Adventures of a Taxi Driver

Part of a multi-title set | Stanley Long's Adventures: A Seventies Sex Comedy Threesome


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Once dubbed the ‘King of Sexploitation’ by the tabloid press, Stanley Long was the godfather of the British sex film. Starting out with 8mm striptease reels in the 1950s before moving into nudist documentaries, Long went on to produce and direct a string of extremely popular X-rated movies which told tales of wife swapping, groupies and other saucy goings on. He reached the pinnacle of commercial success with this trio of incredibly successful ‘on the job’ sex comedies.

Adventures of a Taxi Driver, starring sitcom actor Barry Evans, set the template with the antics of a cabbie who ‘gets more than his fare share’. Securing international distribution – as well as becoming the most successful comedy at the British box office in 1976 – it prompted two sequels, each featuring more of the same but with a different lead actor (future hit-record producer Christopher Neil).

Boasting supporting casts which burst with top-tier British acting talent – including Harry H Corbett (Steptoe and Son), Diana Dors (Berserk), Judy Geeson (Inseminoid), Suzy Kendall (To Sir, with Love), future musical theatre sensation Elaine Paige, and former Doctor Who Jon Pertwee – the Adventures series represents British popular filmmaking at its most unashamedly cheeky.

Picture 7/10

Indicator presents Stanley Long’s Adventures of a Taxi Driver on a dual-layer Blu-ray disc in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 with a 1080p/24hz high-definition encode. The disc is currently only available in Indicator’s box set Stanley Long's Adventures: A Seventies Sex Comedy Threesome.

I have to say I’m kind of impressed at how the film looks here. The film was shot in 16mm, largely so the camera could fit in the taxicab central to the film, and due to that (and what I can only assume was a very low budget and hasty schedule) the film is incredibly grainy and visually rough. Yet the film manages to translate rather well to the high-definition format. I can’t say how old the master probably is, and aspects of it come off a bit dated, but it handles the film’s very heavy grain effectively, to the point where it looks natural a lot of the time, if a little noisier in the darker shots. The finer details rarely ever stick out, more than likely a byproduct of the original photography, but the image is still crisp enough, rarely looking soft or fuzzy. The encode looks good, but again this is still limited a bit by the base presentation.

The source elements show some general wear: there is a notable flicker and pulse that pops up throughout, along with the occasional mark and scratch. Outside of that, the image has been cleaned up to an impressive degree. Colours have a warmer, desaturated look, with things leaning green in places, but it’s not all that heavy and doesn’t negatively impact the image in other areas: black levels still look fine enough, if a bit murky in the shadows at times, and blues are still present. 

All things considered, from its low-budget to hasty production schedule to the impact of time on the elements, this looks significantly better than I was anticipating.

Audio 6/10

I don’t know what to say about the lossless PCM 1.0 monaural soundtrack other than it’s serviceable. Though music (like the song over the opening credits) can show modest range, the rest of the track, from dialogue to sound effects, sounds flat. Damage isn’t a problem, and dialogue sounds clear enough. Some North American viewers may have trouble with some accents.

Extras 8/10

The supplements also end up being a bit of a surprise. There is a surprisingly informative audio commentary from director Stanley Long recorded in 2008 for a DVD release. It should go without saying, considering the film and its end goals, that some comments haven’t aged particularly well when it comes to how certain scenarios came about or what the director has to say about some of the cast, yet I think even back in the day I would have grown a little weary from hearing “she had a wonderful figure” stated ad nauseum throughout the track. Still, I found the track fascinating when he gets into the technical details of the film, particularly the structure and setting up the film’s gags. I was amused by the level of thought that actually did go into coming up with “plausible” scenarios, though he admits they did stretch things a bit, which he points out around a sequence where he needed to get a couple into a bathtub.

The track does, unforunately, get a little cringey near the end, where Long decides to take a moment to lambast one particular “feminist” critic that didn’t like the film. He’s clearly mad, 30-years-or-so later, and it ends up being bizarre because this film received mostly pans with far worse comments from many other critics, yet he seems incredibly hung up on this one. Getting past moments like that, I found his comments specific to the work that went into writing and making the film utilizing very few resources interesting, and there are some fun bits of trivia, like learning that Ingmar Bergman’s daughter, Anna Bergman, is in the film (which I missed in the credits), that it beat Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver at the box office, and how films like Alfie and such influenced it.

Also presented as an alternate audio track is the first part (of three) of a BEHP interview with Long, conducted by Dennis Gifford and Emmanuel Yospa in 1999. For this section Long focuses on his early work, which included film development, and then works his way on up to his sex comedies. On that front he brings up how he was always pushed to take things up a notch and be more daring, but he didn’t want to be too obscene, something he mentions in the commentary a number of times. It can be a bit dry but I knew absolutely nothing about Long’s background prior to this, and it’s a bit of a trip to hear how he would come to make the Adventure films. It runs about 87-minutes, with the film’s audio filling in the last few minutes of the track.

New to this release is an interview with director of photography Peter Sinclair. Though the 15-minute discussion does have a tighter focus on his work on the Adventure films it ends up being more of a career retrospective that includes talk around his later work on music videos. It’s worthwhile, but I was more intrigued by the technical challenges that came with filming the Adventure films.

The disc then includes a trailer and a gallery, the latter of which includes promotional photos (including what looks to be from a premiere), posters and lobby cards, VHS covers, and what appears to be, yes, a cover from the novelization of the film. The fact that that couldn’t be included in full as a feature is easily one of the biggest shames in the history of home video supplements.

One of the more intriguing inclusions in the set is the 86-minute program Best of Adventures, which appears to have been made for home video. Hosted by Peter Noble, it’s really nothing but a “clip show” that features the “best” clips from the movie, most of which feature nudity in one form or another, while occasionally trying to suggest the films were groundbreaking. Included here more for posterity (I’m sure) there isn’t much to say about it in the end, but it is interesting. It has been sourced from VHS but the quality is, rather surprisingly, not all that bad.

In the end I must give Indicator credit. Whatever one’s thoughts on the films (and I’ll just say I’d rather watch a Carry On film again, and that is in no way to be taken as a compliment towards the Carry On films) they did go to a good amount of effort with this release, and it carries on through the rest of the set. I actually enjoyed going through the features.


Much better than I was anticipating, Indicator packs on some rather interesting supplements along with an imperfect but surprisingly solid presentation.

Part of a multi-title set | Stanley Long's Adventures: A Seventies Sex Comedy Threesome


Directed by: Stanley Long
Year: 1976
Time: 89 min.
Series: Indicator
Edition #: 260
Licensor: Screenbound
Release Date: April 25 2022
MSRP: $32.99  (Box set exclusive)
1 Disc | BD-50
1.85:1 ratio
English 1.0 PCM Mono
Subtitles: English
Regions A/B/C
 Audio commentary with producer and director Stanley Long (2008)   The Best of the Adventures (1981, 87 mins): feature-length compilation of extracts from all three films in the Adventures series, made for the nascent videotape market and hosted by journalist and broadcaster Peter Noble   The BEHP Interview with Stanley Long: Part One (1999, 87 mins): archival audio recording, made as part of the British Entertainment History Project, featuring the producer and director in conversation with Dennis Gifford and Emmanuel Yospa   Peter Sinclair’s Camera (2022, 15 mins): the veteran cinematographer discusses his work for exploitation filmmakers Stanley Long and Pete Walker, and his move to Los Angeles in the 1980s to direct music videos   Original theatrical trailer   Image gallery: promotional and publicity materials from Stanley Long’s archives   Script gallery: complete shooting screenplay