Abigail Lesley Is Back in Town (1975)

At last, a long-lost Joe Sarno film from his peak period as a softcore director has made its way onto DVD, just like the titular character Abigail Leslie has been away for years but has now returned to the small town of Baypoint, where her sexual appetite made her infamous. Abigail is a woman who is serious about her carnal pursuits, and upon her return she immediately re-establishes her pursuit of the flesh of a lonely tomboy (Jordan) who has a longing for her brother (Edwards), a repressed housewife (Sorel) who harbors a hidden love of the ladies, and a troubled husband and wife (Gillis and  Brooke), Abigail having seduced the husband prior to her departure years earlier.

Through a series of erotic encounters, all of which are instigated by Abigail, all the characters in the story find sexual healing and some degree of happiness, and some just have a plain good time.

There are many appealing elements to “Abigail”. The acting by the entire cast is strong, with Rebecca Brooke again delivering a moving, believable, multi-faceted performance. In fact, the entire female cast is exceptional in the acting department — Sarno’s script must have struck a cord with these women.

As for the men, Eric Edwards is in fine form again, while Jamie Gillis, usually an outstanding actor in adult-oriented films, is quite subdued in his performance, but his screen time is limited anyway. While Rebecca Brooke could steal the acting award with her wide, expressionistic eyes, Sara Nicholson, aka Jennifer Jordan, cannot be overlooked in the titular role of Abigail. She and Brooke are the main focal points of the film and Nicholson plays her role with such a careful understanding and understating that it is clear she enjoyed having the unusually good script and director with which to work. Not to be outdone, Chris Jordan, Julia Sorel and Jennifer Welles steal a few scenes themselves.

Joe Sarno again creates a story populated with real, everyday people. His sense of humor occasionally lightens the mood, but his film is, for the most part, quite dramatic. He is as in tune with the characters psychologically as well as sexually, and “Abigail” is clearly among his best works. The acting scenes are as strong as the sex scenes, which are erotic and very steamy. The often sombre (but not overly so) mood is enhanced by the minimal Jack Justis score and photography by Armand Weston, both of whom would work again with Sarno, with nearly the entire cast of “Abigail Leslie”, on the following year’s “Misty”, which is an even better film. So, once again, adults wanting an intelligent erotic film will find themselves well-served by this.

  • Scene 1. Jennifer Jordan, Jamie Gillis
  • Scene 2. Rebecca Brooke, Jamie Gillis
  • Scene 3. Jennifer Jordan, Jamie Gillis
  • Scene 4. Chris Jordan, Jennifer Jordan
  • Scene 5. Jennifer Jordan, Eric Edwards
  • Scene 6. Julia Sorel, Jennifer Jordan, Eric Edwards, Jamie Gillis
  • Scene 7. Susan Sloan, Jennifer Welles, Sonny Landham
  • Scene 8. Rebecca Brooke
  • Scene 9. Julia Sorel, Jennifer Jordan
  • Scene 10. Rebecca Brooke, Jennifer Jordan
  • Scene 11. Susan Sloan, Julia Sorel, Rebecca Brooke
  • Scene 12. Rebecca Brooke, Jennifer Jordan, Eric Edwards, Sonny Landham
  • Scene 13. Jennifer Welles, Julia Sorel, Jennifer Jordan