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Maîtresse (1976)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 11 February 1976 (France)
A common thief (Depardieu) breaks into the house of a professional dominatrix (Ogier), and begins to help her "train" her clients. Though this world is alien to his experience, he finds ... See full summary »

Director:

Barbet Schroeder
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gérard Depardieu ... Olivier
Bulle Ogier ... Ariane
André Rouyer André Rouyer ... Mario
Nathalie Keryan Nathalie Keryan ... Lucienne
Roland Bertin Roland Bertin ... Man in Cage
Tony Taffin Tony Taffin ... Emile
Holger Löwenadler ... Gautier
Anny Bartanovski Anny Bartanovski ... Secretary
Serge Berry Serge Berry ... Valet
Richard Caron Richard Caron ... First Client
Pierre Devos Pierre Devos ... Bistro Patron
Jeanne Herviale Jeanne Herviale ... Concierge
Michel Pilorgé Michel Pilorgé ... Male Guest
Cécile Pochet Cécile Pochet ... Female Guest
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Storyline

A common thief (Depardieu) breaks into the house of a professional dominatrix (Ogier), and begins to help her "train" her clients. Though this world is alien to his experience, he finds himself falling in love with her. Eventually he discovers that she does this in order to support her son, and he attempts to help her out of this life, which she is not sure she really wants to leave. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She will open your eyes.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

11 February 1976 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Mistress See more »

Filming Locations:

France

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut) | (1981, cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #223. See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was rejected for a UK cinema certificate by the BBFC in 1976 and only passed in 1981 after 4 minutes 47 secs of cuts with heavy edits made to a woman being bound and whipped, shots of abrasions after a man is whipped and subsequently probed with a needle between his buttocks, and a scene where a male client has his genitals nailed to a plank of wood and his nipples pierced. The cuts were fully waived for a UK 18 DVD certificate in 2003. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Esoteric surprise 20 years early
17 June 2004 | by AutonomeSee all my reviews

Maîtresse is a typical story of seduction and obsession. The dialog is in French with subtitles. Without an unusual or groundbreaking plot, and not presented as a grand film, it was filmed in the popular style of French films of the time, many of which enjoy enduring popularity today because of their minimalist execution. It simply presents a story in an unpretentious format. It is not too sexually explicit visually, though the theme definitely is.

The director, Barbet Schroder, has evolved into one of the incredible directors of our time. His life is probably more interesting even than most of his fictional characters, and his other films are a short list of some of my favorites.

There is really only one noteworthy element of the film, and it is quite noteworthy. The central character, Ariane (Bulle Ogier), who is reminiscent of Catherine Deneuve, is quite seductive as a dominatrix who avails herself of a fetishist's dream chamber complete with a wardrobe that most people would not believe could have possibly existed when the film was made in 1973. It is the fantastic surprise of the film, and the character is easily 20 years ahead of her time.

Anyone into edgy fashion today would be well advised to enjoy viewing this film and accept a humbling lesson concerning underground esthetic's that existed some 30 years ago. Indeed, this film alone may have helped to popularize modern fetishist, "sadist" or bondage sensibilities, especially in France.

An interesting and odd film, decidedly kinky, and with an ending that makes a brief but incredible prediction of the work, "Crash" by J.G. Ballard, written soon after the film was released- or perhaps coincidentally.


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