It's hard to critique what was little more than a simple formula, followed four times, kind of like a lengthy R-rated television show for movie theaters. Confessions of a Window Cleaner is not a film that anyone is likely to blindly seek out in the 21st century; its audience will be those who have some memory of seeing the films on late-night television or as boxes in a video store. The films were derided by UK critics as filth when they were in theaters, but viewed today, these sex romps are playfully quaint, and there's a surprising lack of offensively outdated gender politics on display, outside of the copious nudity, and sitcom-level nagging that goes on between Sidney and his put-upon wife Rosie (Sheila White), who knows that Sidney would be the one with the confessions if she didn't keep an eye on him at all times.
Instead of cleaning windows, Lea generally pokes his head through them, such as the window at an all-girls school, or the window of some woman who appears to be sunbathing indoors. Rosie is pregnant, so Sidney tells Timothy he's gotta pick up more of the business's responsibilities, which of course include sleeping with a number of beautiful women. What follows is basically a series of unrelated vignettes about one of Lea's clients, which offer a) a number of window cleaning / sex puns about buckets being filled and ladders going up, b) nudity, and c) conclude in some kind of gag sequence. At one house, Lea knocks over a jug of soap and accidentally leaves the tap on, then he and a gorgeous blonde (Sue Longhurst) have sex in the bubbles. In another, Lea and a girl (Katya Wyeth) quote movies to one another and do impressions while moving toward the bed (one of the film's more charming bits).
Despite his healthy client list, Lea's heart belongs to Elizabeth Radlett (Linda Hayden), who he runs into on the street after falling off his ladder. Later, he discovers that not only is she a police officer, but her father (John Le Mesurier) is one of the chief inspectors. The closest thing the film has to a central conflict is Elizabeth's reluctance to sleep with Lea, which he solves by asking her to marry him. Although Lea's fear of Elizabeth's father seems to be the perfect set-up for a stand-off finale, an entirely different set of complications arise when Lea goes to get married, which feels a bit arbitrary. Hayden is charming, and the viewer can understand what Lea sees in her, although most of his lovers are charming, too.
Director Val Guest aims for slapstick, sight gags, and silliness at all costs. These gags are hit-and-miss, generally missing when the gag doesn't make much sense. In one scene, Lea is supposed to hide, and his lover (Olivia Munday) shoos him away from crawling under the bed or climbing in the closet, telling him to hide under a tiger-skin rug instead, and Guest makes no effort to hide the fact that a very three-dimensional man is laying under a rug that ought to be more two-dimensional. Lea often cuts a path of destruction with his ladder and absent-mindedness, but the cartoon nature of Confessions means his damage can basically disappear between shots. That's the film in a nutshell: cute, occasionally dumb, and doesn't leave a mark.
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