SAINT JACK - K-B Janus 2.

One of the producers of "Saint Jack" is Hugh M. Hefner, who has had success in the publishing industry with the formula of packaging mild pornography with well-known names and ersatz philosophy. It gives the customer a respectable excuse for buying the product.

This movie, based on a novel by Paul Theroux, is directed by Peter Bogdanovich and stars Ben Gazzara and Denholm Elliott. It has a two-minute nude lesbian sex scene in about two hours of film showing Gazzara walking about Singapore exchanging pleasantries with his English pal (elliott) Chinese businessmen, prostitutes from various Asian backgrounds, drunken Englishmen, American soldiers and assorted animals.

If this makes it a bad value erotically, it's an even worse one for those who fancy drama or character development.

The story merely follows the business cycle of an American pimp in Singapore, from doing street arrangements, to having his own brothel, to the destruction of his brothel by rivals, to a job servicing American servicemen, to a free-lance assignment blackmailing a politician. The ethical conflict is that after doing the blackmail job, he decides it "stinks."

As if that weren't enough to qualify anyone for sainthood, this hero also disapproves of selling heroin to American soldiers. Good clean fun, that's all he deals in. The proof is that all the prostitutes who work for him are happy-go-lucky young beauties who love their work, spend their off-duty time filling the house with their childishly happy singing, and enjoy the security of his avuncular protection.

Perhaps the philosophical part is that a saint like that should have rough times as well as prosperous ones. CAPTION: Picture, BEN GAZZARD AS PIMP JACKS FLOWERS, SEALS A DEAL BETWEEN A PROSTITUTE AND A VISITING AMERICAN AS HIS FRIEND DENHOLM ELLIOTT WATCHES, IN A SCENE FROM "SAINT JACK."