Clarissa Harlowe is a young eighteenth-century Englishwoman whose family are trying to force her to marry a repellent but aristocratic suitor. The handsome Lovelace helps her escape but his intentions towards her prove to be less than entirely honourable: out of the frying pan into the furnace; the place of safety to which he takes her is really a brothel.
For Clarissa it ends badly but along the way we see a range of eighteenth-century ladies including the aristocratic Miss D’Oyley (Jennifer Wiltsie), the cultured ‘Cousin Charlotte’ (Francesca Longrigg) and ‘Lady Betty’ (Diana Quick): the latter two actually being whores assisting Lovelace’s cunning plan. Lady Betty’s powdered hairstyle is a three-quarters wig with her front hair powdered to blend with the wig.
The standards of oral hygene, dentistry and orthodonty are clearly not of twenty-first century standards leaving many of the whores fairly unpleasant looking teeth.
Marilyn MacDonald was the makeup designer.