As a teen I thought "Story of O" was a brilliant and strange masterpiece of erotic cinema. Today I can see it as a very pretty, although flawed work. Corinne Clery is good in the role of 'O', the delicately pretty young fashion photographer who initially wants nothing more than to be a slave to her lover, Rene. The film's opening scenes are impressive, to say the least. O's abduction in the Rolls Royce and her trip to Roissy, is a soft-focus wet dream, accompanied by lush, romantic music and beautiful surroundings. Roissy is a mens club, filled with beautiful, submissive women who only exist to please the members of this exclusive, other-worldly place. Roissy is a bit like a convent, very Gothic, where the women whisper and are dressed in garments that keep their sex on constant display. The sets are glorious; O's bed is covered with animal furs, and everywhere crystal chandeliers glitter in soft focus enchantment. While at Roissy O learns how to be an obedient slave, but she possesses a proud quality, bordering on arrogance, that she cannot always disguise. This quality is detected by some of the men, who develop strong feelings for her. The way Clery plays the part, as a submissive who is also aware of her power is very well done. O becomes steadily stronger as the film progresses, and after a time, her 'masters' begin to doubt their own power, as they realize that their desire for 'O' gives her the upper hand. It is at times fascinating to watch the tables turn, and to see the subtle changes in the story's heroine, as she begins to recognize her own power, and becomes more self-confidant because of it. Those who don't pay attention, and only look at the images of women in chains, being whipped, might mistake 'Story of O' for being sexist, when in fact, this is more of a feminist film in many ways. It has to be remembered that although the book was written by a woman, the film was directed by a man. Just Jaeckin was first and foremost a fashion photographer, who had quite an obsession for the beautiful female form. He is responsible for some of the most well-known erotic films to emerge from the 70's to early 80's, bringing famous erotic novels to the screen. Jaeckin has an eye for aesthetic beauty, and it is evident in "Story of O'. But at times it seems that he is more interested in soft focus female nudity than in the deeper meaning behind these classics. "Story of O' is certainly a cult classic, despite it being a flawed picture. For the most part it has dated better than "Emmanuelle", although a couple scenes are now unintentionally funny, such as a photo shoot featuring a model dressed in a Mickey Mouse top and swinging a light bulb to tacky 70's music. But that is just a 1 minute scene in a film that for the most part looks wonderful. Pierre Bachelet's lush score is gorgeous, romantic and haunting. There is now a wonderful DVD from France, which features two different versions of the film. The first is the English dubbed version, which i basically grew up watching. The dubbing is acceptable, and this version is around 10 minutes shorter. The longer, French language version with English subtitles is also contained here. Initially I was looking forward to seeing this more 'complete' version, but in the end was disappointed, as the new scenes were mostly of 'O' pouting and being coy with Rene, and even being whiny and immature. I understand why these scenes were cut, as they take away greatly from 'O's mystique. Showing less of her human side made her seem stronger, kind of 'otherworldy', not so much like a real woman, but rather like an unattainable heroine. Therefore I prefer the slightly cut version, even though it features the inferior English track. But the DVD is terrific, and offers the opportunity to see both versions and decide for yourself. As a side note, I must mention the character 'Nora', Sir Stephans maid; Wonderful casting; she is the most frightening character of all, somehow, and watching her relationship with 'O' develop from hatred and distrust, to this strange bond that the two women begin to share, which is expressed solely through eye contact, with few words spoken. These little details are so important. Fans of the book might miss the character Natalie, the young girl that is introduced late in the story. Perhaps including such a young girl in a film of this kind was a bit too much for censors in those days. Although not as strong as Radley Metzger's "The Image", I do recommend "Story of O". In all it's strangeness and otherworldly quality, it can be seen as a fairytale for adults. Like Alice In Wonderland, only the white rabbit is carrying a whip instead of a gold watch. It might be flawed somewhat, but it certainly is considered a cult classic, as well as a milestone of erotic cinema!