In wartime France, pharmacist Eliane begins an affair with her shop assistant Armand, but she soon becomes dominated by him. He demands more and more from her, humiliating her and putting he... Read allIn wartime France, pharmacist Eliane begins an affair with her shop assistant Armand, but she soon becomes dominated by him. He demands more and more from her, humiliating her and putting her family at risk.In wartime France, pharmacist Eliane begins an affair with her shop assistant Armand, but she soon becomes dominated by him. He demands more and more from her, humiliating her and putting her family at risk.
The Germans are due to arrive in Paris. One night Armand gropes a woman he believes to be Juliette the shopgirl in the dark at closing. It is not Juliette, it is Elianne. Elianne is incensed but when she tries to tell her husband, he interrupts and tells her about his latest treasured art discovery. Distracted and disgusted with her husband, Elianne decides not to tell him at all.
Armand, aware that he has groped the wrong woman, waits several days for the ax to fall. When he is not fired, he is perplexed: "Is it possible, does the woman like me?" In a few days he gropes her again. Voila! It appears she does like him.
From there it is a slide down a slippery slope. Armand takes more liberties with his mistress. Gradually he can't be bothered to boff Juliette any longer. Except on one occasion he forces Elianne into an humiliating sexual triangle with Juliette.
Armand finds new ways to humiliate his mistress. On one occasion, he forces her naked out onto the nighttime sidewalk in front of the Pharmacy. From inside Armand baits her to strut her wares like a prostitute, walking up and down the street like a strumpet. An amiable drunk emerging from the bar across the street spots her. But by the time he has alerted his companions, Elianne has disappeared back inside the pharmacy. Where Armand finds her laughing uproariously and in good spirits. It turns out Elianne loves the erotic dare.
Now, with the German army closing in, Armand must find still other ways to bring down his aristocratic boss. And upstairs, Elianne's life with her distracted husband is imploding. She whispers a midnight confession of her infidelities with Armand to her sleeping husband's back. The Camera cuts to her husband. He is awake. And now he knows. But he does nothing.
Bombs are exploding in the distance and sirens warn of the approach of the Germans. Disaster is imminent for the French, and implicitly, for the family of Elianne and her husband, Professor Henri Michaud, collector of treasured artifacts.
Armand now directs his erotic gaze at Justine the couple's daughter. Elianne is appalled, but with war approaching and her husband distracted, there is little she can do.
The drama continues, the sirens blare, the war comes closer. And the audience waits for the denouement. Its a wonderful tragedy with a soundtrack that crosscuts between sounds of the approaching war and a salacious piece of music that heralds another erotic episode between Armand and Elianne.
Under whatever name; Scandalo, Scandal, Submission, this film is one of the most erotic ever made.
- May 9, 2000