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Les tentations de Marianne (1973)

This is the story of innocent Marianne works in a ski resort high in the French alps. One night she agrees to go on a date with Bob, a young guy on vacation. Bob excites her in ways that ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rosa Fumetto ...
Marianne (as Patricia Novarini)
Bob Asklöf ...
Bob Sanders
Bernard Tixier ...
Paul
Andrée Damant ...
La mère de Marianne
Evelyne Gaillard ...
La femme de Bernier
Elisabeth Plaza
Cathy Reghin
...
Myriam
Mireille Barrand
Reine Villers
Daniel Bellus
Alain Quercy ...
Bernier, le patron de Bob
Jean Roquel ...
Le père de Marianne
Philippe Richeux
Gilles Signard ...
Marc - l'amant de Marianne
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Storyline

This is the story of innocent Marianne works in a ski resort high in the French alps. One night she agrees to go on a date with Bob, a young guy on vacation. Bob excites her in ways that her oafish boyfriend never could. On a whim, Marianne decides to follow Bob back to Paris. At first he is annoyed by the persistent demands of his unwanted guest. Then he hits on a plan to make money from Marianne's naivety by using her as bait to attract rich clients whom he will then black-mail. However, Marianne is not quite as innocent as Bob thinks. Written by Ørnås

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Drama

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8 February 1973 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Le tentazioni di Cristina  »

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Trivia

A little more than 6 minutes were cut by French censors before theatrical release (notably: display of male genitals, ironic use of French money during a sex scene, and flogging shots from the final sex orgy scene). See more »

Connections

Featured in Eurotika!: French Blue (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
From Russia with love...(possible spoiler)
25 May 2000 | by (little hintock, england) – See all my reviews

MARIANNE'S TEMPTATIONS is that rare bird - a Marxist sexploitation movie. Originally part of a Godard-like post-68 revolutionary film collective, cash-strapped Francis Leroi decided to exploit the current French vogue for arty skinflicks to fund the struggle. Casting a papal niece in the lead, the film made a fortune, and paved the way for EMMANUELLE. The curious thing is, in retrospect, how left-wing TEMPTATIONS genuinely is, using many of the expected tropes of the soft-porn movie - pastoral music, soft-focus lighting, lesbian titillation, threesomes, orgies etc. - but stopping, frustratingly, just before onanistic relief. Of course, this could be due to the cutting, which, in some places, DOES make the narrative feel like a Godard deconstruction.

The film has been called a classic 'innocent abroad' film, but the Marianne who begins TEMPTATIONS working in an Alpine resort, sneaking her beardy boyfriend past her dour parents for unsatisfying quickies in her red-filtered bedroom, is no sexual Candide. When she first meets Bob, drunk, staring poolside at her, swimming, through a camera, it's clear that she has made the connection between his equipment and its phallic suggestibility.

So why, when she forces herself on her lover as he returns to Paris in search of the high life, she suddenly becomes coy isn't quite clear. Nor is Bob's profession - he goes from being a failed real-estate agent pretending to be a photographer, to an actual photographer who pimps for rich businessmen. He tries to get Marianne to pose for naked photographs, to perform for clients, to take part in an S&M orgy with a tinge of bestiality to please his boss, but she becomes increasingly horrified, despite her bizarre love for him. Dazed, her mother is sent for, and she returns to her idyllic Alpine lifestyle, with its lifeless conformity, infantilising, distanced parents, and abusive boyfriend.

This ending, its bleak ironies underlined by a fatuously optimistic score, and the parody of a spiritual journey (Marianne's temptations are like Christ's in the desert), gives some hint of its filmmakers' progressive, iconoclastic intentions, essaying the vicious circle of exploitaton and independence that traps the working class, especially women (the whirl of the ski lift resembles a factory machine). In this way, the film IS Godardian, the character of the exploited woman used as metaphor for the wider exploitation that is Western capitalism.

There is one extraordinary, complex sequence, when a rich businessman, covertly photographed by Bob, offers huge sums to two women to remove individual items of clothing, showing the alienation of the individual and desire as it enters the matrix of economic exploitation and (male) media mediation. There's nothing like it in sexploitation, and the film is full of such vignettes, in which the scene's primary aim - to titillate - is waylaid by analyses of power and abuse, from parents, lovers, co-workers, even other women.

Leroi is no Russ Meyer, and the slow pacing and uninventive techniques ultimately militate against the film, in spite of the fascinating politics. There is compensation, however, in Patricia Novarini's wonderfully fresh, searching performance, reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn, an anti-Audrey if you like, in that she refuses to be absorbed by the glittering, supposedly superior social world that seduces her, facing a tragic non-choice. Novarini never made another film - our loss.


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