History of Sex in Cinema:
|Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description|
The Beguiled (1971)
Director Don Siegel's psychosexual western-horror drama set in the Civil War period. The film's tagline descriptively stated: "One man...seven women...in a strange house!" The film was criticized as misogynistic.
It starred Clint Eastwood as injured Union soldier Corp. John McBurney who took refuge in an all-female seminary school for prim and proper Southern girls, led by sexually-frustrated headmistress Martha Farnsworth (Geraldine Page).
McBurney soon learned that the Gothic atmosphere in this matriarchal society was one of sexual repression, deceit, jealousy, and power struggle between a triangle of females vying for his love, attention, and sexual favors:
The manipulative McBurney (known as Mr. McB) was able to charm every one of the women - even 12 year-old Amy (Pamelyn Ferdin). Martha and Edwina were both jealous of Carol, who offered herself to the entrapped soldier.
During a menage-a trois fantasy sequence (in Martha's mind?), McBurney was seen making love to Martha with Edwina next to him, and the two females shared a lesbian kiss. Abruptly, however, the scene changed and McBurney was viewed making love in a room above with Carol.
The hotbed atmosphere of sexual repression, empowered females and vengeful jealousy led Edwina to violently attack him - and later led to further retaliation - a gruesome leg amputation with a hacksaw (and brandy as an anesthetic) and lethal poisoning.
McBurney (Clint Eastwood) with Carol (Jo Ann Harris)
The Big Doll House (1971)
The vogue in the early 70s were low-budget sexploitative women-in-prison (WIP) films, such as this early and influential one by director Jack Hill, with the requisite nudity, violence, feministic attitude and lesbianism, and social grittiness. [Hill would later go on to direct up-and-coming star Pam Grier in the blaxploitation classic Coffy (1973).] This one was Roger Corman's second film produced by New World Pictures.
The film's tagline expressed its main theme:
Its harsh sequel by director Gerardo de Leon, Women in Cages (1971) (co-produced by Roger Corman) featured basically the same setting, plot, and cast. A trio of WIP films was created when Jack Hill also directed The Big Bird Cage (1972).
A group of six female inmates (the main stars) were incarcerated in a tropical jungle prison in the Philippines run by an unseen Colonel Mendoza, a member of the secret police. The penal institution was teaming with sadism from the head guard Lucien (Kathryn Loder) and cruel blonde warden Miss Dietrich (Christiane Schmidtmer), sometimes masked.
During the day, the prisoners were taken out to the fields to work. Caught for hiding contraband mail, Erica was subjected to water-torture, hung naked in a bamboo cage and whipped while topless, and nearly expired during the partially-hallucinatory scene.
During a shower scene, Helen decided to subject Marni to her wishes, commanding her to wash her back. Karen enticed Fred (Jerry Franks), an American mercenary who sold goods to the prison (and brought in contraband), to watch her (through a frosted glass window) in a shower and touch herself. She was tortured by electrocution (clips attached to her breasts) after being found having sex at knifepoint with him (she had ordered rape, famously: "Get it up or I'll cut it off!").
Karen and Grear fought each other in a muddy sugar cane or rice field to establish dominance over Marni - Karen won the fight when she pushed Grear's face into the dirty water and forced her to submit.
While many of the cellmates planned an escape, there were continual struggles within the prison - a food fight (and spraying with fire hoses), a starvation diet, more torture. Marni was tied down naked while a venomous cobra was dangled above her. The escape plan was abetted by Fred and a second mercenary named Harry (Sid Haig), and succeeded when the group took hostages: Lucien and the labor camp's ineffectual Dr. Phillips (Jack Davis). A number of deaths resulted - Grear, Harrad, Bodine, and Dietrich as the escape plan unfolded.
Marni's (Judith M. Brown)
Karen (Roberta Collins)
Spied Upon by Fred
Grear vs. Karen
(Pat Woodell) Tortured
Billy Jack (1971)
This martial-arts grindhouse film with a non-Asian lead title character (actor-writer-producer-director Tom Laughlin), a half-Indian, kung-fu-fighting, ex-Green Beret named Billy Jack, was a commercial success as a low-budget independent film. The character of peace-loving Billy Jack sought to protect the mistreatment of the students in a Freedom School, by combating rednecks, law enforcement and "the man.".
It featured a few controversial scenes for its time including two scenes in which bigoted, mean-spirited mayor's son Bernard (David Roya) intimidated and assaulted two females:
Miss False Eyelashes
Carnal Knowledge (1971)
This Mike Nichols film with striking adult subject matter (regarding the fragile male ego and bravado, dysfunctionality, and misogyny), sexual encounters, and profanity further pushed the boundaries of sex in cinema although the film had little in the way of explicit sex. It challenged the ratings system and the general morals of the time. It was the subject of a major US Supreme Court rule in 1974 ruling that a local Georgia law prohibiting the distribution of the "obscene" material had gone too far.
The film itself was an intense character study as it chronicled the sex lives of two friends:
It followed their difficult initiation into sex ("scoring" with coeds) during their 1940s student days at Amherst (with among others, Candice Bergen as the pretty and intelligent Smith College student Susan whom they both dated). Sandy awkwardly tried to feel Susan's breasts through her clothes during a date, details of which he later shared with Jonathan. In the meantime, Jonathan betrayed his friend and dated Susan ("Myrtle") and she lost her virginity to him, unbeknownst to Sandy, although eventually Sandy married Susan and had a family in a typical surburban setting.
The story continued with playboyish Jonathan's later difficult relationship to voluptuous, big-breasted TV model Bobbie (Oscar-nominated Ann-Margret) who he first felt was his sexual salvation and soon became his live-in mistress: ("I took one look at the tits on her, and I knew I'd never have trouble again"). Jonathan soon resented Bobbie's hints at becoming more domestic and trapped-hitched, as she vulnerably drowned in depressing despair.
He then berated and insulted her ("Answer me, you ball-busting, castrating, son of a cunt bitch! Is this an ultimatum or not?"). When she cried out and pleaded: "I want you!", he answered: "I'm taken --- by me!" He added: "For God's sake, I'd almost marry you if you'd leave me."
In a revealing close-up, a naked Bobbie sat up against a blank wall (filmed from the chest up), lost in her own thoughts of depression, and soon after took an overdose of pills.
The film then followed Jonathan into his divorced, burnt-out life in the late 60s and 70s, when he looked back and called ex-wife Bobbie "Queen of the Ballbusters." Meanwhile, Sandy was dating 18 year-old free-love advocate and hippie Jennifer (Carol Kane).
Finding himself dysfunctionally impotent, Jonathan resorted to using the services of paid prostitute Louise (Rita Moreno in a cameo) to massage his ego (and more) in the film's final scene. Obsessively, he had her recite a carefully-worded script (he yelled at her - "God-damn it! You're doing it all wrong" - when she deviated) while kneeling between his legs. After accepting payment of $100, and as he reclined back on a couch, she reassured him as she stroked his thighs: "I don't think we're gonna have any trouble tonight." She called him "a real man, a kind man" and then went on:
Sandy with Susan
The Cat O'Nine Tails (1971, It.) (aka Il Gatto a Nove Code)
This was one of the earlier Italian horror thrillers from Dario Argento, and he claimed it was one of his "least favorite" films - although it had an impressive score by Ennio Morricone and some effective Hitchcockian set-pieces.
In the suspenseful murder mystery, James Franciscus starred as reporter Carlo Giordani, and Karl Malden as middle-aged, retired, blind puzzle enthusiast Franco Arnos, an ex-journalist. Together with Franco's young adopted niece Lori (Cinzia De Carolis) (who called Franco "Cookie"), they attempted together - in a private investigation - to solve a murder related to the genetic research/medical company (the Terzi Institute for Genetic Research) across from Franco's apartment. One of the Institute's scientists, Dr. Calabresi (Carlo Alighiero) had been suspiciously pushed, a victim of foul play, in front of a commuter train.
The company's two most important, lucrative and top-secret projects involved manufacturing a "wonder" drug, and secondly, the use of an individual's genetic make-up to identify potential criminal tendencies (the rare XYY chromosome).
There were a couple of other very gruesome death scenes, including a strangulation (with a cord), and an attempted poisoning (using tainted milk). The concluding death was of the maniacal and deranged killer himself, lab researcher Dr. Casoni (Aldo Reggiani), whom Carlo - in a fit of rage after being stabbed - pushed through a skylight on the rooftop of the Institute, where he fell down an elevator shaft to his death.
In the midst of the case in an unusual sexual interlude, Carlo was romancing the adopted daughter of the research facility owner, icy and aloof Anna Terzi (Catherine Spaak). In one of the boldest pick-up lines ever, he asked:
As he began to unbutton his shirt, she unhinged the top of her dress on both sides and let it fall, shyly exposing herself to him. Soon, they were making love on the couch (blurred out in the background).
Anna Terzi (Catherine Spaak)
A Clockwork Orange (1971, UK)
Director Stanley Kubrick's disturbing and controversial futuristic satire A Clockwork Orange (1971) was forced to be withdrawn from UK cinemas in 1973 after allegations that it was inspiring young people to copy its scenes of violence, including two controversial rape scenes.
They fought off a rival gang of five, led by Billyboy (Richard Connaught), that was in the midst of raping a buxom victim or 'devotchka' (Shirley Jaffe) on an empty opera house stage.
Then they came upon an ultra-modern house where they deceptively gained entry. Next came the abhorrent second scene - the assault and rape of the couple in the house. Both victims were bound and gagged, with a rubber ball painfully inserted into their mouths and wrapped with long strips of Scotch tape around their heads. The red pajama-suit-wearing writer's wife Mrs. Alexander (Adrienne Corri) was raped, while the elderly husband Frank Alexander (Patrick Magee) was assaulted and kicked on the floor by Alex who ironically punctuated his rhythmic, soft-shoe kick-dance with the lyrics of "Singin' in the Rain." He was forced to helplessly watch the ugly disrobing and choreographed rape of his own wife when Alex first attacked her breasts. He snipped off two circles of jumpsuit cloth around them to expose them and then in the mode of 'Jack the Ripper', he slit her entire suit off from her pant leg upward. After unzipping and pulling his own pants down prior to her rape, he mocked the husband: "Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well."
There was also a gruesome murder with a giant phallic art sculpture that was conducted in a gallery filled with erotic paintings, when lead droog Alex (Malcolm McDowell) attacked Catlady (Miriam Karlin) with a over-sized porcelain dildo.
A sped-up orgy (within a threesome composed of two females and a male) was performed to the tune of the William Tell Overture.
In other segments, Alex experienced an orgy dream of eating grapes while surrounded by half-naked, bare-breasted handmaidens (Jan Adair, Vivienne Chandler, Prudence Drage). That was all that was left to him, to feed his violent and sexual personality.
He was also subjected to behavioral conditioning to once and for all prevent his violent and sexually aggressive tendencies and urges. In a second demonstration to the tune of Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, he was tempted before a stage actress (Virginia Wetherell) - a half-nude woman wearing only bikini panties. Eyes glazed and on his knees, Alex lustfully reached out for her breasts (filmed both from a low angle and an overhead shot to emphasize their firm ripeness). As he cupped his hands tantalizingly close to her pink-nippled, fleshy protuberances, his urge for sex instantly turned to an urge to vomit and he fell to the floor belching to his former passion:
By the film's conclusion, Alex, now supposedly "cured," returned to his former self. An enigmatic dream-like image came on the screen - with both his free will intact and with his old proclivities for sex and violence. The final explicit scene emphasized the enormity of the state's hypocrisy. In his Ascot fantasy, a nude Alex had found peace and fantasized copulating (making love to/raping?) with a beautiful blonde woman (Katya Wyeth) who wore only black silk stockings. They were frolicking in slow-motion on piles of white snow, while two rows of genteel-looking, Victorian Londoners (ladies and gentlemen), the men dressed in top hats and the women carrying parasols, looked on and sedately applauded toward them. Alex had reverted to his old, pre-conditioned behavior:
Final Fantasy with Blonde (Katya Wyeth)
Countess Dracula (1971, UK)
Ingrid Pitt proved such a success in the Hammer film The Vampire Lovers (1970, UK) from the previous year (see Karnstein Trilogy feature) that she was immediately given the title role of Countess Elisabeth Nodosheen in this film the following year. It was a toned-down Hammer film (not technically a vampire film).
It was based on the legendary story of Elizabeth (Erzsebet) Bathory - a Hungarian Countess who bathed in the blood of virgins to retain her youthful look. She accidentally discovered that blood spilt on her skin rejuvenated her.
In one of the film's brief topless scenes, she emerged from her bloody bath naked, although she soon realized that the effects were temporary.
|Daughters of Darkness (1971, Belg.) (aka La Rouge Aux Levres, Blood on the Lips)
In this highly-stylized, erotic, art-house vampire film based upon Sheridan Le Fanu's lesbian vampire tale Camilla, it told of a newlywed couple staying at a deserted seaside hotel in Belgium during the off-season:
Other newly-arrived guests included:
Recently in the area, there was a string of murders of young girls whose blood was drained.
Ultimately, the Countess had her sights on replacing Ilona with Stefan's wife, made easier after Valerie learned that Stefan was an abusive and sexual sadist (he beat her with a belt). Ilona was ordered to seduce Stefan, as a distraction, and she peeped on him naked as he took a shower. When he saw her, he playfully suspected she wanted to have sex and pulled her into the water. As they struggled (she knew what water would do to her), she screamed and grabbed his sharp razor-blade in her hand, bloodied herself, and then fell on the sharp instrument - killing herself.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth was seducing Valerie and vampirizing her, and the two conspired to kill Stefan. He died when a crystal glass dish neatly broke in two and slit both of his wrists, and the two 'daughters of darkness' sucked the blood from his arms ('blood on the lips').
By film's end, Valerie had taken on the spirit-persona of the Countess after she died by impalement on a tree branch following an automobile accident, speaking in her voice.
Death of Stefan
The Devils (1971, UK)
Director Ken Russell's film was a blasphemous, shocking and excessive depiction of the repressive 17th century when sexuality was equated with Satanism - it was an adaptation of Aldous Huxley's "The Devils Of Loudon."
The film was vilified and met with outrage in its story of a womanizing, vain, rebellious activist priest named Father Urbain Grandier (Oliver Reed). He impregnated and then abandoned nobleman's cousin Philippe (Georgina Hale), the daughter of a powerful city elder. He also married wealthy orphaned heiress Madeleine Dubroux (Gemma Jones) in secret, and then refused to remove the city walls around his fortified town.
He faced questioning and persecution by Cardinal Richelieu (Christopher Logue) for witchcraft and sorcery. The only way the monarchy of Inquisition-obsessed France could destroy the Protestant-leaning French town of Loudon was to attack the liberal religious leader as a sorcerer and practitioner of witchcraft.
He was discredited and accused of "diabolic possession" by the local repressed Ursuline nuns who were led by tormented, sexually-hysterical, sexually-obsessed, hunchbacked Mother Superior Jeanne des Anges (Vanessa Redgrave). She had unfulfilled, warped sexual desires (and vivid fantasies) for Grandier and expressed them through self-mutilation and self-flagellation. In the film's most fantastic vision, Grandier (as Christ) stepped off the cross on which he had been crucified, so that Mother Jeanne could lick his wounds.
The wicked, repressed and deformed Sister Jeanne confessed to depraved witch-hunter Father Pierre Barre (Michael Gothard) that Father Grandier was responsible for her bewitching possession, and that he had violated her. Barre had been dispatched to question, torture (headscrews, nails into hands, etc), tie up, and execute the profligate priest. Sister Jeanne was physically examined for proof of sexual violation - in one of the film's most memorable scenes. She was laid on the altar and penetrated by intrusive instruments, causing her to scream and bleed, after which it was declared that she had been violated - and that Grandier was guilty as charged.
In one of the film's most shocking (and censored) scenes - a staged exorcism in Loudon's cathedral, the nuns acted as if they were possessed in front of masked townspeople. Dubbed the orgiastic "Rape of Christ" sequence (intercut with a scene of Grandier conducting a simple mass for himself by a river-bank), the crazed Ursuline nuns were whipped into a sexual frenzy of hysteria by Barre. They displayed full-frontal nudity when they removed their habits, cavorted naked, and masturbated with (or raped) a large-sized crucifix or effigy of Jesus that they had pulled down from the wall. They began to lick the enormous crucifix, and with their writhing naked bodies, some of the nuns ground their genitals over all parts of the wooden statue to pleasure themselves. One group of nuns let themselves be groped by male townsfolk, and others attacked and 'raped' a priest.
Father Mignon (Murray Melvin), who climbed a staircase to perch himself for a better view far up in the cathedral, watched from afar and committed desperate self-abuse under his robe - (the two and a half-minute scene was excised prior to the film's release). As he did so, a frenzied nun also suggestively stroked, rubbed and gripped a large altar candle between her legs. The camera zoomed in and out rapidly to portray his ecstasy and madness as he watched the masses of naked female bodies surrounding the Jesus statue.
Meanwhile, Grandier was brought to trial - was condemned for witchcraft, and bound for the fiery stake. Unable to walk because his legs had been broken, Grandier was dragged out for public execution. The executioner (who had promised to strangle him with a noose so he could avoid torturous pain) was unable to, when Barre lit the pyre prematurely. Grandier's death was gruesome to watch, as his flesh blistered and he was burned to death.
A scene at the end of the film was mostly edited out - of Sister Jeanne being handed the charred thighbone of Grandier after his execution - a "souvenir." There was no doubt what she would use it for - as a dildo for masturbatory purposes.
Sister Jeanne des Anges
Director Don Siegel's sensational film was a seminal vigilante film of the decade, appealing especially to male audiences because of its overt violence and occasional glimpses of full nudity. The main combatants in the crime film were:
In one scene during his investigation at night, Harry (standing on a garbage can) looked up into an apartment window and saw a bare-breasted female. He was accused by concerned neighbors of being a "lousy" peeping Tom after viewing half-naked Hot Mary (Lois Foraker) and her boyfriend, and getting an "eyeful". Harry's partner, Mexican-American cop Chico Gonzales (Reni Santoni), rubbed it in: "I just had another thought...about why they call you Dirty Harry."
Also, as Harry was scouring the neighborhood with binoculars to locate Scorpio, he was distracted when he caught sight of a naked young girl (Ann Noland, uncredited) greeting two hippies at her door. He thought to himself: "You owe it to yourself to live a little, Harry."
In the Roaring 20s Strip Club in San Francisco which Harry sometimes frequented, a Nude Stripper (Lolita Rios) performed on a stage, on a red bed.
One of Scorpio's victims of rape, kidnapping (and murder) was 14 year-old Ann Mary Deacon (Debralee Scott). Her nude corpse was found in the bluish dawning light, in the Marin Headlands on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. She was hauled out from her 'grave' (a hole in the ground), laid on a stretcher, and covered with a blanket.
Hot Mary (Lois Foraker)
Hippie Girl (Ann Noland)
"You Owe It To Yourself to Live a Little, Harry"
Stripper Nude (Lolita Rios)
Victim Ann Mary Deacon (Debralee Scott)
|Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1971, UK)
This Hammer Studios sci-fi horror film took advantage of the title of the familiar 1886 Robert Louis Stevenson tale about a Victorian London doctor with a dual personality, and teased with this warning:
The gender-bending film starred Ralph Bates as reclusive Dr. Henry Jekyll, who experimented with female hormones (from fresh corpses) for his magical elixir (an immortality serum), causing his transformation to unpredictably alter both his personality and sex.
In the film's most gratuitous scene, a transformation scene, Dr. Jekyll took the potion and turned into Mrs. Edwina Hyde (Martine Beswick). He/she looked at herself in astonishment in a mirror, where he/she saw breasts. Hyde hugged him/herself and laughed out loud. He continued to fondle himself (through his clothes), then squeezed his/her left breast, but in horror realized that the fondling right hand was hairy and masculine.
Dr. Jekyll became a murderous and jealous Sister Hyde female (aiding his quest for more hormones by killing prostitutes), whom he claimed was his widowed sister.
The plot became interesting when Jekyll fell in love with upstairs neighbor Susan Spencer (Susan Brodrick) and Hyde carnally lusted after her roguish brother Howard (Lewis Fiander).
Friends (1971, UK)
This R-rated romantic teen drama and coming-of-age story directed by Lewis Gilbert told about an idealistic (natural and healthy?) and romantic relationship between a teenaged couple who were both alienated by the adult world and fell in love:
The two attempted to make it together in an idyllic cottage once a baby arrived, and kept the baby in a wooden crate, substituting for a cradle. At one point, Michelle breastfed the baby..
The film was noted for an Elton John soundtrack (and hit title song) and controversial nude scenes (whether they were prurient or naively innocent was debatable) between its very young performers.
It was followed by the sequel Paul and Michelle (1974).
Get Carter (1971, UK)
Writer/director Mike Hodges' noirish and gritty crime drama-thriller (Hodges' debut directorial feature film) told about small-time, charming British gangster and enforcer-hitman Jack Carter (Michael Caine) involved a tale of blackmail, death, and betrayal. A remake with Sylvester Stallone in the Caine role, Get Carter (2000), was poorly received.
The highly-acclaimed tough action film was originally rated "X" for violence and female nudity, then re-classified later as "R."
Carter sought revenge for the suspicious murder/death of his brother Frank, and he was also attempting to get his niece Doreen (Petra Markham) out of the pornographic film business. After Doreen was coerced into participating in the illicit activity, Frank found out and threatened to tell authorities - and he was eliminated. [The plot also revealed that there was the possibility that Doreen was actually Jack's daughter.] At the same time that he investigated the unusual death, he became involved with Glenda (Geraldine Moffat), the drunken and promiscuous mistress of northern crime lord Cyril Kinnear (John Osborne), and an actress in Kinnear's porno films. (After having sex with Glenda, he realized that she had co-acted with his coerced niece in one of the pornos - enraged, he furiously half-drowned her in her sudsy bathtub.)
The film's most notorious segment was a lengthy phone sex sequence between Carter and his boss Gerald Fletcher's (Terency Rigby) London wife - Anna Fletcher (Britt Ekland). Carter had plans for her to be his "fiancee" and to run off with her to South America in a week's time. His Newcastle boarding house landlady Edna Garfoot (Rosemarie Dunham) was moving back and forth in a rocking chair in front of Carter as he made the erotic telephone call. As he fixed his eyes on the eagerly-listening Edna and seduced her verbally, Anna followed his directions.
First seen wearing only lacy black leggings, black panties and a black bra, she unhooked her bra, laid on the bed and pleasured herself by touching herself while Carter talked to her. He instructed her to touch and hold her breast and imagine that it was him touching her. She was forced to pretend that she was doing 'exercises' and talking with girlfriend Janet when Gerald walked in, heard her groaning, and asked: "You got gut trouble or somethin'?"
Carter with Glenda
Harold and Maude (1971)
Hal Ashby's black comedy was an enormously popular cult movie about an unusual couple with an eccentric, unconventional, inter-generational romance between:
Harold The Morning After Sleeping with Maude
"Hanoi Jane" redeemed herself in this Alan J. Pakula film noir thriller and won the Best Actress Oscar. Jane Fonda was one of many such actresses who were nominated for or won an award for playing a prostitute, including Elizabeth Taylor for Butterfield 8 (1960) and Mira Sorvino in Mighty Aphrodite (1995).
This film realistically depicted the world of pimps, high-rollers, prostitutes, and drug-addicts, with a few semi-nude scenes.
She portrayed a troubled, self-destructive, and independent high class NYC call-girl named Bree Daniels, an emotionally-contradictory female whose life was threatened.
One indelible scene showed Bree with a paying client as she moaned authentically, took a quick peek at her watch, and then moaned some more. The cold-hearted character described her empowerment as a call girl to her therapist:
The Last Picture Show (1971)
Director Peter Bogdanovich's realistic, black-and-white drama The Last Picture Show (1971) told about the dreams and shattered loves of small-town Texans in the early 1950s; although the adult-themed film was nominated for eight Oscars (with two wins for supporting performers), some considered it obscene for its full frontal nudity and explicit sexual situations.
One of the film's short-term relationships was between high-schooler Sonny Crawford (Timothy Bottoms) and his unattractive girlfriend of one year Charlene Duggs (Sharon Taggart, aka Sharon Ullrick) who had broken up following an awkward petting scene in his pickup truck. They had customarily driven to a lover's lane area and listened to the radio while she methodically removed her own sweater (he unhooked her pointed bra and hung it on the rear-view mirror). She routinely permitted him to cup her full right breast (with his cold left hand) while they kissed. She asked angrily: "What's the matter with you? You act plain bored."
He proceeded to have an affair with coach's wife Ruth Popper (Cloris Leachman). They kissed standing up and then hurriedly and self-consciously undressed (without looking at each other) in separate areas of the bedroom. For a short moment, Ruth's silk slip resisted being removed and unglamorously got caught over her head. His loss of virginity was realistically portrayed as he awkwardly undressed and made unceremonious love to the older woman - under the sheets.
Embarrassed, they both climbed into bed in their undergarments, and then under the covers removed their remaining clothing and tossed them out. She permitted Sonny to proceed: "It's all right." He rolled on top of her and began making love to her. Their furtive love-making movements on the bed were accompanied by squeaky bedsprings that grew louder and louder with each thrusting motion. The springs ruined the experience and poignantly echoed Ruth's anguish and pain. She cried and tears streaked her cheeks as she expressed her low self-esteem and gave her heart to him.
The film's most controversial scene was at an indoor pool party in which the country-club-set teenagers enjoyed skinny-dipping (with full frontal nudity). At the pool party, a stark naked Bobby Sheen (Gary Brockette) greeted Lester and rich, self-centered town tease Jacy Farrow (Cybill Shepherd) when they arrived, labeling them: "New victims." While the others engaged in water fights, Bobby (who joked about being "dressed informally") stepped out of the water to shake Lester's hand. His nude girlfriend Annie-Annie Martin (Kimberly Hyde) also emerged from the private indoor pool, joined Bobby and asked the newcomers: "Wanna join the club?" Neophyte Jacy was challenged to get undressed out on the diving board as part of the initiation rites ("so everybody gets to watch"). The whole naked group of teenaged boys and girls eagerly sat by the edge of the pool to watch "the strip show."
Nervously and gingerly, Jacy removed her white shoes and white coat and climbed out onto the diving board. Fearing that she would lose her balance, Jacy complained: "Goodness, I hope I don't fall off this thing." She slowly removed her full-length dress, her silky white slip, unhooked her garters and slid off each stocking, and then took off her garter belt. As she was unfastening her bra top, she almost fell and prevented tumbling into the water by sitting down on the board. Then in one dramatic gesture, she yanked off her bra top and flung it on top of her pile of clothes. Finally, she slid off her panties and tossed them at Bobby's ten year old brother who surfaced beneath the end of the board. She was cheered as she hopped into the water - completely naked, although she had forgotten to remove Duane's present. Realizing that the watch had stopped working, she shrugged and smiled at Bobby. Jacy's bid for acceptance from the rich set of kids had succeeded - she had attracted the attention of the wealthy young playboy.
In another scene, Jacy experienced an aborted deflowering with football-playing boyfriend Duane Jackson (Jeff Bridges) in the Cactus Motel in the dying Texas town. Duane (combing his ducktail) entered Room 8 where he found Jacy standing in the room wearing a thin nightgown. They kissed and embraced, vowing their love. They sat on the bed and Duane began unbuttoning the top of Jacy's gown, and then exposed her breasts. As she laid back on the motel bed and half-closed her eyes, she encouraged him: "Oh Duane, hurry." He hurriedly and eagerly removed his clothes and lay on top of her. But then she asked in an annoyed tone why he was taking so long to penetrate her while being suspended over her: "Aren't you gonna do it?...What do you mean? How could anything be wrong? Just go on and do it." She blamed his Mexico trip for his limp impotence: "No telling what you got down there. I just hate you. I don't know why I ever went with you."
She was furious about his sexual incompatibility and their aborted love-making, and ordered him to put his clothes back on ("You think I wanna sit around here and look at you nekkid?"). And she feared that she might "never get to not be a virgin" - and thereby win Bobby Sheen's heart. She was also worried that classmates might ridicule them when they found out about their unsuccessful and clumsy encounter, and she confirmed what her mother had forecast: "I think you're the meanest boy I ever saw. My mother was dead right about you." She instructed him to "not tell one soul - you just pretend it was wonderful," and then threw her panties at his face. However, she gushed to her admiring girlfriend-classmates: "I just can't describe it in words."
At the same motel in Room 9, Jacy gave Duane a second chance to deflower her - using him to provide an entree to dating Bobby Sheen. This time, he succeeded without an audience outside to witness the post-rites of passage.
In another scene on a Saturday night inside a dark and closed-up pool-hall, the provocative, over-sexed Jacy also enticed her father's older business partner Abilene (Clu Gulager) to remove her shorts and underwear and have sex with her on a pool table - while her hands grasped the two corner pockets behind her.
Sonny with Charlene
Sonny with Ruth Popper
Duane with Jacy
Sonny with Jacy
Abilene with Jacy
Macbeth (1971, UK/US) (aka The Tragedy of Macbeth)
Roman Polanski's R-rated (backed by Playboy Productions) dark, bleak, graphically violent, and pessimistic rendition of Shakespeare's play contained lots of non-sexual nudity (most notably the scenes of a coven of dirty, aged, and often deformed witch hags).
It was made two years about the bloody and horrific slaughter of Polanski's pregnant wife Sharon Tate and others at his LA-area home by followers of Charles Manson.
The gratuitous, controversial nude (viewed from the back and side) sleepwalk was taken by long-haired Lady Macbeth (Francesca Annis). In another scene, a young male child was shown fully nude during a bath.
Maid in Sweden (1971, Swed.) (aka The Milkmaid)
"Sweet Innocence Comes of Age" and "Inga at Sixteen: Her Coming of Age" were this Swedish sexploitation import's two taglines. Although filmed in Sweden, it was made with the performers speaking English. Reviewers have noted that the film ripped-off Joseph Sarno's Inga (1968) starring another Swedish beauty Marie Liljedahl.
21 year-old Christina (or Kristina) Lindberg made her film debut (although she had done nude pictorials, such as Penthouse's Pet in June 1970) as a young and naive country girl named Inga. She was a 16 year-old baby-faced beauty who traveled to Stockholm to visit her older blonde sister Greta (Monica Ekman) and her dope-smoking, sex-crazed live-in boyfriend Casten (Krister Ekman) for a long weekend -- and experienced a sexual awakening (or was it all a dream?).
The film was an excuse for the very well-developed and curvaceous Inga to frequently become naked - while undressing on an overnight train and then at her sister's apartment, and while dreaming (in which she spied upon a naked couple making out, and then had an unwelcome lesbian-tinged experience with a female rescuer named Brita (Vivianne Ojangen) after being assaulted by a group of males at a bar).
She also pleasured herself after spying on her sister/boyfriend making love, nakedly groomed-dressed in front of a mirror (a few times), and then resisted sex with Bjorn (Leif Naeslund) after a dinner-date with him - but then afterwards enjoyed the 'rape' experience. She took a post-coital tub-soaking, spent a second night of having sex together with Bjorn, and afterwards showered (in slow-motion).
Although she claimed she was tired, she snuck out for a third night sexual rendezvous with Bjorn, fully engaging in nude-lovemaking all night long, and had to race home to avoid being detected. Before she was to return home by train later that day, she took another long nude bath-soaking, when she was interrupted by Casten who suspected that she had become promiscuous with Bjorn - they madly kissed each other until discovered by her sister, who accused her boyfriend of being a 'dirty swine'. Upon her return to her parent's home, she told them: "It was OK, but nothing special happened."
Later in her career, Lindberg made a more notable film titled Thriller: A Cruel Picture (1974) (see separate entry), after lots of other erotic soft-core skin-flicks, including her third film Diary of a Rape (1971, Swe.) (aka Exponerad) and Anita: Swedish Nymphet (1973, Swe.).
Secrets (1971, UK)
This British melodrama (the first feature film shot in Super 16-mm) by director Philip Saville was released in the UK in late 1971, but didn't have its US opening until almost 7 years later.
Jacqueline Bisset was little-known at the time of the film's making, even though she had been in the hits The Detective (1968) with Frank Sinatra, Bullitt (1968) with Steve McQueen, and The Sweet Ride (1968) starring Michael Sarrazin. Other performances were in The Grasshopper (1969) and the blockbuster Airport (1970).
After the sexy actress had appeared in an iconic wet T-shirt in the box-office smash hit, the underwater adventure film The Deep (1977), this film was brought to life in 1978 with Bisset's renewed stardom. [The poster of Bisset in a wet T-shirt was one of the biggest selling posters of the era.] The producers re-released it to capitalize on her nude appearance. The film was heralded with:
Bisset played the role of ignored housewife Jenny who engaged in a steamy, brief and torridly passionate affair with eccentric textile millionaire Raoul (Per Oscarsson). She reminded him of his recently-deceased wife who succumbed to cancer. As she hung naked off the bed upside down, breathing deeply after an orgasm, Raoul continued to stroke and caress her, and then pulled her back onto the bed.
During the same afternoon (the film took place over one day), Jenny's daughter Judy (Tarka Kings) and her husband Allan (Robert Powell) also experienced similar encounters or sexual interludes, that eventually brought them all back together. Allan was engaged in an affair with Beatrice (Shirley Knight), while Judy was sexually involved with Raymond (Martin C. Thurley).
Esteemed black director Gordon Parks' film was the first major, commercial crime film with a black hero, John Shaft (Richard Roundtree).
The colorful, action-packed, slightly tongue-in-cheek film portrayed the ultra-hip, handsome police detective John Shaft as the black version of Clint Eastwood's "Dirty Harry" Callahan. He worked in Harlem against the Mafia, and was also a "sex machine."
In one inter-racial nude scene, a bold scene for the early 1970s, he took a shower with Linda (Margaret Warncke) - both of them visible behind a rippled shower glass door. She greeted him "Good morning," joined Shaft, and they hugged and kissed.
Linda (Margaret Warncke) with Shaft
Straw Dogs (1971, UK/US)
This brutal and disturbing film from Sam Peckinpah further ignited controversy over realistic screen violence and sexual abuse of women in the early 70s, especially due to its graphic double rape scene, which led to a cathartic eruption and escalation of violence.
The unflinching film starred Dustin Hoffman as David Sumner, a bookish, mild-mannered American mathematician on sabbatical living in a rural England town with his teasingly-seductive young bride Amy (Susan George).
To incite the sexual interest of local roof construction workers, Amy removed her sweater and deliberately stood topless in full view next to an upstairs window, although her husband had cautioned her: "Don't forget to draw the curtains."
In the scene preceding the rape (the first of two), Amy invited local laborer-thug (and ex-boyfriend) Charlie Venner (Del Henney) into her isolated farmhouse for a drink. He forcibly kissed her and although she protested unconvincingly ("Please leave me"), he removed her glasses and aggressively kissed her a second time. She screamed: "Get out!" and slapped him hard across the face. Incensed, he grabbed her and hit her hard across the mouth, and then approached her menacingly: "Don't tease me, Amy. Please." He dragged her by the hair to the sofa, as he struck her again and began tearing at her blue robe. He kissed her another time, and although she begged: "Please, Charlie," he continued to assault her by threatening, "I don't want to leave you but I will."
He tore her white top, leaving her breasts exposed, before he raped her. The controversy stemmed from the idea that Amy was sexually excited by the aggressive violation that she was facing. At first, she struggled and called out "No," but then surrendered to his kisses. In some ways, she didn't resist but submitted, although she was under tremendous duress. When he held her down, ripped off her panties and began removing his shirt, she helplessly begged: "Easy," and meanwhile fantasized about her husband above her. She showed obvious enjoyment and lovingly kissed her assailant and stroked his shoulders and chest during and after being entered, and begged for comfort: "Hold me." However, she was also shedding tears, feeling both humiliated and disgraced. However, that wasn't the case when she was forcibly raped a second time by local workman Norman Scutt (Ken Hutchison).
Summer of '42 (1971)
Director Robert Mulligan's nostalgic, war-time, New England (1940s Nantucket Island) beachside summer romance and coming-of-age tale told a flashbacked account about the sexual awakening into manhood of an awkward teenaged boy named Hermie (Gary Grimes).
In an earlier scene in the town's drugstore, an embarrassed Hermie nervously attempted to purchase prophylactics from an unsympathetic storeowner.
The film was initially the subject of great controversy due to its frank and sentimental portrayal of teen sex and love for an older woman - a beautiful 22 year-old war bride named Dorothy (supermodel Jennifer O'Neill), after she learned by telegram that her husband had been killed in action.
With tears in her eyes and slightly drunk, she put her head on Hermie's shoulder, slowly danced (barefooted) with him to the tune (the film's theme song by Michel Legrand) playing on a phonograph record, and tenderly kissed him a few times. She clasped his hand in hers and led him to her bedroom, where she removed her outer slip (and her undergarments) and beckoned him to join her in bed. The next day, she only left him a note explaining that perhaps the meaning of the event would come in time to him.
The film was originally rated R, but then re-evaluated and rated PG. However, objections by conservative groups caused the rating to be reverted back to R in the 1980s.
Dorothy (Jennifer O'Neill) with Hermie
Sunday, Bloody Sunday (1971, UK)
This groundbreaking, acclaimed film by director John Schlesinger was notable for its tale of a romantic triangle. The major characters involved with each other included:
It was the first major motion picture to feature a romantic homosexual kiss (on the lips) between two male characters, Dr. Hirsch and Bob Elkin.
Dr. Hirsch and Bob Elkin - Gay Kiss
Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asssss Song (1971)
Actor/director/writer Melvin Van Peebles' X-rated, confrontational cult film was the first true blaxploitation film - it was specifically designed to upset white audiences (advertised with "Rated X by an All-White Jury"), with Peebles himself playing the part of the sex-hungry, violent anti-hero.
The successful independent film (budgeted at $150,000) was released by independent distributor Cinemation, and aimed at urban black audiences.
It caused tremendous controversy for its militancy, under-age sex, anti-white sentiment, revenge-themes, and violence, although it was one of the most important black American films of the decade. It was exceptional that a vengeful black man (after witnessing corrupt police violence and almost beating two officers to death) could survive as a fugitive, as happened in the film.
The film actually opened in an all-black brothel, where (in flashback, in the film's most controversial scene), an underaged, orphaned Sweet Sweetback as a 13 year-old minor (played by Melvin Van Peebles' own 13 year-old son Mario) was being fed by an older maternal black prostitute. (The scene was cross-cut with a quick image of the same character as an adult on the run underneath a city bridge - accompanied with the film's opening title: "This film is dedicated to all the Brothers and Sisters who had enough of the Man.") Then, young virginal Sweetback was coerced by one of the older black prostitutes to enter her room and have sex with her - explaining the derivation of his name when she said: "You've ... gotta ... sweet ... back!" The sex scene concluded and then opening credits rolled, stating that the film was "Starring THE BLACK COMMUNITY."
It also contained an explicit sex scene of well-endowed Sweetback having unsimulated sex on stage in a brothel (with poorly-lit full-frontal nudity). The film ended with a shot of a hillside landscape with the superimposed text: "Watch out -- A Baad Asssss Nigger is Coming Back To Collect Some Dues..."
The film was supplemented with jump-cuts, experimental lighting, split-screens, freeze-frames, zoom-ins, tinted and overlapping images and montages as it chronicled the successful (uncharacteristically) flight of the black fugitive (with a large-sized manhood and insatiable sexual prowess) through Los Angeles - and toward and across the Mexican border.
Scene of Initiation of
(Mario Van Peebles)
(Melvin Van Peebles)
Vampyros Lesbos (1971, West Germ.) (aka Vampiros Lesbos, or Lesbian Vampires)
Noted as one of the many erotic horror tales involving lesbian vampires that appeared in the early 1970s, this surrealistic, artsy soft-core European exploitation film from prolific, Eurotrash Spanish cult auteur-director Jesus Franco was inspired by Bram Stoker's short story Dracula's Guest. The entire convoluted and indulgent film was a treatise on the duality of dreams and reality.
The stylish and surrealistic film was awash with a gaudy red and black color palette, metaphoric insects, and kites. It told about two "vampyros lesbos":
A passionate femme fatale brunette (later discovered to be Nadine) was appearing in the erotic dreams of Linda, subconsciously taking her away from her boyfriend Omar (Victor Feldman). She imagined herself turned on and kissing the female's body.
To the psychedelic jazz-rock soundtrack, Linda with her boyfriend had first viewed dark-haired Nadine dancing naked (except for a red scarf) in an Istanbul nightclub stage performance where she transferred her clothes to another naked mannequin-like female. Linda was hypnotically attracted or bewitched by Nadine, and speculated that she was the dancer of her lesbian-tinged dreams.
Nadine had recently acquired an inheritance of an estate - as the sole heir of Hungarian Count Dracula and the vampire's immortal bride. Linda was called by her German law office in Istanbul to meet the Countess on one of the nearby small islands of Kadidados ("a place of madness and death") to settle estate affairs. She found Nadine, the beautiful nightclub dancer of her dreams, wearing a skimpy white bikini and large sunglasses while sunbathing! The two went swimming (Linda was naked), and afterwards both sunbathed nude on the beach.
After some drugged wine and seduction (Nadine stripped Linda naked on the floor), Nadine bit Linda on the neck and drank from her blood.
When Linda awakened, she saw Nadine floating naked (and drowned?) in the swimming pool (or was it only a scorpion?), with only her red scarf wrapped around her. After being institutionalized and a few more instances of neck-biting, Linda decided to end the spell put upon her and pierced Nadine through the eye.
Linda and Nadine
Nadine With Pierced Eye
Walkabout (1971, UK/Australia)
Nicolas Roeg's highly-respected tale was a controversial coming-of-age saga, due to its full-frontal nudity (of star Jenny Agutter). About five minutes of the original film were cut from the expurgated US version of the film when first released. The film was originally rated "R" but reduced to a PG-rating upon appeal.
It told about two stranded British schoolchildren after their father (John Meillon) committed suicide in front of them:
The two were forced to adapt to the harsh climate of the Australian outback after their father committed suicide during a picnic. They were fortunately saved when aided by an adolescent Aboriginal Black Boy (David Gumpilil), who was involved in his ritualistic 'walkabout' (to prove his manhood and mark his entrance into adulthood).
After overcoming self-consciousness and civilization's social conventions, the Girl engaged in a lengthy nude swim in a natural lagoon pond (with non-gratuitous full frontal nudity) - a symbol of her sexual awakening, although this would lead to tragic circumstances for the older aboriginal boy.
During the native aborigine's 'walkabout' - with a painted skeleton on his body - he performed a silent, ritualistic mating dance for the civilized, repressed girl at a deserted farmhouse, where he glimpsed her half-undressed. She ignored and resisted his (and her own) sexual rite of passage, by continuing to treat him as a detached servant -- with disastrous results. After the aboriginal danced all night and became saddened and weary, she found him the next morning hanging dead in a mango tree, and she barely reacted.
The film ended years later with the young girl now married and returned to civilization, living in a high-rise apartment complex. She was wishfully daydreaming back to her idyllic days in the outback when she happily swam naked with the aborigine and her young brother. They were long-gone days of paradise lost, reflected in a voice-over quote from Part 40 of A.E. Housman's 'A Shropshire Lad':
W.R. - Mysteries of the Organism (1971, Yugoslavia/W.Germ.) (aka W.R. - Misterije Organizma)
Yugoslavian director Dušan Makavejev's controversial, X-rated, montage-filled, avante-garde work was a documentary-fiction film (dubbed a "sex film" in the countercultural era of the early 1970s). The obscene film engendered intense criticism and censorship demands, and was banned in the director's own native Yugoslavia.
It was reportedly one of the first films to depict full frontal nudity amidst its plentiful nude sex scenes and frank dialogue about free love, masturbation, genitals and orgasm. It drew parallels between sexual liberation, political revolution and US bourgeois militarism, and repressive Soviet-style Communist totalitarian politics.
The slapstick, interlocking film (composed of collages) began with a documentary on radical psychologist Wilhelm Reich (the W.R. in the film's title) and his sexual politics. W.R. studied the orgasmic reflex, as Sigmund Freud's first assistant, and discovered life or "orgone" energy -- "revealing the deep roots of fear of freedom, fear of truth, and fear of love in contemporary humans."
It then explored the contrasting relationship between two roommates:
Milena avoided the attention of Radmilovic (Zoran Radmilovic) and pursued instead a visiting, repressed and prudish, old-fashioned Bolshoi/Russian iceskater named Vladimir Illych (Ivica Vidović) - the Soviet leader Lenin's full name.
The viewpoints of Milena and Jagoda were clearly juxtaposed. Milena lectured at one point to fellow apartment dwellers from an outside porch, while Jagoda was having sex in their apartment. Her theme was that there was an obvious linkage between state repression and sexual neurosis:
The unfortunate Milena's seductive quest for sexual freedom and the ultimate perfect orgasm ended when she was violently beheaded by the sharp blade of the repressed Soviet skater's iceskate - and he couldn't control the liberating force of his own orgasm. Her decapitated head soon afterwards began talking about the cosmic joy of orgasm when placed on a white lab tray at the end of the film. She still refused to renounce her beliefs:
A second part of the film, almost like a mockumentary, followed a group of libertines in New York City, filmed in docu-style 16 mm. The segments included the following:
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