The Corporate Ladder

This film was written by Greg Mellott, Christopher Reed, and Nick Vallelonga, the latter of whom also directed it, and it was released by Playboy Films in 1997.

What’s interesting about this film is that it’s leading cast is made of mostly mainstream actors and actresses, people whom you wouldn’t expect to see in a “softcore” film. And we’re not even talking about this being early in their careers, they all had years of credits in other films and TV shows before being cast in this film. I guess you could say that this was during a time when there was a bit less stigma attached to these “erotic thrillers”. Plus I’ll note that it’s difficult to find the unrated version of this film, it’s mostly the R-rated version that is available, so it just seems like any other made-for-cable film of the period.

Tony Denison stars as Matt, a rising young advertising executive happily married to his wife Susan, played by former Bond Girl Talisa Soto. Susan has recently gotten pregnant, and they’re both excited about it. It’s implied that a previous pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, so Matt is always insisting that Susan take it easy and just rest at home. At work, Matt is trying to land a major new account, which could make him the top ad-man at the company. Ben Cross plays Jay, an older exec at the company who is jealous of Matt and is trying to sabotage Matt’s career. And Kathleen Kinmont plays Nicole, whom Matt hires early in the film to be his new assistant.

With Nicole’s help, Matt lands the new account. Celebrating together late at night, Nicole comes on to Matt and they sleep together. Matt feels guilty and eventually tries to cut off the affair but at that point, Nicole has become obsessed with him. And now she wants to ruin his marriage so she can have him, by any means necessary.

I’ll just say that there are several twists and turns and things get pretty violent before this movie comes to an end.

Okay so, storywise, it may not be the most original plot, basically, it’s the Fatal Attraction trope. But with this particular cast, all great actors, it plays out very well and remains suspenseful right up to the ending. Ben Cross is particularly good as Jay, a sleazy older man who has no problem in coercing his female coworkers to sleep with him in order to supposedly advance their careers.

Strictly speaking as a softcore film, especially one produced by Playboy, it is a bit lacking. There are only two full sex scenes, both between Denison and Kinmont, in which she gets totally naked. They’re very hot scenes, but we could have used some more. On top of that, former Playboy Playmate Lisa Marie Scott, who plays Jay’s secretary, briefly gets fully nude in a scene where she’s ready to sleep with Jay, and Meilani Paul gets topless in a similar scene. With such little “sexual” content, I would have normally put this in my Mainstream Films category, it’s only under Softcore because it’s made by Playboy.

As a mainstream film, I’d give this four stars, but as a softcore film, the best I can give it is THREE STARS.


Jason Majercik is selling this R-RATED DVD for $24.99. Email him at for his softcore inventory list.

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