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X-rated movie ads featuring one of the hottest adult stars of the '70s

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Hi all! THE PHANTOM here. Desiree Cousteau always seems to land on every list of the hottest XXX stars of the '70s, and even of all time. No doubt she had a sexuality about her that made her extremely appealing, and of course that

meant box office success. Her career was brief however, and here we take a look at the classic ads of some of her films, and even a few articles. 

- THE PHANTOM 10.1.22

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Desiree's star rose quickly, and then it was quite the big deal to have an actual photo of an actress in the ad. Desiree was particularly sexy so there was definitely no objection. 

Already touting achievements in 1979, "Easy" brags that she's the "Best Actress," which she certainly was according to her AFAA (Adult Film Association of America) award for her role in "Peaches" the year before, her first film. Also, not a bad endorsement from Hustler Magazine for the movie, saying it's likely the best adult film of the year.

Another Desiree film at the Dishman, "Getting" is actually "Getting Off," the title being altered for some unknown reason (local standards in Spokane, Washington?). How things have changed since!

Co-star John Leslie was in his fifth year in the biz and had by then easily established himself as one of the industry's top male stars, even having his name alongside superstar Serena.

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Looks like not every ad had Desiree's pretty face, but they certainly had her name. An at least the Cinema Blue has the full title of "Getting It On." Very interesting to see an "amateur night" advertised there. Amateur home porn movies maybe? "Hot Lunch" was another popular one, complete with corny ad line, and with a convenient matinee in case one doesn't want to wait until evening.

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A few more for "Hot Lunch" (the Dishman seemed to love Desiree, can't blame them). Of course with "Hot Lunch" comes two more corny but great tag lines. The Dishman even has a 'couples rate.' That wasn't so unusual as any women attending these movies was like a bonus, and another patron to hopefully buy some concessions. Sometimes women were even admitted inside for free while escorting a man.

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"Hot Lunch" is also a good example of a film with different titles, as here we see it as "Lisa's Diner." 

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On the right is a great April 1979 San Francisco advertisement for Desiree making a live appearance dancing on stage. She's in the "Ultra Room" at the infamous O'Farrell Cinema, and looks like she has quite a busy day, putting on no less than five shows! That's one more than her "Candy Goes to Hollywood" co-star Carol Connors, with her own packed schedule of four shows. Of course, it was quite common for adult actresses to make even more cash with live dancing. Seems one can also pick up XXX videocassettes at the theatre.


The porn industry was always quick to see a cash-making venture, and even in 1979 VHS tapes were huge business. The Mitchell Brothers produced some classic X films and had opened the O'Farrell club in 1969. They were also the first to transfer adult films onto videotape for sale. No doubt some of their films they were selling on cassette included "The Autobiography of a Flea," "Behind the Green Door" and "Resurrection of Eve."

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Speaking of "Candy Goes to Hollywood," that film was a pretty big adult hit in '79. A great cast and a funny story made it a good viewing. It was also the first film appearance of "Wendy Williams" who had been doing sex shows in Times Square, Manhattan. Wendy Williams of course is Wendy O. Williams of the Plasmatics. Desiree gets her name underlined in the second ad. And it's "Hot Lunch" again, only with yet another name, "Hot Bunch." 

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Now here's something special. Desiree was so popular that she even was the main feature in a mainstream newspaper article, the Courier-Post of New Jersey, November 7, 1980. Click for a larger version to read!

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Desiree gets the photo treatment again in these 1981 ads, including a live appearance in Detroit showing three of her "hottest" films. Interesting however is that her name is not mentioned as starring in "Deep Rub," she was such a recognizable star that her photo was enough anyway.

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The Cabaret from the above ad puts out a classified in the "Adults Only" section advertising the Desiree Cousteau Film Festival, and another five shows in one day for the tireless superstar. And then it's back to the Dishman for some more Desiree, in the '79 film "Summer Heat" playing in 1981.

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Something related, Desiree is mentioned a few times in this 1981 Arizona article about adult shows on NYC cable.

Fun fact: show host Robyn Byrd ("Debbie Does Dallas") was once an item with Barry Manilow!
Click on each part of the article to read a larger version.

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Yes, we do love the Dishman. "Randy" has a nice full-body shot of a dancing Desiree, with a sweet Hustler endorsement. The 1980 ad on the right advertises "Inside Desiree Cousteau" simply as "Desiree Cousteau," with a quote referring to the film by her name only, so it's not a typo. 

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Notorious for the controversy, "Superwoman" was released in 1979 to cash in on DC Comics' and Warner Brothers' "Superman" box office smash. Of course, those two organizations didn't like the idea, and felt it crossed the legal line, so they sued and the film went through a name change to "Ms. Magnificent." Prints and posters were destroyed, although on many prints the "S" logo on Superwoman's chest was drawn and scribbled over by hand frame by frame. Notice the odd spelling of Desiree's name on both posters and even one of the ads. Both these ads are from 1981, long after the change, but the theatre on Iberville Drive in Mississippi advertises the film as "Superwoman." Could it be they managed to somehow get a surviving untouched original print? There's also a strong rumor that the original "Superwoman" had an extremely limited videocassette release either in 1979 or 1980. If anyone out there has a copy of either the cassette or just a copy of the movie as "Superwoman" in any form, contact THE SWANAGE and let's talk! 

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Some interesting small ones here. When X-cinemas were just beginning to have trouble, they still played Desiree's older films, like "Inside Desiree Cousteau" complete with the Inside this time. Cable TV usually had an "adult channel" that would show edited versions of hardcore films, including Desiree's "Randy" in 1983. And of course, the one that started it all, "Pretty Peaches" starring that "internationally famed cover girl."

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Now here's a bunch of ads with Desiree's gorgeous face. Back at the Cinema Blue not only do they have a bunch of her films but she's live on stage, and looks like she's taking it easy, doing only four shows this time instead of her usual five. Art Theatre Video ("art" of course) is having a sale on some of Desiree's films, $15 off, in 1981. That should be a reminder of how expensive videocassette movies were back then! Looks like Cinema 35 and the McCook are playing it safe by emphasizing "Absolutely No Under 18 Admitted." And there's always the "shocking" and "startling" show at the Skyborn is one is looking to spend some quality time at the movies.

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An ad from Detroit in 1982 advertises no less than three Desiree films, for a $5.00 admission, a bit pricey in 1982 for a porno theater. Then it's some films at the Big Bear Drive-In. That's probably not a bad place to watch an adult film if privacy is a concern. Makes one wonder if there were kids over the fence sneaking a free viewing? Then we have a review for "Inside Desiree Cousteau" that is a bit less than praising.

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Of course, the actual movie ad for "Inside" has quotes that rave about the popular film. In Detroit at the Harbor, they advertise an upcoming live appearance from Desiree, but in the meantime they have legends Samantha Fox and Bobby Astyr "together on stage." Not sure if it was a sex show, but whatever it was, it's not for the kiddies.

The Playboy Channel on cable-TV in the very early 80s ran a sexy program titled "Electric Blue," which was described as a "men's magazine on video." Desiree hosted one episode (pic on right), talking about various clips and skits, in-between romping in bed with a lucky fellow. At one point, she says she has a new film, "Randy the Electric Lady," and tells everyone not to go see it, but to buy it. Even as far back as 1980, the adult industry took advantage of the blossoming home video market by releasing titles in both theaters and on videocassette. 

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In 1983, Desiree appeared in her final film, "Aphrodesia's Diary." It was a non-speaking role in a dream/fantasy sequence (right pic). The movie in 1984 was in theaters and already on cable TV, in edited form of course.

And in 1985, where was Desiree's final film playing? You guessed it, at the Dishman. 
(There have also been some other films credited after 1983 where supposedly Desiree made an appearance, but none of those actually featured her.)

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​With that dear friends, I shall say thanks for reading, we hope you enjoyed this look back at some of Desiree Cousteau's film ads and career. In the near future we'll do the same with other great XXX stars! - THE PHANTOM

Of course, there had to be a promo in here somewhere, so this is where we mention once again that if you are interested in a classic XXX collection of over 3300+ films pre-loaded on an external hard drive, full of many years of adult entertainment with an insane amount of bonuses too, check out all info here.

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