Die Stewardessen (1971)

This 70’s soft-core sex comedy chronicles the exploits of several flight attendants whose favorite perk-of-the-trade is the ability to flit from one sexual adventure to the next. The mile high club takes on a new meaning as the swingin’ German heroines make their way throughout Europe.

Directed by Erwin C. Dietrich in 1971, Die Stewardessen (alternately known as Swinging Stewardesses, Naked Stewardesses, Stewardesses Report and released domestically on VHS as Sweet Sensations!) was quite obviously Dietrich’s attempt to cash in on the stewardess film craze by mixing it with the Schoolgirl Report style sexploitation pictures that were being churned out by some of his continental competitors. The results are kind of great and fans of sexy Eurotrash really ought to get a kick out of this one. Unlike the Schoolgirl Report movies, however, this one doesn’t really have a framing device, it simply opens by telling us that there are stewardesses out there and that through the magic of the movies we’re going to get a chance to check out a few of them in action. From there it simply showcases a quintet of lovely ladies, each of whom has a career in the air.

The first scene follows lovely Jenny (Margrit Siegel) who has a thing for the captain of the plane she’s currently working on. When the opportunity arises for her to get a little alone time with him in the cockpit, she takes advantage of it and goes to town. All the while he maintains complete control over the aircraft, never once endangering the lives of the passengers who have entrusted their lives to him. While this is going on, a creepy older guy hears them go at it and afterwards talks Jenny into accompanying him to his hotel room once they land. Once they get there, she showers off and he passes out, fast asleep.

Up next we meet Frances (Ursula Marty), a foxy little number who hops a flight to Rome and also crushes on the captain of her flight. When they land, she takes advantage of the down time they have until their next flight and bones him silly – after which he proposes to her!

Our third story follows Evelyn (Evelyne Traeger) who takes a job on a flight to Copenhagen. After landing, she has a bit of leisure time and after exploring the city a bit, she hooks up with and then proceeds to bump uglies with a beefcake bodybuilder type. Later on, her fellow stewardess, Ingrid (Ingrid Steeger), invites her to join her and some friends for a dirty movie watching party that turns into a sex session for the two ladies and their men.

Last but not least, Anne (Kathrin Heberle) finishes up her flight and meets up with a frizzy haired beatnik guy. They hit a carnival together, play that game where you have to ring the bell by hitting a lever with a mallet, and then head out to a drug party where they smoke a bunch of weed underneath a Che Guevara poster. Once that’s over with, they get it on and so does everyone else in at the shindig.

A playful picture and much lighter in tone than Ich Ein Groupie (which Dietrich made with Steeger a year earlier), Die Stewardessen is a fun watch if you’re not too demanding in the story department. The film moves at a brisk pace and incorporates just enough amusingly obvious stock footage to substitute for actual takeoff and landing footage that you could make a fun drinking game out of it. There’s a lot of travelogue style bits and pieces here too, as Dietrich seems amused by following his starlets around various locations before getting them to disrobe for the camera later in their respective chapters. Of course, none of this is done with any attempt at realism, it’s simply playing to a fantasy and a fetish while riding on the coattails of the better known Al Silliman Jr. film The Stewardesses (originally shown in 3-D!) from 1969.

Short on plot and high on skin, the movie’s main selling point really is the fact that it features five foxy young starlets in various states of undress. It’s nicely shot in that regard, the girls all look great and are framed very nicely. Throw in a light, bouncy score from regular Dietrich collaborator Walter Baumgartner and some moderately amusing comedy alongside the sexy softcore highjinks and travelogue footage and this one is a fun watch.

Die Stewardessen arrives on Blu-ray from Ascot Elite in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 1.85.1 widescreen. This is quite a big upgrade compared to the DVD release that also came from Ascot Elite some years back. The elements used for the transfer were in very nice shape and there isn’t much in the way of serious print damage to complain about, just some nicks and small marks here and there. Grain is obvious but never distracting and there are no issues with noise reduction or edge enhancement at all. Detail is quite strong and color reproduction is also very good. Solid black levels help things out too, and all that skin on display thankfully looks nice and natural and warm, never too hot or too pink.

Audio options are provided German and English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio as well as Italian, French and German Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, there are no subtitles provided. The English audio here is fine, really only spreading out the score and keeping most of the other bits of the mix up in the front and center channel. No issues with any hiss or distortion to note and the levels are well balanced.

The main extra on the disc is a featurette entitled Andreas Mannkopff: Von Groupies Und Stewardessen. Unfortunately it’s German language only, there are no English subs or audio. Aside from that, we get a trailer for the feature, trailers for a few other Erwin C. Dietrich titles available on Blu-ray from Ascot-Elite, a still gallery, menus and chapter selection. Additionally, for the BD-Rom equipped, if you pop the disc into your drive you’ll have access the same thirty-six page text interview with Dietrich from an issue of a German fanzine called Splatting Image and the rare one hundred and ninety seven page book on Dietrich’s films, Mädchen, Machos und Moneten: die unglaubliche Geschichte des Schweizer Kinounternehmers Erwin C. Dietrich. It’s all in German but these are nice additions to the release (and duplicated on all of the discs in the line so far).