the relationship between the two doesn't end in a happy way.
A little highlight is Neil Flanagan (Guru, the Mad Monk) as transvestite Cherry, who is always looking for sex and comments on the events around him with a sharp tongue. Topics like the exploitation of sex workers, the hard life of people on the fringes of society or the social exclusion of transvestites are treated with the necessary seriousness. Technical shortcomings such as the shaky handheld camera or a cropped image that doesn't always fit well provide a sense of authenticity and can therefore be valued positively, especially when Milligan stays close to his actors. Fleshpot on 42nd Street is authentic, grim and has enough heart and humor to entertain well. One of the best, if not the best film by Andy Milligan.
The softcore version of the film was available in the now non-existent streaming service by Vinegar Syndrome. The version was scanned from a 35mm cinema print and not restored, so there is a lot of dirt to be seen throughout, which makes for a pleasant grindhouse feeling. Previously, a VHS/DVD-R release by SWV was the only way to see the film, but due to film tears, this version was even shorter than the streaming version by Vinegar Syndrome. On 23 March 2019, Vinegar Syndrome released the hardcore version on Blu-ray, once in 1.85:1 and 1.33:1 (open matte). Please note that the softcore and the 1.85:1 hardcore version have the same picture format, but show a different picture detail.
Basically, the hardcore version has only two scenes in which sexual intercourse is explicitly depicted. Both scenes are a love scene between Dusty and Bob. The softcore version, however, has more cuts. Various other soft sex scenes have been shortened and two action scenes were removed. In a taxi ride, Dusty and Bob get to know each other a bit better and there is more dialogue between Dusty and Cherry before she hits on the man at the harbour.
SC: 78:25 min.
Short film tears are not listed in the report.
The SC version shows the title "The Girls on 42nd Street".
The HC continues to show New York. Then the title "Fleshpot on 42nd Street" is shown.
SC: 4 sec.
HC: 14 sec.
The name of the producer has changed.
No time difference.
Tony and Dusty are seen in another shot during sex.
HC: 14 sec.
Overzealously, Sammy starts oral sex, but Dusty has to remind him of his financial commitment, which she demands without hesitation.
Dusty: "Give me the money first."
Sammy: "Right now?"
Dusty: "Right now!"
Sammy: "Oh alright."
HC: 8 sec.
Film tear when Dusty and Cherry leave the bar.
Dusty: "Who do we pay?"
HC: 5 sec.
Due to a jump-cut, you don't see Dusty taking off her clothes any longer in the SC version.
HC: 7 sec.
Dusty's coming to bed with Jimmy. He starts kissing her.
HC: 21 sec.
Jimmy and Dusty can be seen having sex early. Jimmy is no gentleman and shows his rough side at Dusty's discomfort.
Dusty: "Oh, get off me, you're hurting me. Please. Get off! Get off!"
HC: 18 sec.
In the SC version, the complete taxi ride is missing. Dusty and Bob get to know each other better. Dusty tells about her unpleasant aunt where she grew up and learns that Bob works as a lawyer.
Cab driver: "Okay."
Dusty: "How long you live here?"
Bob: "I was born in Staten Island."
Dusty: "Did you ever want to live in Manhattan?"
Bob: "Not really. I kind of like it out there. Wake up in the morning and hear the birds singing. I gotta big back yard, plenty of fresh air."
Dusty: "I'm so used to Manhattan. I think that if I moved anywhere else the smell of fresh air would kill me."
Bob: "Well, don't knock it unless you've tried it."
Dusty: "You live by yourself?"
Bob: "I do now."
Bob: "No, a house. My mother left it to me when she died."
Dusty: "When did she die?"
Bob: "A little over a year ago."
Dusty: "Do you miss her?"
Bob: "In a way. She was sort of stifling with my private life."
Dusty: "All mothers are stifling. They don't come any other way."
Bob: "You sound like you don't like your mother."
Dusty: "I didn't, but she's dead. I really don't remember too much about her. Maybe I don't want to remember too much about her. An aunt of mine brought me up through high school. God, I hated her. As soon as I became 21 I got away from her. She came home from work one day and had all my clothes packed up in shopping bags. It was my birthday and she hadn't even remembered. She never remembered. I remember she said to me >>Where do you think you're going young lady?<<. I don't remember what I said, but I know that every four letter word I ever learned came pouring out of my mouth. You should've seen her face, she was white as a sheet. I'm surprised she didn't have a heart attack right there and then. She was the type that never even went to the bathroom, if you know what I mean?"
Bob: "Yeah, I know the type. I have one in the office where I work. She can be a pain sometimes."
Dusty: "Where do you work?"
Bob: "A little office down on Wall Street."
Dusty: "You're a lawyer?"
Dusty: "You're kiddin?"
Bob: "No. I'm gonna be a pretty good one someday too."
Dusty: "I bet you are. I bet you will be someday. And a very handsome one at that."
The next shot starts a little earlier.
Dusty: "Oh I work."
Bob: "At what?"
Dusty: "Different jobs."
HC: 2:06 min.
A film tear caused a sentence by Bob to be missing.
Bob: "Okay, go on upstairs, I'll only be a minute."
HC: 2 sec.
The amorous Bob lets his head slide further down between Dusty's legs.
HC: 16 sec.
The love play between Dusty and Bob peaks in sensual sexual intercourse.
HC: 1:24 min.
While Dusty and Cherry are talking, a man suddenly notices this and awakens their interest. Satisfied Dusty leaves him entirely to Cherry.
Cherry: "Before you know it we'll be bumping pussies out here in front of God and everybody."
Dusty: "Well, look who's here."
Cherry: "Oh, yeah, I see. Look at the basket he's showing."
Cherry: "Well just because you filled doesn't mean your mother is. I haven't had my dessert yet."
Dusty: "Yeah, but a cannoli on top of an egg salad on rye. You don't want to go home wearing your luch down the front of your new 23rd street store 5.95 mini do you?"
Cherry: "Never happen."
Dusty: "He's all yours."
Cherry rushes towards the man.
Cherry's talking to the strange man about a potential rendezvous.
Man: "Nice day."
Cherry: "Yeah. Nice day for a ball game."
Man: "You like to play ball?"
Cherry: "With the right team."
Man: "You good at carrying the ball?"
Cherry: "Oh, I've been known to carry my load."
Man: "You talk like you've been around."
Cherry: "Yeah, quite a few things."
Man: "Do you like your game wild, baby?"
Cherry: "I don't play games if there ain't enough action."
Man: "Well I always play with a full team."
Cherry: "So I see."
Man: "Who's your friend?"
Cherry: "Just a friend."
Man: "She's cute."
Cherry: "What about me?"
HC: 1:09 min.
Cherry begins to give the man oral pleasure.
HC: 12 sec.
The beginning of the scene as Dusty sleeps with the first poker player is missing.
HC: 20 sec.
Dusty and Bob are seen longer as they kiss. Probably the short camera movement across Bob's penis made it necessary to shorten the scene.
HC: 11 sec.
The love scene between Dusty and Bob ends with their bodily union.
HC: 1:14 min.
In the HC, the credits run a little further.
HC: 6 sec.