The Story of O
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STORY OF O
A milestone of cinematic eroticism, The Story of O was an art house sensation in 1975, and it's still worthy of intelligent discussion. As with the controversial French novella by Pauline Réage, reactions to Just Jaeckin's sumptuous adaptation range from moral outrage to masturbatory indulgence, yet this remains one of the few sex films that stand the test of time (and a lot of academic study). Championed by practitioners of bondage and discipline and vilified by feminists, this metaphorical "love dream" (as Jaeckin has called it) follows the beautiful fashion photographer "O" (Corrine Clery) as she, like many gorgeously naked women before her, is "trained" for a seemingly satisfying life of love and discipline, her freedom sacrificed to the man (Anthony Steel) whom she willingly obeys. The debate whether Jaeckin's feminine-empowerment ending, which differs from that of the novella, justifies a story of humiliating submission is just one more reason why The Story of O endures. (Note: This DVD presents the 97-minute version of the film, edited by the director to improve pacing and not for purposes of censorship.) --Jeff ShannonSee all Editorial Reviews
- English, French, and Spanish versions
- Biographies of Corinne Clery, Udo Kier, and Just Jaeckin
- Photo gallery
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O is naked as often as she is clothed. There is as much sex as there is whipping. Both are simulated, but stimulating. Strangely, the men are fully clothed in all the sex scenes, except one. Apparently men in France in the 1970's didn't bother disrobing to have sex. All the women in the movie are beautiful and sexy; most of the men are middle-aged. Every scene is well lit and there is no blood. For optimal viewing, I recommend watching the sex scenes in French since the English dubbed version doesn't capture the true emotions of the actors.
The movie never explains why O, an educated, successful fashion photographer, would submit herself to such treatment other than to say she loves Rene and loves Sir Stephen. It also fails to adequately explain what she gets in return for allowing herself to be raped, tortured and humiliated at will. The moral of the movie seems to be women need to be subservient to men if they want to find true happiness. No wonder the movie, and the book before it, were controversial.
If you're looking for a direct adaptation of the novel, then look elsewhere. Just Jaeckin took a lot of liberties with the story. To me, this is fine since I love his soft focus style of shooting and he usually chooses good music composers for his films (I definitely recommend getting the LP of the music score for this movie).
This is also the original French version with English dubbing, but very nicely they left in and did not censor out the T & A. It is all there in it's full glory. There WERE some scenes in the originl French release that were delted from the US export and this DVD does not have them in it, because they were not allowed to have some scenes in the US release.
This IS the X rated US release though.
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