Composer and music teacher Gordon Stuart (Chris Sarandon) brutally rapes the big sister of one of his students – top fashion model Chris McCormick (Margaux Hemingway), notable for a popular lipstick campaign (hence the movie’s title) – while she is tied with scarves to her bed.
The case goes to trial but, despite a sterling effort by lawyer Carla Bondi (Anne Bancroft), Stuart is freed and Chris herself is cast in a disparaging light because of her profession.
Stuart then returns and sodomises Chris’s prepubescent little sister, Kathy (Mariel Hemingway), who takes revenge and exacts summary justice by blasting him to kingdom come.
The film attracted a lot of controversy at the time of release due to the graphic nature of the rape scene.
This was the screen debut of sisters Mariel and Margaux Hemingway (grand-daughters of novelist Ernest Hemingway). Mariel was only fifteen years of age when the movie was released.
The movie was intended to launch the film career for super-model Margaux, but did the reverse, with Margaux attracting vicious critical attacks. She only made two more movies over the next seven years, her modelling career dried-up, and she became involved with substance abuse. She was found dead in her apartment at the age of 41, her death being ruled as a suicide.
John Bennett Perry