And now at last The Story of O (based on the classic, scandalous erotic novel) comes to DVD, 27 years after its introduction way the hell back in 1975. And it's just as salacious as ever. Filled with fuzzy lighting, soft focus, large hairdos, and sounds-like-classical synthesizer/vibraphone music, O set a benchmark for its genre.
As the film begins, O (Corinne Clery) finds herself abruptly dropped off by her boyfriend (Udo Kier) at a kind of brothel/dungeon, where she is to be educated in the ways of sex and servitude. Whippings, chains and handcuffs, easy-access outfits, and of course near-constant sex training sessions quickly fill the day. O takes this all in stride, philosophizing all the while. She's into it! Eventually she moves on to a series of five or six "masters," each with their own sexual proclivities. (And don't miss the final scene, aped nearly exactly in Eyes Wide Shut.)
As an NC-17 (originally rated X) movie, O is pretty tame save for the constant nudity. The bondage is tame, and the sex is off-camera. Only the subversion of an utterly submissive woman (and her companions in the castle/schoolhouse/whorehouse) as the film's star is cause for much alarm. Even that's kind of tongue-in-cheek jokey -- Clery doesn't exude the wanton idiocy of the women that have followed her into the hard-R and beyond. She's playing a role here as a subtle deviant, and she's doing a damn fine job of it -- even if it's unconvincing that anyone is actually even touching her with that whip.
The Story of O is hardly a great movie. It's completely silly and cornball, but it's that it's pioneeringly silly and overwhelmingly cornball -- and a true part of cult movie history -- that make it a must-own for any true movie buff. Not into naked chicks? Open a bottle of wine, warm yourself up to period pieces on a Jane Austen adaptation, and ease yourself into O.
You go, girl.
Aka Histoire d'O.
Run time: 97 mins
In Theaters: Friday 14th November 1975
Production compaines: Terra-Filmkunst GmbH, S.N. Prodis
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 40%
Fresh: 2 Rotten: 3
IMDB: 5.4 / 10
Director: Just Jaeckin
Producer: Gérard Lorin, Éric Rochat
Screenwriter: Sébastien Japrisot
Starring: Corinne Cléry as O, Udo Kier as René, Alain Noury as Ivan, Anthony Steel as Sir Stephen, Jean Gaven as Pierre, Christiane Minazzoli as Anne-Marie, Martine Kelly as Thérèse, Jean-Pierre Andréani as Eric, master II, Gabriel Cattand as the commander, Vladimir Brajovic as Master III, Gabriel Briand as Master IV, Robert Schootemeyer as Master V, Li Sellgren as Jacqueline, Albane Navizet as Andree, Nadine Perles as Jeanne, Laure Moutoussamy as Norah, the maid, Henri Piégay as Master I, Florence Cayrol as Yvonne
Also starring: Corinne Clery
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