This tale of a woman who becomes a willing slave to the men she loves was banned in the UK for 25 years though it’s debatable these days as to what’s more shocking – Corinne Cléry’s sexual subservience or Udo Kier’s flared Cerruti trousers.
Dramatising the controversial sadomasochistic novel by Pauline Réage, Emmanuelle director Just Jaeckin takes a dreamy, soft-focus, shampoo commercial approach to the sexual content, though it remains eye-opening.
The addition of then-fashionable feminism – by withstanding all the pain and humiliation her lovers dish out, O proves herself stronger than they are – barely excuses the exploitative tableaux.
However, Jaeckin’s often unintentionally funny erotic epic stands as a 1970s landmark that blurred the soft- and hard-core imagery of its “anything goes” era.
The Story of O makes Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) look like a romantic fairytale.
O, a photographer
Sir Stephen H
Pierre, O’s valet
Eric, Master III