The Story of O

1975 [FRENCH]

Drama

13
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 33%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 44%
IMDb Rating 5.4 10 5754

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
January 29, 2021 at 01:30 AM

Director

Cast

Udo Kier as Rene
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
961.85 MB
1280*714
French 2.0
NC-17
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
P/S 10 / 81
1.74 GB
1920*1072
French 2.0
NC-17
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
P/S 12 / 54

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Nazi_Fighter_David 7 / 10

Like Emmanuelle this French movie was critically controversial

"Story of O" is luxuriant, nicely photographed, and Corinne Clery is quite appealing as a sensual actress…

The film is an adaptation of Pauline Reage's novel about a young girl called O and her entry into the art of loving… The special philosophy here is that women, by nature, are inferior to men and should therefore submit to their every emotion and desire. This is the only way for a woman to find ecstasy…

O falls in love with a practitioner of this doctrine, and is forced to go through quite a lot before he will take her in…

The treatment of eroticism is slow and careful… O is initiated into a house of bondage where the women are playthings for the male clientele… No talking or complaining is permitted... If the rules are broken, they are "punished" in the collar with whips and chains...

One can call this film a lot of things, but "subtle" isn't one of them… Still, it's not overly offensive either, despite its extremely one-sided view of femininity... It does have a seductive quality, and we are attracted into its exotic fact or assumption largely because of Corinne Clery's beauty and sensuality

Reviewed by bbhlthph 5 / 10

A well made film which betrays the message found in the original book.

Occasionally during the 1950's and 1960's I and friends interested in literature and the arts would discuss a book, written anonymously in 1954 by a woman author using the name Pauline Reage, and commonly regarded as a very powerful work depicting submission as the route to a woman's fulfillment. This discussion was however largely based on hearsay - the book itself was not readily available in the U.K. where I was then living. We understood that a copy was available in the British Museum reading room for anyone who called themselves a scholar, but it was not regarded as suitable reading matter for ordinary folk, and no British publisher dared to publish it. When I eventually saw it on sale I was sufficiently intrigued to purchase a copy, and I quickly appreciated that the very deadpan and unemotional style of writing gave this work an extraordinary power which made it difficult to forget. Unlike most books, it was very hard to understand the author's motive in writing it, but the scenes of pain and humiliation it featured were so lucid that I assumed it would never be possible for this book to be filmed. I was therefore quite surprised when Just Jaeckin's film was released in France in 1975. Many years passed before this film was cleared by British censors for distribution in the U.K., and by then I was living in North America where I have seen it both in the cinema and on the First Choice television channel. The film features almost everything described in the book with remarkable accuracy, but it is depicted in such an unemotional and almost documentary manner that it is remarkably non-pornographic.

SPOILER AHEAD. Right through history the wish to own and dominate women has been part of the masculine character, and this is brought out clearly in the literature of every age. However literature has not always made it equally clear that there is just as frequent a wish on the part of many women to be totally submissive. Such a woman often believes that however unreasonable the demands made on her by her dominant man, this behaviour will ultimately force him to truly love her. Artistically it is important to note that nothing which happens to 'O' in this film takes place before she is asked for, and has given, her consent. Voluntary, but total and completely passive submission is the theme of the film. There is one scene in the film which I found particularly effective. This is the Commander's ball just before the end which 'O' attends, naked except for a fabulous mask that makes her appear completely anonymous. Sir Stephen gives 'O' the chance to choose the mask she will wear, and she chooses one which is strongly suggestive of a bird of prey. The symbolism of this appears to be that, by their very submissiveness, these women are also preying on their men who become deprived of any opportunity to form any normal relationship with them; and may thereby be psychologically damaged almost as badly as their victims.

Only right at the end of the film does any emotion break through, when Sir Stephen indicates to 'O' that her prolonged submission to pain and humiliation have won his love, and she responds by demonstrating the affection she feels for him for the first time. When this film was first shown in Paris it ran for thirteen years and I found it intriguing to read that more than half of most audiences were women. Clearly, even in these days of active feminism, the concept of attaining true love through a role of total submission has some appeal to a large number of women. This is the reality which has to be borne in mind by the viewer whenever watching this or any similar film.

This is a film which many will watch for its curiosity value, but which will probably only appeals to a very small number. Within its limitations it is extremely well made, and it is certainly not pornographic. Although there is plenty of nudity there are no shots showing either male or female genitals, and no attempt is made to dwell on any of the violence just for titillation. Overall it probably deserves a reasonably high rating, unfortunately I cannot give it this. I am amazed at how accurately the scenes depicted in the film follow the written descriptions in the novel - it is obvious that its makers took a great deal of trouble to ensure this. My basic concern is that this disguises the fact the film completely reverses the message which the original novel appears to have been intended to convey. There were two different endings to the book which are still extant. Both involve Sir Stephen losing all interest in 'O' after he has completed humiliating her in every way he can. In one 'O' begs Sir Stephen to permit her to commit suicide - she would not do it without his explicit permission, but he grants her this. In the other she is returned to the training mansion to help teach her replacement what will be expected. Either of these endings convey the clear message that total submission does not lead to greater love but ultimately to contempt for the oversubmissive individual. Because it reverses this message; the film, however closely it may follow the book in other respects, is totally unacceptable to me.

Reviewed by Falconeer 8 / 10

A bizarre, dreamlike fairytale

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!

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