In the Sign of the Lion (1976)
By: Paul Ryan on September 16, 2009  | 
Smirk (USA). All Regions, NTSC. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). Danish DD 2.0. English Subtitles. 89 minutes
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Werner Hedman
Starring: Ole Søltoft, Sigrid Horne-Rasmussen, Ann-Marie Berglund, Else Petersen
Screenplay: Werner Hedman, Edmondt Jensen, Anders Sandburg
Country: Denmark
External Links
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Our journey through the realm of seventies Nordic naughtiness continues with another entry in Werner Hedman's series of Zodiac-inspired shag-fests. Like the earlier In the Sign of the Taurus, Hedman's In the Sign of the Lion spins another tale of pre-WW2 debauchery coupled with a tenuous link to an astrological symbol. Hey, whatever gets you off, right?

It's 1934, and elderly sisters Rosa (Sigrid Horne-Rasmussen) and Soffy (Ann-Marie Berglund) have spent years writing novels based on their aristrocratic family's history, but receive letters of rejection on an almost daily basis. When their latest rejection letter criticizes the lack of romance and eroticism in their work, the pair decide to take a different tack. Recalling their youthful days as er, "servants" to the sexually voracious Count Johann (William Kisum), they put together an erotic memoir of their years in his employ. Thanks to gossipy mailman Rasmussen (Karl Stegger), word of this leaks back to the Count's surviving relative – and local morals crusader – Count Hubert (Ib Mossin), who threatens trouble for the ladies if they go ahead with the book. Believing they have a potential hit on their hands, the sisters credit the book – titled In the Sign of the Lion – to their meek nephew Tony (Ole Søltoft), who is out of the country and knows nothing of the book. Upon his return to Denmark, Tony finds himself an unwitting celebrity, not to mention the target of amorous advances from numerous female readers. But with the threat of trouble from the Vice Squad, not to mention the constant prying of an attractive investigative journalist (Lizzi Varencke), the whole charade is going to prove very difficult to (ahem) keep up…

Amiable, handsomely produced and honestly quite funny in places, In the Sign of the Lion is even closer to a real film than its predecessor. The abundant sex scenes are generally featured in service to the story, rather than stopping the attempts at a plot in their tracks. If anything, these films best typify the attempts by seventies porn makers (famously expressed by Burt Reynolds' character in Boogie Nights) to feature stories that keep the viewers interest beyond the actual sex. The cast are all high-spirited (and as in Taurus, it's the supporting cast who do all the hardcore work, while the leads do the real acting stuff), while Hedman creates a few genuinely bonkers moments of erotic comedy (you're unlikely to forget the dance sequence anytime soon). As you'd expect from the era, pretty much everyone could do with a bit of a trim, but that's seventies porn for you…
While generally rather soft (and possibly shot that way), this is a very good anamorphic video transfer, with good colors and minimal film artifacts.
A plain, unspectacular 2.0 track is featured here. It's in good condition for this kind of film, with no problems to speak of.
Extra Features
Slides (2.36m): As with In the Sign of the Taurus, this comes with another useless slideshow of stills from the film, bridged with home-movie level video transitions. Skip it.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
A more confident film than In the Sign of the Taurus, this entry in Werner Hedman's Tegn series works best as a bawdy comedy that just happens to have spots of hardcore sex. The DVD presentation is again technically impressive for a film like this, though the slideshow still proves a needless inclusion.

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