Photographer O's lover takes her to a Château, where she is, like other women there, naked, humiliated by whipping, sexual abuse by men etc. When O leaves, her lover gives her to his much older step-brother.
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
Most of the times that O's being whipped, there is no sound of the whip hitting her body. See more »
They examined her body in a brutal and abominable way. She was covered in shame. But despite the shame, she felt like someone going into a familiar dream that's about to start.
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The Story of O was initially banned in the UK in 1975, but cinema and video/DVD releases were passed by the British Board of Film Classification in 2000. The censors themselves did not make any cuts to this dubbed version, but around 8 minutes of non-sexual narrative scenes were removed by the director for pacing reasons. The fully uncut, subtitled version has played in the UK on the subscription channel FilmFour. See more »
Adapted from a famous erotic novel – with Sadean overtones – by Dominique Aury (writing as Pauline Reage), this came hot on the heels of director Jaeckin’s box-office smash EMMANUELLE (1974), and was itself followed by Shuji Terayama’s FRUITS OF PASSION (1981). I would also like to watch Jess Franco’s reworking of the same source material, THE SEXUAL STORY OF O (1981) – recently released on DVD through Severin.
Anyway, easily the best things about the film are the pleasing soft-focus photography and Pierre Bachelet’s haunting score. The stunning-looking Corinne Clery is ideally cast in the enigmatic title role – not so her male co-stars, stolid Udo Kier and a rather bemused Anthony Steel (Jaeckin originally wanted Christopher Lee who had actually played a similar role, briefly but effectively, in Franco’s superior EUGENIE...THE STORY OF HER JOURNEY INTO PERVERSION ).
With too many characters involved but not enough explanation as to their particular motives, the film winds up being mostly uninvolving as a result: the female ‘victims’ are too easily willed into participating into the clandestine and degrading goings-on, as if they – and the viewing audience with them – are supposed to take all of this twaddle for granted (not to say seriously)! However, the finale – in which Clery is seen to have mastered her skills in playing the game and now matches her ‘superiors’ in every way – is a nice touch.
The Arrow R2 DVD I watched presents the film in an English-dubbed re-edited version prepared by Jaeckin himself (though the erotic content is said to be intact). Incidentally, I followed this with Radley Metzger’s similar but even more disturbing and explicit THE IMAGE (1976).
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