An all-knowing interlocutor guides us through a series of affairs in Vienna, 1900. A soldier meets an eager young lady of the evening. Later he has an affair with a young lady, who becomes a maid and does similarly with the young man of the house. The young man seduces a married woman. On and on, spinning on the gay carousel of life.Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
I love the concept of this film and its lightness. In presenting these ten little vignettes of love (or more often just sex), each related to the last by one of its characters, it unabashedly touches on prostitution, sex in public, seduction, infidelity, the double standard, an age gap, mirrors over the bed, a couple of slaps leading to sex, and male impotence (the narrator's merry go round humorously grinding to a halt the first time the last one happens). Nothing's shown but it's quite risqué for 1950, and not surprising that conservatives in America initially banned it. The cast is quite deep and filled with charming leading ladies - Simone Signoret, Simone Simon (I just love typing those two names together), Danielle Darrieux, Odette Joyeux, and Isa Miranda.
It seems to be from a male perspective though, as the women are a little too passive, maybe with the exception of Miranda's character at the end. In one creepy moment a middle aged man (whose just had sex with a tipsy 19 year old shopgirl in their private booth at a restaurant) tells her "When two young people like each other, there's no need to drug the champagne, I assure you," implying that there are occasions when he's done so, and it's something she just smiles over. The film is also a tad uneven as it glides along, though coming full circle was pretty clever. It's also remarkably accepting of sex as being natural, and for people to go from one relationship to another in their lives. I like what it was going for, especially for the period in which it was made.
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