History of Sex in Cinema:
The Greatest and Most Influential
Sexual Films and Scenes

(Illustrated)

1992, Part 2



The History of Sex in Cinema
Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description
Screenshots

Jamon, Jamon (1992, Sp.) (aka A Tale of Ham and Passion, or Ham, Ham)

In director Bigas Luna's erotic sex farce (with the tagline: "A Film Where Women Eat Men & Men Eat Ham"), in one of her earliest screen appearances, up-and-coming foreign film star Penelope Cruz (18 years old at the time of the film's release, but 16 when filmed) starred as pretty, working-class shop floor machinist-worker Silvia, the daughter of the brothel owner-prostitute Carmen (Anna Galiena). The setting of the film was a dusty Spanish town, where the town's flimsy billboard-sized bull replica emphasized its over-sized testicles.

The film (unrated, without an MPAA rating) was noted for its scenes of Cruz' abundant nudity, especially in a scene when her breasts and nipples were licked and kissed by her young boyfriend - 'Samson' underwear factory executive Jose Luis (Jordi Molla), the son of over-bearing matriarchal factory owner Conchita (Stefania Sandrelli). He compared her tasty breasts to eating a ham omelette (in subtitles):

Silvia: "How come you like eating my tits?"
Raul: "I like...the way they taste."
Silvia: "What do they taste like?"
Raul: "I don't know. Nothing."
Silvia: "You're sure they don't taste like a potato omelette?"
Raul: "That...would be fantastic. One would taste like an omelette...and the other, like ham."
Silvia: "Jose Luis, when we have a house, can I have a closet just to keep shoes?"

Silvia (Penelope Cruz): "What Do They Taste Like?"

When Silvia became pregnant by Jose Luis, his mother did not want her son marrying the unsuitable fiancee. She was tempted away with the attentions of a studly underwear model - an aspiring bullfighter and ham factory employee Raul (Javier Bardem, Cruz' future husband), who was hired by the mother of the groom. At the same time, Conchita fell for the studly hunk and bought his love with a motorbike and promises of a BMW, while Jose Luis was sampling the wares of Silvia's mother.

In a second scene lit by blue light, her breasts were also feasted upon by Raul, who first sucked on her left nipple, then her right, and then her left again, and then moved lower to perform oral sex on her. The film was also noted for the scene of a moonlit, midnight in-the-nude bullfight with full-frontal male nudity.





Silvia
(Penelope Cruz)

Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. (1992)

Writer/director Leslie Harris' authentic emotional coming-of-age melodrama (her directorial debut film shot in only a few weeks on a low-budget) was one of the first honest portraits of urban black female teenagers. It was also about sexual ignorance and unplanned pregnancy. The film won first-time director Leslie Harris a Special Jury Prize at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival, and was tauted as the first film ever written, directed, and produced by an African-American woman.

It told about enterprising, self-confident (almost abrasive and insubordinate), pretty, and smart 17 year-old black high school student Chantel Mitchell (Ariyan Johnson) living in a Brooklyn housing project - her mis-education and irresponsibility about sex and self-destructiveness led to predictable consequences of unprotected sex.

In one scene, three black girls joked about how to avoid getting pregnant: have sex standing up, have sex during one's menstrual period, or shake up a bottle of soda and use it as an after-sex douche. She ultimately wound up pregnant by fast-talking, Jeep-owning Tyrone (Kevin Thigpen), and although he provided her with $500 for an abortion, she spent the funds on a shopping spree. She carried the baby to term (while making efforts to hide and deny her pregnancy) rather than having an abortion, resulting in the film's believable, bloody and wrenchingly graphic labor-childbirth scene after which the premature newborn baby was heartlessly but momentarily placed in a trashbag and abandoned on a street.

The film's unrealistic and uplifting ending found Chantel taking night classes to get her HS diploma.




Chantel Mitchell
(Ariyan Johnson)

The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

In Michael Mann's historical romance epic, Nathaniel "Hawkeye" Poe (Daniel Day-Lewis) found unrequited love with redcoat colonel's headstrong daughter Cora Munro (Madeleine Stowe).

In the film's most memorable farewell scene, he gave her romantic instructions in a cave behind a cascading waterfall as they were pursued by a Huron war party, before departing:

"...You stay alive, no matter what occurs! I will find you. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you!..."

Behind the Waterfall: "I Will Find You!"

And later, they did find each other at besieged Ft. William Henry, where the two lovers eventually came together in the golden light, and tenderly embraced and kissed repeatedly.



Cora Munro
(Madeleine Stowe)

The Lawnmower Man (1992)

There was one imaginative and surreal CGI sequence of virtual reality sex (or cybersex), the first of its kind, in this science-fiction thriller loosely derived from Stephen King's short story.

Marnie Burke (Jenny Wright) and mentally-retarded lawnmower man Jobe Smith (Jeff Fahey) wore bodysuits, gloves, and head-mounted displays (HMDs), and were strapped into huge gyroscopes - all connected to the computer. After they kissed, the two intertwining lovers became swirling liquid metal, fusing with one another. The couple took the form of two metallic insects looking like a two-headed dragonfly - flying as one being.

Jobe took over the dual fantasy, claiming to know what was in Marnie's mind, but she became trapped in his scary world and then traumatized ("Oh my God, let me out") - causing her brain patterns to become irregular, signifying that she had become a brain-dead vegetable.



Virtual Reality
Cybersex

Like Water for Chocolate (1992) (aka Como agua para chocolate)

The title of this tragic and fantastical "Cinderella" love story of transcendental cooking, by director Alfonso Arau, actually meant intense agitation or sexual arousal.

The magical film, through an extensive flashback narrated by the main character's great-niece, told about the unfulfilled (and doomed) romance during the time of the Mexican revolution between:

  • youngest daughter Tita (Lumi Cavazos), a ranch cook
  • Pedro Muzquiz (Marco Leonardi)

Their love was unfulfilled and thwarted by her tyrannical and selfish widowed matriarch Mama Elena (Regina Tome) who forbid her to marry (she wanted to follow the tradition of her daughter taking care of her in old age). Her mother orchestrated the marriage of Pedro to eldest daughter Rosaura (Yareli Arizmendi) instead (although it was thought: "You can't just exchange tacos for enchiladas"). This still kept Pedro close to Tita as he whispered to her after the wedding: "...now (that) I've got what I wanted, to be near you, the woman I truly love."

On the first anniversary of Tita's cooking at the ranch, Pedro presented Tita with roses, whose thorns scratched her skin above her chest and drew blood. She lovingly used the slightly bloody petals in her mystical (and volatile) cooking to present quail in rose-petal sauce. The passionately-cooked, aphrodisiacal meal ("this is the nectar of the gods," Pedro exclaimed) sent Tita's red-haired sister Gertrudis (Claudette Maille) into orgasmic heat (and sexual awakening) at the table, and the infected woman rushed to the outdoor wash-shed to cool down, but set the wooden structure on fire, and then jumped naked onto the horse saddle of the villista chief, one of the passing bandito revolutionaries - leading to an adventurous life.

The marriage between Pedro and Rosaura kept Tita's and Pedro's love alive in secret, as the narrator spoke - while Pedro admired Tita's breast in her blouse as she cooked:

"Preparing the 'mole.' Tita knew how contact with fire alters elements. How dough becomes a tortilla. And that a breast untouched by love's fire just isn't a breast but a useless ball of dough. In one instant, Pedro had transformed Tita's breasts from chaste to voluptuous without even touching them."

Tita cared for - and breast-fed Rosaura's infant son with her virginal milk.

Explosive, Climactic Passion Between Pedro and Tita (Lumi Cavazos)

By film's end, with everyone dead or married off, Tita and Pedro were finally able to make love without interruption (they had once consummated their love earlier) in a candle-filled bedroom as lightning flashed outdoors. As Pedro screamed out his love for Tita ("I love you!"), his 'inner matches' exploded in passion and produced literal sparks, as kindly Dr. John Brown (Mario Ivan Martinez) had prophetically described earlier:

"My grandmother, Morning Star -- she was a Kikapu Indian -- she used to say that we're all born with a box of matches inside. We can't light them by ourselves. Just like in this experiment, we need oxygen and the help of a candle. Except that in our case, the oxygen has to come, for example, from a lover's breath. The candle can be anything: a melody, a word, a caress, a sound. Anything that pulls the trigger and sets off one of the matches. Every person has to discover what will pull his trigger to enable him to live. Because it is the explosive flare of a match that feeds our souls. If there's nothing to trigger the explosion, our box of matches becomes damp and then we'll never be able to light any of them. There are many ways to dry a damp match box. You can rest assured there is a cure. Of course, it's important to light the matches one at a time. Because if an intense burst of emotion were to ignite them all at once, they would produce such a strong brilliance that before our eyes there would appear a tunnel of such radiance showing us the path we forgot at birth, the same path that calls us back to our divine origins."

As a result, Pedro promptly died while experiencing an orgasm. Their bedroom erupted in flames - reuniting their souls in a radiant tunnel in the hereafter where they lived together in their "buried love" without judgment by others.



Gertrudis
(Claudette Maille)


Tita
(Lumi Cavazos)

The Lover (1992, Fr./UK) (aka L'Amant)

Director Jean-Jacques Annaud's stylishly-filmed, moody and erotic masterpiece was based upon a semi-biographical novel by French author Marguerite Duras.

It told about a pigtailed, under-aged, 15 year-old white French school girl, credited as Young Girl (18 year-old model Jane March at the time of filming, in her first starring role) in French Vietnam (in 1929 colonial Saigon), who suffered abuse from her bigoted and loutish family including her poor and domineering colonial mother (Frederique Meininger) and her psychotic, opium-addicted brother (Arnaud Giovaninetti). The young precocious schoolgirl, with a man's fedora, was a student at the Lycee Chasseloup-Laubat in Saigon. She experienced masturbation and lesbian contact with a fellow student (Lisa Faulkner as Helene Lagonelle) in one of the film's earlier scenes.

The Young Girl, claiming she was 17, also offered herself, with eager sensual abandonment (detailed in voice-over by Jeanne Moreau as a flashback) in many heated scenes, as the amorous partner in forbidden and torrid sexual love (inter-generational, inter-racial, and between classes) to an older, white-suited, 32 year-old, wealthy aristocratic, Paris-educated businessman, credited as Chinese Man (Tony Leung). They first met when he offered her a ride to Saigon in his chauffeured car, after they spoke during a ferry crossing of the Mekong River. They engaged in a provocative hand-holding scene in the back-seat as they rode through the countryside, as they tentatively and wordlessly joined their hands. They also experienced a moist and imaginary kiss through his car window, when he was parked across from the school gate.

The love-making scenes were filmed to appear sexually realistic in his dark, seedy streetside room. Both knew their overexposed love was impossible and forbidden, because he was set up in an arranged marriage with a Chinese heiress bride, and she was soon going to return to Paris.

Trysts with Young Girl (Jane March) in the Chinese Man's Dark Rented Room






Young Girl
(Jane March)

Poison Ivy (1992)

Director Katt Shea's low-budget, erotic psychological thriller (released in both an R-rated theatrical version and an unrated DVD version) was the first of a series - that became popular only after release on video. The script was co-written by Shea with her former husband, producer Andy Ruben.

It starred Drew Barrymore in this first installment as the trampish, bleach-blonde flower-named title character - manipulative, sexy teen femme fatale Ivy. (Although underage Barrymore's body double was claimed to be the third film's star, Jaime Pressly, that was highly unlikely since Pressly was two years younger than Barrymore.)

There were three sequels (see later entries):

  • Poison Ivy 2: Lily (1996), director Anne Goursaud's direct-to-video release with Alyssa Milano as the title character
  • Poison Ivy 3: The New Seduction (1997), Kurt Voss' direct-to-video release with Jaime Pressly
  • Poison Ivy: The Secret Society (2008), premiering on the Lifetime Network

In the film's first sensual scene, Ivy's reclusive alter ego - Sylvie 'Coop' Cooper (Sara Gilbert, of TV's Roseanne) - known as a compulsive liar - sketched a cross (with entwined ivy) while viewing Ivy's leg tattoo as she rope-swung dangerously over a ravine. She remarked on Ivy's pouty, puffy and vaginal-like lips ("Not that I'm a lesbian... well, maybe I am"), and the two teens kissed in the un-rated version.

Later, the amoral Ivy schemed her way into being 'adopted' by 'Coop's' family, soon replacing Sylvie's life. She began to seduce Sylvie's wealthy reformed-alcoholic father Darryl (Tom Skerritt) - who had a sickly, hypochondriac, housebound invalid wife Georgie (Cheryl Ladd) suffering from emphysema. When pill-popping Georgie passed out from a combination of drugs and champagne, Ivy sat on the bed rubbing Darryl's groin and crotch area with her high-heeled foot while Darryl stroked her thigh and nuzzled between her legs and was about to deliver oral sex, as she arched her head back.

Next, she had teasing sex in the rain on the hood of a Mercedes with him, allowing him to move his hand under her blouse to pull up her bra and cup her breast. After orchestrating Georgie's death (Ivy pushed her off a balcony and made it look like a suicide) and taking her place in the household, Ivy had another sexual encounter with Darryl (he took her from behind while standing up) near a piano during a thunderstorm, as Sylvie walked in on them during the act.

'Poison' Ivy (Drew Barrymore) - Sex with Darryl (Tom Skerritt)

In the fateful ending, Ivy ended up dead on a driveway after a balcony struggle with Sylvie.


Ivy (Drew Barrymore)
Kissing Sylvie
(Sara Gilbert)



Ivy
(Drew Barrymore)



Single White Female (1992)

Barbet Schroeder's edgy psycho-erotic thriller told about the ensuing problems brought on by a psychotically-compulsive, disturbed and menacing roommate (a 'single white female') with a very dark side beneath her heart-of-gold exterior. It was followed by a lesser direct-to-video sequel (or remake) without rampant nudity titled Single White Female 2: The Psycho (2005), starring Kristen Miller (as Holly) and Allison Lange (as Tess).

In the original film, NYC software designer and sophisticated career woman Allison "Allie" Jones (Bridget Fonda), living in a cavernous Victorian apartment in the West 70s, was happily engaged to be married to live-in boyfriend Sam Rawson (Steven Weber), but in the opening scene at 4 am, she discovered through a phone call by his ex-wife Lisa that Sam had been unfaithful. Their argument as they broke up was overheard through the iron floor grille air vent by Allison's sympathetic upstairs gay neighbor-friend Graham Knox (Peter Friedman).

To cover the costs of rent and not wanting to live alone, she advertised for a SWF in the newspaper to share her apartment, and after a series of personal interviews with candidate prospects, chose shy, timid, eager-to-please, unfashionable bookstore clerk Hedra "Hedy" Carlson (Jennifer Jason Leigh), assuring her that her break-up with her boyfriend was permanent ("Well, nothing's gonna change, Hedy").

After only two weeks together as roommates, the two had bonded and Hedra expressed her emulation of Allie when she told her: "Anything of mine that you want, just go ahead. Share and share alike." She then revealed: "I was supposed to be a twin, but she was stillborn...I grew up feeling a part of me was missing." Allison resisted Sam's persistent efforts to contact her and restore their relationship. Fearing the inevitability of a reconciliation, Hedra secretly erased Sam's pleading phone message for a second chance and intercepted a letter, and bought a puppy dog named Buddy to deepen their female friendship.

Allison reestablished her relationship with Sam, and had overnight sex with him in his Hotel Davenport room. When Allison returned to her apartment over 24 hours later, Hedy ominously confronted her in her bedroom: "Where the hell have you been?" Now that Allison had "patched things up" with Sam, Hedy rightfully feared being evicted soon ("You'll be very happy and I'll be alone"), and commiserated about how she was in a "different league" and would never find a boyfriend. However, she appeared overly-friendly when Sam slept over, and one late night Allie saw Hedy pleasuring herself in her bed.

Hedy's (Jennifer Jason Leigh) Open Sexuality and Various States of Undress
 
 

A series of strange incidents began to occur:

  • Buddy died falling off the balcony (an accident?)
  • Allie found Hedy had duplicate outfits of hers in her closet
  • Allie was propositioned by her infatuated, creepy client/boss Mitch Myerson (Stephen Tobolowsky) and when she commiserated with her roommate, Hedy declared: "Men are pigs" and suggested "getting even" by making a threatening phone call to him. Allie was completely taken aback: "Gee, Hedy, I hope you never get mad at me."
  • Hedy modeled her copy-cat new hairstyle for Allison (she later admired herself: "I love myself like this"). She demonstrated the lengths she would go to insinuate herself, steal (or control) the life of someone else and become nearly identical, by walking down the stairs of a salon with a complete make-over - her hair was colored red and cut short exactly like Allison's. Allison was flabbergasted: "You gotta be kidding."

Now suspicious, Allie snooped in Hedy's closet, finding a shoebox with clues about Hedy's real identity: letters addressed to Tampa, Florida to an Ellen Besch, Hedy's actual name. A newspaper article stated that her 9 year-old twin Judy Besch had drowned at a family picnic and the "circumstances surrounding her death remain unclear." An intercepted letter that Sam had claimed he sent to Allie was also in the shoebox. Allie followed Hedy as she went to a nightclub and saw her chatting with a guy named Jim, similar in appearance to Sam, with Hedy claiming she was Allie's 'sister': "Jim, you look like my sister's boyfriend."

That evening, a distraught Allie spoke to Graham upstairs about her concerns, overhead by Hedy through the vent, who advised that Hedy move out immediately ("She's a lunatic, Allie. She's got to go. Do it tonight"). Shortly after, Hedy who had snuck into Graham's apartment, knocked him unconscious. When Allie demanded that Hedy had to leave, Hedy vowed: "It's me, isn't it? I'll change Allie. I can change." And then she predicted that Sam would again be unfaithful: "He will cheat on you again. That's a promise." Then she lashed out at Allie for going back to Sam: "You're so f--kin' weak."

To insure her promise that Sam would be unfaithful, Hedy (looking exactly like Allie) even went to Sam's Hotel Atherton room when he returned late that night from a trip and had fallen asleep and coquettishly seduced him under the covers with oral sex. She told him: "I knew it...I told her. Guys like you don't change. You can't be faithful....I think she should know that." He lashed out at her, and claimed Allie hated her, calling her "too needy," "always clingy," "constantly in her face" - and declaring her "nuts." She then vengefully murdered him with the spiked stiletto heel of a shoe thrust into his eye, when he threatened to confess to Allie.

Hedy hurriedly prepared to move out, obsessively cleaning her sub-let room (and erasing all evidence of her presence), before the murder was detected. Allie heard news of the murder on the morning news show, and suspected Hedy, who when confronted changed the scenario:

"He came in my mouth and then tried to beat the s--t out of me because I wanted to tell you. You know, it was an accident. But, he deserved it."

She intended to frame the murder on Allie, and escape undetected as Hedy ("No one's seen her. She's not on the lease. There's not even a fingerprint of hers here"). Hedy held Allie bound as a hostage in Graham's upstairs apartment and came close to slitting her throat. She revealed that another incident with a similar woman in Tampa ended badly, when another female exposed Hedy's "secrets" to put her away. Allie pretended to want to be with Hedy, and planned to book a flight to LA with her. Meanwhile, Allie's flustered client Mitch came looking for her (when his computer programs self-erased due to non-payment), and when he attempted to free Allie, was bludgeoned and then shot to death by the unhinged Hedy.

The film concluded with a brutal catfight between Allie and Hedy that began in Graham's apartment, continued in an elevator, and ended in the basement of the building, where Allie stabbed Hedy to death in the back with a screwdriver.

In the aftermath, Allie told (in voice-over) how Hedy's parents said that their young daughter never forgave herself for surviving her sister's death. The last image was a composite view of the photographed faces of Allie & Hedy, with Allie's voice-over:

"I cried the whole week of Sam's funeral. Graham says that won't bring him back. He says I have to start letting go. He's right. Hedy's parents said that for years, they tried to explain to her that her sister's death wasn't her fault, but she never forgave herself for surviving. So, every day, I try to forgive Hedy for Sam. Then, I try to do what she couldn't: forgive myself. I know what can happen to someone who doesn't."


Young Twin Hedy


Allie
(Bridget Fonda)


Allie and Hedy

Copy-cat Hedy

Shoebox Clues


Hedy Seducing and
Killing Sam


Composite View

Sex in Cinematic History
History Overview | Reference Intro | Pre-1920s | 1920-26 | 1927-29 | 1930-1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934-37 | 1938-39
1940-44 | 1945-49 | 1950-54 | 1955-56 | 1957-59 | 1960-61 | 1962-63 | 1964 | 1965-66 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969

1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989
1990 | 1991 | 1992-1 | 1992-2 | 1993 | 1994-1 | 1994-2 | 1995-1 | 1995-2 | 1996-1 | 1996-2 | 1997-1 | 1997-2 | 1998-1 | 1998-2 | 1999-1 | 1999-2
2000-1 | 2000-2 | 2001-1 | 2001-2 | 2002-1 | 2002-2 | 2003-1 | 2003-2 | 2004-1 | 2004-2 | 2005-1 | 2005-2 | 2006-1 | 2006-2
2007-1 | 2007-2 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

Index to All Decades, Years and Features


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