37 user 30 critic

The Story of O (1975)

Histoire d'O (original title)
NC-17 | | Drama | 14 November 1975 (USA)
The beautiful O is taken by her boyfriend, Rene, to a bizarre retreat, where she is trained in bondage and sexual perversion. Rene discharges a personal debt by transferring possession of O... See full summary »


Just Jaeckin


Dominique Aury (novel) (as Pauline Réage), Sébastien Japrisot

Watch Now

From $0.99 (SD) on Prime Video



Learn more

More Like This 

Emmanuelle (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

The wife of a French diplomat in Bangkok, Emmanuelle embarks on a voyage of sexual discovery.

Director: Just Jaeckin
Stars: Sylvia Kristel, Alain Cuny, Marika Green
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Set in the 1950s Italian countryside, the film tells the story of Lola and Masetto, a young couple whose views on premarital sex differ drastically.

Director: Tinto Brass
Stars: Anna Ammirati, Patrick Mower, Max Parodi
The Key (1983)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

In 1940s Venice, after twenty years of marriage, a Professor and his younger wife witness the passion wane. Now, all that remains is to confess the rousing thoughts to an elaborate diary hoping to break free from ties and inhibitions.

Director: Tinto Brass
Stars: Frank Finlay, Stefania Sandrelli, Franco Branciaroli
Paprika (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A young country girl comes to town and works in a brothel in order to help her fiance get the money to start his own business. "Paprika" is the name given to her by the madam.

Director: Tinto Brass
Stars: Debora Caprioglio, Stéphane Ferrara, Martine Brochard
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A happily married 24-year-old woman who experiences an inexplicable, rather restless craving to finally live her life intensely, retells her extra-marital escapades to her husband intending to spice up their marriage.

Director: Tinto Brass
Stars: Claudia Koll, Paolo Lanza, Franco Branciaroli
La donna lupo (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

This is the story of a Sicilian woman that tries to have avidly as many sexual adventures as possible. She uses different identities and personalities, but she can't stop collecting ... See full summary »

Director: Aurelio Grimaldi
Stars: Loredana Cannata, Arturo Paglia, Pascal Persiano
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A troubled college professor becomes obsessed with the idea that his emotionally distant wife is having an affair with his invalid father.

Director: Tinto Brass
Stars: Katarina Vasilissa, Francesco Casale, Cristina Garavaglia
Salon Kitty (1976)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Kitty runs a brothel in Nazi Germany where the soldiers come to "relax". Recording devices have been installed in each room by a power hungry army official, who plans to use the information to blackmail Hitler and gain power himself.

Director: Tinto Brass
Stars: Helmut Berger, Ingrid Thulin, Teresa Ann Savoy
Miranda (1985)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

In this erotic comedy, Miranda is the landlady of a small country tavern who is looking for a husband, and tries out a variety of men for size.

Director: Tinto Brass
Stars: Serena Grandi, Andrea Occhipinti, Franco Interlenghi
Romance (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Although deeply in love with her boyfriend - and indeed sleeping in the same bed with him - a schoolteacher cannot handle the almost complete lack of intimacy he will allow. Increasingly ... See full summary »

Director: Catherine Breillat
Stars: Caroline Ducey, Sagamore Stévenin, François Berléand
Story of O, the Series (TV Series 1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young woman is writing a series of love letters, telling her lover the story of O, for his entertainment, but also, it seems, as a challenge. O is a fashion photographer, who falls for ... See full summary »

Stars: Claudia Cepeda, Paulo Reis, Nelson Freitas
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A girl loves an older man. He demands that she goes in a brothel, as evidence that she loves him.

Director: Shûji Terayama
Stars: Isabelle Illiers, Klaus Kinski, Arielle Dombasle


Cast overview, first billed only:
Corinne Cléry ... O
Udo Kier ... Rene
Anthony Steel ... Sir Stephen
Jean Gaven ... Pierre
Christiane Minazzoli Christiane Minazzoli ... Anne-Marie
Martine Kelly Martine Kelly ... Therese
Jean-Pierre Andréani Jean-Pierre Andréani ... Eric, master II
Gabriel Cattand Gabriel Cattand ... The commander
Li Sellgren Li Sellgren ... Jacqueline (a model)
Albane Navizet Albane Navizet ... Andree
Nadine Perles Nadine Perles ... Jeanne
Laure Moutoussamy Laure Moutoussamy ... Norah, the maid
Henri Piégay Henri Piégay ... Master I
Alain Noury Alain Noury ... Ivan
Florence Cayrol Florence Cayrol ... Yvonne (as Jehanne Blaise)


The beautiful O is taken by her boyfriend, Rene, to a bizarre retreat, where she is trained in bondage and sexual perversion. Rene discharges a personal debt by transferring possession of O to his step-brother, Sir Stephen... Written by <rth@ece.arizona.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Masterpiece of Bizarre Love That Stormed France. A Portrait of Love and Submission to Disorder the Senses See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for sexual content. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



France | West Germany | Canada


French | English | Polish

Release Date:

14 November 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Story of O See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(2000 uncut re-release)

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The role of O was originally offered to Anulka Dziubinska though she declined on the advice of her agent. See more »


Most of the times that O's being whipped, there is no sound of the whip hitting her body. See more »


Anne-Marie: You mustn't keep your knees together.
See more »


Referenced in Eureka: The Story of O2 (2010) See more »


O' Et Sir Stephen
Written and Performed by Pierre Bachelet
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Love Hurts
21 July 2008 | by NodriesrespectSee all my reviews

Following his spectacular commercial as well as begrudging critical success with the landmark EMMANUELLE, photographer turned filmmaker Just Jaeckin tried his hand at another erotic literature adaptation. Published in 1954, "Histoire d'O" caused an immediate scandal – which drove the curious to the book stores – with its single-minded first person account of a young woman's voluntary debasement to please her insecure lover, evolving into a more equally based power relationship with the sophisticated elderly mentor to whom she is passed on. Its author "Pauline Réage" was clearly pseudonymous and who was really responsible proved a fertile source for speculation, a particularly persistent possibility being idiosyncratic director Alain Robbe-Grillet who would dabble (with wife Catherine, under the joint "nom de plume" Jean de Berg) in the S&M field with "L'Image", ironically also filmed that year in a beautiful borderline hardcore version by Radley Metzger. Finally, the culprit came clean herself – for, yes, it indeed was a woman – in 1992, revealing herself to be respected writer and translator Dominique Aury (whose real name was Anne Desclos), who had penned the novel as an angst-ridden love letter to her considerably older paramour Jean Paulhan, an esteemed member of the Academie Française, whose sophistication both overwhelmed and terrified her. Retaining much of the book's matter of fact prose through effective voice over, supplying the voice "O" willingly surrenders, HISTOIRE D'O proves Jaeckin's high watermark as an erotic entrepreneur.

Never given a proper character name beyond the single letter she adopts with implications of both nothingness and infinity, "O" (engagingly portrayed by exquisite Corinne Cléry, memorably ripped apart by Dobermanns in minor Bond MOONRAKER) humors lover René (cult favorite Udo Kier) by accepting an extended stay at the Château of Roissy, a secluded environment designed for the education of women – by their own volition, stressed at every turn – into a life of submission as the ultimate expression of love. Dressed in flowing robes that allow easy entry to whoever feels so inclined, "O" becomes part of a silent sisterhood whose utter servitude instills them with innate strength, available to all men yet belonging to none. Her personal manservant Pierre (longtime character actor Jean Gaven, impressive as one of the assumed villains in Jean Becker's masterpiece L'ETE MEURTRIER, coincidentally another film relying on extensive narration to get its point across) doles out daily punishment but relinquishes his power when he falls in love with his charge.

Her training complete, "O" returns to her real world occupation as fashion photographer, grooming stuck up model Jacqueline (gorgeous Li Sellgren, also in Jaeckin's MADAME CLAUDE) for René's benefit and a subsequent stay at Roissy. It soon becomes clear that "O" has already outgrown her only outwardly unconventional lover, summoned by his "tutor" Sir Stephen (former British matinée idol Anthony Steel, no stranger to "naughty" credits as he appeared in both of James Kenelm Clarke's Fiona Richmond vehicles HARDCORE and LET'S GET LAID) who has become intrigued by this strangely subservient girl wielding power over his pupil. Equipped with fearsome black housekeeper Norah (imposing Laure Moutoussamy, star of occasional gay pornographer Norbert Terry's COUCHE-MOI DANS LE SABLE ET FAIS JAILLIR TON PETROLE !), sophisticated Sir Stephen will push her boundaries even further, with the physical souvenirs (pierced labia and branded initials, again by her own choice) to prove it. To this end, he sends her to live with the deceptively kind Anne-Marie (a tremendous performance by Christiane Minazzoli, by then a mainstay in French films for over two decades) in a comforting girls only environment that would seem like a walk in the park after Roissy. Without men for distraction however, the women will dig their claws into each other for top spot in their mistress' favor. Watch for several skin flick starlets during this extended episode, like Albane Navizet (star of Jean-François Davy's LE DESIR a/k/a INFIDELITES), Nadine Perles (from Eddy Matalon's LA CHATTE SANS PUDEUR) and especially Martine Kelly as tomboy Thérèse. Not a soft porn siren per se, Kelly had totally charmed audiences in her debut as the Scottish lass coveted by Olivier De Funès in Jean Girault's affable LES GRANDES VACANCES. Over time, she would amass a consistently engaging body of work in movies as diverse as Samy Pavel's distinctly odd and now virtually impossible to see MISS O'GYNIE ET LES HOMMES FLEURS and the period melodrama LES MAL PARTIS by…Sébastien Japrisot, who adapted novel to screenplay for "O". Coincidence ?

It's amazing what a little – okay, a lot of – surface gloss could do to sneak contentious material past the censors circa 1975. One has to bear in mind that this played regular theaters rather than the "specialized circuit" and, literary pedigree notwithstanding, this is one diabolically dirty movie, even with most graphic components eloquently left to imagination. Revered DoP Robert Fraisse, who continues to work on both sides of the Atlantic to this very day (doing exemplary work on the Nick Cassavetes' ingratiating period piece THE NOTEBOOK for example), imbues the luxurious interiors with ominous grandeur in line with the dispassionate ritual approach Sir Stephen and his acolytes take to justify their apparently debauched goal, the dank coldness of Roissy contrasting effectively with the warm hues of the Anne-Marie segment. As with EMMANUELLE, late pop chart topper Pierre Bachelet contributes a richly varied score which proved a bestseller on vinyl, an obligatory auditory accoutrement in middle class households back in the day. Only slightly less successful than its predecessor, yet a far more ambitious and accomplished work, HISTOIRE D'O also proved something of a private obsession for producer Eric Rochat, who would return to the material time and again with a peculiar sequel (pretentiously subtitled CHAPITRE II, which he helmed himself) with Dutch actress Sandra Wey who was no Sylvia Kristel and a ten episode miniseries starring Brazilian bombshell Claudia Cepeda. Neither of these in any way tarnishes the ebullient effect the extremely erotic original still exudes over three decades down the line.

17 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 37 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed