History of Sex in Cinema:
|Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description|
Blown Away (1993)
This 'guilty-pleasure' Basic Instinct (1992)-like erotic thriller from director Brenton Spencer was a direct-to-cable film filled with numerous gratuitous nudity and sex scenes (released as both an R-rated and unrated film). It was advertised with the tagline:
There were three main characters that met up during one summer:
In the opening scene that occurred a year earlier, Megan's mother was mysteriously 'blown away' by a ticking car bomb planted under her gas tank that exploded and sent her car into a gas station causing another explosive fireball. Soon enough, Rich and Megan were having sex repeatedly during a torrid affair.
Their first hot scene was in the hallway of her father's bedroom (during a Hawaiian-themed party she hosted at her mansion) after they first met. Against the wall, she purred to him in a skimpy white bikini: "I never properly thanked you." When he struggled with her bikini top, she told him to "rip it." He licked her breasts and kept lowering himself, then ripped off her bottoms, and gave her oral sex, before they had stand-up intercourse. She later told him as they laid in bed:
The next time they met, she apologized for not calling him by offering another extended bout of love-making (to the tune of "Hooked On You") - leading to a montage of sex between them (in the shower, and throughout the house, and later in front of a roaring fire). She kept urging him on with phrases such as: "Talking's not my best sport" but then abruptly dumped him. It was part of her conniving plan to have Rich want her even more and eventually to help her further her own ends.
Her plan was to kill her tyrannical, overprotective father Cy (Jean Le Clerc), the ski resort manager. Her idea was to place an explosive time-bomb in Cy's motorbike's gas tank that exploded cliff-side, resulting in a fall to his death. Her double-crossing plan was that Rich would be framed for the murder and she would receive the family inheritance. Rich's dumped ex-girlfriend Darla (Kathleen Robertson) (who ended up dead during a suspicious horse riding accident) knew the real truth about Megan:
Body of Evidence (1993)
Director Uli Edel's scorching Basic Instinct-like erotic thriller (originally NC-17 but edited for the R-version) and courtroom drama featured pop singer Madonna as a dominatrix. A year earlier, the pop songstress had released her soft-core Sex book and her album Erotica. It was one of Madonna's many film appearances that was severely criticized. The film's six Razzie nominations included Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Willem Dafoe), Worst Director, Worst Supporting Actress (Anne Archer) and Worst Screenplay, and a win for Worst Actress (Madonna).
It was advertised as exhibiting lots of nudity of the gratuitous kind in its publicity with glimpses of alternative, perverted, kinky, and sadomasochistic sex (hot candle wax, sex on a broken glass lightbulb on a car, nipple clamps, handcuffs-belts/bondage, buttocks acupuncture, etc.).
Madonna played the part of sexy, outspoken murder suspect/client Rebecca Carlson, who was fascinated by S&M and animals making love ("Have you ever seen animals make love, Frank? It's intense!"). She also enjoyed videotaped sex, to name just one of her obsessions. The film's tagline was, appropriately: "When is an act of love an act of murder?"
The film, set in Portland, Oregon, opened with Rebecca's millionaire-rich, cocaine-ridden older lover Andrew March (Michael Forest) watching an earlier porn-style videotape of himself having kinky, porn-style sex (involving handcuffs, a Valentine's Day gift) with her. Soon after, she was accused of killing him by using her body as a weapon - he expired while having sex with her. As she later recalled during her trial, she acquired money from his will as a dutiful, sex-obsessed female: "That's what I do. I f--k. And it made me 8 million dollars!" The playback of a sexual bout with Rebecca riding a guy in reverse brought the comment: "This guy was really into recording this s--t. He could open up his own video-store." Another of Rebecca's rich males with a heart condition, surviving surprise witness Jeffrey Roston (Frank Langella), testified that she also tried to kill him with rough sex by causing him to have a cardiac arrest. After a heart operation that cured him, he claimed that Rebecca left him. He departed the courtroom in shame after admitting that he had converted to homosexuality.
She lured in her strait-laced defense lawyer Frank Dulaney (Willem Dafoe) (who had a jealous redheaded wife named Sharon (Julianne Moore)) into her wild style of sado-machochistic sex games. Rebecca made love to him in an underground parking garage as he laid on a car hood covered with sharp light bulb fragments.
At the start of the film's infamous S&M scene, when he approached her as she laid back with her breasts exposed, she turned the tables on Frank and insisted on doing it "my way." She tied his arms behind his back with his belt, straddled his naked body and dripped torturous hot candle wax from a giant white candle onto his bare chest as he grimaced. She asked: "Are you scared?" A few times, she poured champagne on the waxy burned spot on his chest, licked it up and then kissed him on the mouth. She then proceeded to orgasmically grind against him for about a minute and a half - seen dimly and darkly through a filmy scrim.
In her three-story glass houseboat, she also masturbated in front of him (after wetting her middle finger and slipping it down inside her panties) as she laid on the floor and opened up her white silk robe - while he claimed: "It's not a crime to be a great lay." He turned his back on her for awhile, then looked back at her pleasuring herself. He removed his tie and jacket, kneeled atop her, and kissed her. Then, he roughly and angrily handcuffed her to a table, removed her panties, and had sex with her from behind.
In the conclusion of the courtroom proceedings, she was found not guilty of killing her husband through sex. During the trial, Marsh's secretary Joanne Braslow (Anne Archer) also admitted to having an affair with the deceased, casting doubt on Rebecca's guilt. And Sharon dumped Frank due to the wax-burn marks on his chest and his prolonged disappearances.
In the absurd twist-ending conclusion, Frank came upon Rebecca with co-conspirator Alan Payley (Jürgen Prochnow), Marsh's doctor. No longer needing Payley, crazed killer Rebecca dismissed him: "I've already forgotten you." When Payley spitefully and angrily attacked her with a gun, the shootout ended with both Payley and Rebecca shot. She plunged (dead?) into the water through one of the houseboat's windows.
The S&M Wax Sequence with Rebecca (Madonna)
Boxing Helena (1993)
Director Jennifer Chambers Lynch's (director David Lynch's daughter) directorial debut film was an erotic, provocative and disturbing psychosexual work that was decried by feminists. This controversial, misogynistic film was originally contracted with Madonna and then Kim Basinger as the star, and settled by a multi-million dollar lawsuit in favor of the producer when Basinger backed out.
In this R-rated art film, obsessive brilliant Atlanta surgeon Dr. Nick Cavanaugh (Julian Sands) was shown to have a promiscuous and uncaring blonde-haired mother named Marion (Meg Register) who simultaneously teased, ignored and tormented him as a young boy.
He developed problems with premature ejaculation before he became entranced by his vivacious, unattainable, bitchy and libertine neighbor Helena (Sherilyn Fenn). Cavanaugh was able to experience a brief one-night affair with her in the past, but couldn't fathom being without his lustful desires for her after peeping at her through her window during a sensual evening tryst with her sleazy macho boyfriend Ray O'Malley (Bill Paxton).
In the film's main plot, he took advantage of her when there was a terrible hit-run vehicular accident outside his palatial house following a party (during which she sensuously twirled around in slow-motion in his outdoor fountain while stripped down to her black lingerie). He performed surgery on her and made her a 'Venus de Milo' amputee (metaphorically and physically) by first removing her damaged legs and then her arms to imprison her. His behavior exhibited amputee fetishism (known as acrotomophilia).
To cover up his atrocious entrapment, he quit his hospital job, cut off all contact with the outside world, and attended to his imprisoned possession.
Later (in a scene set to a Gregorian chant), the doctor had wild sex with call girl China (Nicolette Scorsese) in black lingerie while being watched through a cracked door by his captive, dismembered quadruple amputee female companion. Although still captive and dependent, she would continue to scorn and emasculate him with denouncements of his manhood, although eventually taught him (with limbs in a dream sequence) how a woman should be loved.
Nick with Call Girl China
Nick with Helena
Chained Heat II (1993)
Another women-in-prison film, this one came a decade after star Linda Blair's appearance as a wrongly-imprisoned inmate in Chained Heat (1983). Its tagline was: "In prison...no-one cares if you scream!" Another was: "One woman in prison. One woman wants her out. One woman wants her." It was the precursor to Chained Heat III: No Holds Barred (1998) (aka Dark Confessions) (see later).
It told about another imprisoned woman, virginal Alexandra Morrison (Kimberley Kates) framed for drug possession (planted cocaine in her bag) and sent to a Czech prison for ten years while traveling through Eastern Europe. She was planning to meet her sister Suzanne Morrison (former Playmate of the Month for February 1988 Kari (Kennell) Whitman) at the train station.
Statuesque Brigitte Nielsen was featured as the sinister S/M dyke, stiletto-heeled Warden Magda Kassar (without any display of nudity) and Jana Svandová as her dominating, homicidal blonde butch assistant Rosa Schmidt.
The exploitative prison was infested with drugs (inmates were stripped and forced to sit at tables in an underground basement and package the powder into bags), gambling, debauchery (such as bondage) and prostitution.
A stereotypical full-frontal shower scene was included and in another scene, one of the inmates credited as Junkie Girl (Petra Susser) was made a sex slave. The film ended with a full-scale prison assault to free the inmates.
Demolition Man (1993)
A so-called "virtual reality sex scene" occurred in this film between the two main stars:
In her 2032 AD apartment, Lenina asked: "I was wondering if you would like to have sex." John quizzically asked: "With you...Here? Now?" and she answered affirmatively. He asserted: "Oh yeah!" and she jumped up: "Great! I'll be right back." She brought out a container with two virtual reality helmets, and instructed as they both donned the headpieces: "Now just relax. It'll begin in a few seconds."
When he eventually relaxed and closed his eyes, he received short flashes of cerebral sex with her, but ripped off the apparatus and broke 'contact' with her during their non-contact sex, stupefied about the simulated virtual love-making: "Contact...I didn't even touch you yet...Is that what you call this?" She told him: "Vir-sex has been proven to produce higher orders of alpha waves during digitized transference of sexual energies." He proposed: "All right, officer, what do you say we just do it the old-fashioned way?" to which she replied, with shock as she stood up:
She retorted and told him how sex had been outlawed because it was dangerous and unclean: "The rampant exchange of bodily fluids was one of the major reasons for the downfall of society. After AIDS, there was NRS, after NRS, there was UBT." Even kissing was outlawed in society - and procreation was accomplished in a laboratory: "Fluids are purified, screened, and transferred by authorized medical personnel only. It's the only legal way." He attempted to break the law by kissing her, but she refused and ordered him from her domicile.
Upon his return to his own place, he received a video-phone call from a naked female (1992 Penthouse Pet of the Year Brandy Ledford) who quickly covered up and apologized: "Oh, my God, I'm sorry, wrong number" - further adding to his sexual frustration.
Virtual Reality Sex
Doppelganger: The Evil Within (1993)
Drew Barrymore starred in this trashy and strange horror-thriller film (straight-to-video), with a confusing plotline - was the mystery in the film psychological, or actually supernatural? Its tagline was: "Sometimes love can be a killer."
It told about an evil, alter-ego twin (doppelganger) as the mentally-disturbed character of Holly Gooding who suffered from multiple personality disorder. She moved to Los Angeles after being suspected of brutally stabbing and murdering her mother (real-life Jade Barrymore) in New York. She moved in with wanna-be writer Patrick Highsmith (George Newbern) and began to have an affair with him - or was it her doppelganger? In one seduction scene, she disrobed for him in the kitchen and they had sex on the floor.
In the film's most memorable and surreal dream sequence, Holly was showering when the water turned to blood. The second most striking and erotic scene was one at a party in which Holly danced (and groped) with herself.
The mostly ludicrous film revealed in its mind-bending twist ending that Holly's mysterious psychiatrist Heller (Dennis Christopher) was evil Holly in disguise (as well as all of the other various antagonists), and Holly was able to transform herself into a gooey alien monster from which two skeletons emerged, before she reverted back to herself - and died!
Dream Lover (1993)
In this R-rated erotic thriller from writer/director Nicholas Kazan (his directorial debut film), beautiful and sensual Madchen Amick played the part of Lena Mathers, a mysterious and gorgeous femme fatale. [Note: This film was not to be confused with Kristy McNichols' film Dream Lover (1986).] The suspenseful film was intended to cash in on the success of the earlier Basic Instinct (1992), and was similar in plot to the homosexually-tinged Bad Influence (1990). The unrated (and uncut) version of the theatrical film contained a few more minutes of extended sex scenes (and additional footage of the ending).
The alluring female came into 'accidental' contact at an art gallery opening and in a supermarket with:
Lena married Ray after dream dates, storybook sex and romance, and they soon started a family.
Cracks began to develop, hinted at earlier by Lena herself:
But Ray quickly learned that he had been duped for his money while she was duplicitous and devious regarding many aspects of her life:
He finally sought revenge, although it ultimately cost him his sanity and freedom, when he was committed to a mental institution for six months for observation. When Lena privately admitted to him that his fears and suspicions were well-founded, and that she had duped him for monetary gain, he lured her to the mental hospital during his birthday party to speak to her about a 'mistake' she had made.
Ray told her that his condition of insanity meant that he wouldn't be legally accountable for murdering her - and he strangled her to death. In the extended version of the film, Ray was released from the hospital and was with his children at the zoo.
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993)
Even though there were no major sex scenes or revelations of extended nudity in writer/director Gus Van Sant's disastrous and goofy adaptation of Tom Robbins' 1976 novel, the road-story/romance and hybrid western was nonetheless sex-drenched with lesbianism, free love, and drug use.
It told the fantastical story of hitchhiker Sissy Hankshaw (Uma Thurman) with freakish, large phallic-like extended thumbs on both hands, who was as a young girl taken to gypsy fortune-teller Madame Zoe (Roseanne Barr) who was asked: "Is she gonna find a husband?" - Madame Zoe responded that Sissy would live a life of sexual experimentation: "I see men in your life. I also see women, lots and lots and lots of women."
After growing up, she was a model for Yoni Yum feminine hygiene products, deodorizing sprays and douche bags (advertised as "She Smells As Good As She Looks") produced by a company owned by a transvestite - the ultra-flamboyant and fey queen in white-faced makeup named The Countess (John Hurt). He claimed the odor of female vaginas needed to be covered over:
Sissy then hitchhiked to his Rubber Rose health spa/beauty ranch in Oregon (the site of endangered, dancing whooping cranes who migrated and settled there during mating season) to shoot a commercial. When she was near the ranch, she laid down and masturbated by the side of the road until picked up by ranch manager Miss Adrian (Angie Dickinson). At the ranch, she encountered whip-wielding mystic Delores del Ruby (Lorraine Bracco) (who regarded the Countess as "perverse as a pink pickle") and quickly fell in love with the lead lesbian at the ranch - a radical, feminist earthy cowgirl named Bonanza Jellybean (Rain Phoenix, the sister of River Phoenix, in her acting debut). Soon, they were kissing and making love by the light of a campfire.
The film's major plot point was that the exploited, wild, and natural cowgirls declared a mutiny and seized control of the ranch by turning their 'pussy smell' against the Countess - as a group, they dropped their pants when Bonanza Jellybean ordered: "Go for it, girls" and advanced threateningly toward the misogynistic Countess, boasting defiantly of their unwashed genitalia:
After taking possession of the ranch, the cowgirls attempted to save the cranes and prevent them from flying away by feeding them peyote, although 19 year-old Jellybean was shot and killed by federal agents when she defied them on horseback!
"Go for it, Girls!"
Friday the 13th, Jason Goes to Hell - The Final Friday (1993)
The ninth in the series of Friday the 13th films was Friday the 13th, Jason Goes to Hell - The Final Friday (1993). There were two versions of the film, rated and unrated (including the following scenes).
In the film's opening, shapely FBI agent Elizabeth Marcus (Julie Michaels) entered a Crystal Lake area cabin, and after replacing a burned out light-bulb and stripping to take a bath, she was attacked by infamous Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder) (resurrected again somehow) who was wielding a machete - her role as sexy bait was part of an elaborate FBI ambush to once and for all kill the serial murderer.
The most extensive nudity/sex, fulfilling the pattern of horny teens having premarital sex and dying at Jason's hand, was offered about a third of the way into the film. Three hitchhikers, on their way to the infamous Crystal Lake area, were prophetically joked with by the driver about their destination: "Planning on smoking a little dope, having a little premarital sex, and getting slaughtered?" They were left off by the side of the road at the broken-down Camp Crystal Lake sign.
At their tent camp, the couple (brunette Deborah (Michelle Clunie) and her boyfriend Luke (Michael B. Silver)), and a third redheaded female named Alexis (Kathryn Atwood) were naked around a campfire after skinny-dipping in the lake, and soon after, the couple retired to their tent to make love. Outside, Alexis was repeatedly slashed with a scalpel by the Jason-'possessed' Coroner (Richard Gant).
Then, the love-making couple in the tent was also murdered. The killer stepped on their discarded and unused condom as he approached. When Deb climaxed on top of Luke during intercourse, she was stabbed through the back with a sharp metal spiked fence post and ripped in half up through a bloody gash in her torso, while Luke's head was crushed (off-screen).
FBI Agent Marcus
Indecent Proposal (1993)
Adrian Lyne's controversial and melodramatic film raised the provocative question in this soapy morality play: what harm is there in a wife becoming adulterous by sleeping with another man for only one night -- for a million dollars?
Although seemingly a serious topic, it was poorly orchestrated and functioned as a predictable soap-opera, nominated for seven Razzie awards and winning three: Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Supporting Actor (Woody Harrelson). The other nominations were for Worst Actor (Robert Redford), Worst Actress (Demi Moore), Worst Director (Lyne), and Worst Original Song (John Barry's "(You Love Me) In All the Right Places").
The in-love young couple were:
They opened the film with love-making on their kitchen floor (with his "pants on fire"). Soon, the financially-reckless couple lost all of their investment funds ($5,000) playing the roulette tables in Las Vegas. The struggling duo were confronted by a jaded businessman billionaire John Gage (Robert Redford), who invited the couple to an opulent party, where he made a seemingly easy proposal - a legal transaction allowing Gage to sleep with Diana for just one night on his yacht, in exchange for $1 million ("a lifetime of security for one night").
Turned on by the thought of 'whoring' his wife for money, the couple made love on a bed covered with bills.
The film's concluding lesson was "money can't buy love" with the aftermath of the adultery and its devastating consequences. Although the couple split up briefly, they were reunited by film's end at the spot where he originally proposed when they were high-school sweethearts. She asked: "Have I ever told you I love you?...I do...Always." As the music swelled, they grasped each other's hand. It fulfilled her earlier statement: "If you ever want something badly, let it go. If it comes back to you, then it's yours forever. If it doesn't, then it was never yours to begin with."
Killing Zoe (1993)
This nihilistic, Generation X cult crime thriller (executive-produced by Quentin Tarantino) about a violent bank robbery-heist in Paris (on Bastille Day) was directed by first-timer Roger Avary.
Julie Delpy (Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004)) played the part of an escort/art student named Zoe, in a very small role. Scruffy, laid-back and calm safe-cracker Zed (Eric Stoltz) had asked his taxi-cab driver to procure a prostitute ("wife for the night"), and she soon arrived at his hotel room door. She spoke French and then changed to English, announcing her fee as 1,000 francs (around $200) for the night: "I don't do weird stuff, a condom, and you have to pay in advance...blow job included." "'Weird stuff' included "peeing on me" - she elaborated, and she noted that they both had "Z names."
After he paid her for sex, he watched as she slowly and sensuously undressed, first removing her black bra in front of him (and asking: "Slow enough for you") before she removed his pants and climbed atop him. The original silent vampire classic Nosferatu (1922) by F. W. Murnau played soundlessly on the room's TV, intercut with their sex scene to create an unsettling atmosphere. However, they were instantly and blissfully connected to each other. After sex, she immediately admitted that she liked him. She called him an uncharacteristically "good person" compared to the "creeps" she usually met. She said that they had "body language. We fit together...we clicked. You made me orgasm." She honestly claimed she never orgasmed with other often-fat clients.
She described that she had a "day job, three times a week -- very boring, but one day there will be only my art...I don't paint. I make things. Object(s). Not like sculpture. Like life. What I do, I do it only for the objects." She denied that she was a typical prostitute, but was more of a real person: "the difference is a prostitute would have lied to you about (her) orgasm. I didn't lie." They passionately kissed, continued talking and soon fell asleep in each other's arms until his strung-out (HIV-infected), long-haired, unpredictable robbery friend-childhood buddy Eric (Jean-Hugues Anglade) arrived early in the morning and threw her out.
After an extended and chaotic night of carousing (drinking, shooting up heroin, smoking dope, pill-popping and night-clubbing), Zed joined a motley group of criminals to assault the bank - and to make matters more complicated, Zoe was discovered to be a clerk at the bank - her day job. When the robbery went completely awry in the bloody climax, hostage Zoe saved injured Zed from annihilation by the increasingly-psychopathic Eric and the police, claiming that he was a bank customer.
In the film's last line of dialogue, as she drove him away in her car, she promised: "You'll get well. Then I'll show you the real Paris."
Zed (Eric Stoltz)
Lake Consequence (1993)
This erotic cable-TV (Showtime) drama (by the soft-core duo of director Rafael Eisenman and writer/producer Zalman King) starred Joan Severance as Irene, a 30-something suburban housewife who became lustfully attracted to studly landscaper and tree-trimmer Billy (Billy Zane).
She was abducted (when she was accidentally locked in his camper-trailer) and joined him and his blonde bi-sexual, exhibitionist, extremely-fit girlfriend Grace (May Karasun or Hollie L. Hummel) for the weekend. They took a trip to the remote Lake Consequence where Grace enjoyed skinny-dipping and clothes-free freedom.
The film received a lot of attention for its video-cover - referencing a menage a trois sequence between the threesome in a steam-filled Chinese massage/bathhouse, including some intimate lesbian kissing.
As in many of these late-night cable tales, the repressed sexuality of Irene was released and discovered through her living out her sexual fantasies and abandonment to Billy.
This powerful Jonathan Demme 'message' film was notable as being the first major Hollywood studio film to take the subject of AIDS seriously.
It starred Best Actor-winning Tom Hanks as unjustly-fired gay lawyer Andrew Beckett due to his affliction with the AIDS virus.
Philadelphia was an historically-important and provocative film for its impact and for educating the public about this emerging social issue.
The Piano (1993, NZ)
This much-applauded film with eight Oscar nominations included a rare directorial nomination for its female director Jane Campion.
It told about eccentric, mute mail-order Irish bride Ada McGrath (Best Actress-winning Holly Hunter) who was newly-arrived from 1850s Scotland in New Zealand to join her landowner husband Stewart (Sam Neill) in the wilderness with her young daughter Flora (Anna Paquin).
However, she became involved in a blackmailing/bribery sexual deal (that included her own sexual awakening) during encounters with a coarse native settler/overseer neighbor named George Baines (Harvey Keitel) that revolved around the return of her beloved piano exchanged for a plot of land.
During her transgressive 'piano lessons' to buy the piano back (key by key) from Baines, each key was exchanged for a sexual favor (beginning innocently with lifting her skirt, to exposing her arms, or touching her skin through a stocking hole).
In the most sexually-charged scenes, Baines stripped naked by his bed and exchanged 10 piano keys for lying together without clothes on. Eventually, this led to having intercourse. When a regretful Baines finally realized that his sexual arrangement had made her a whore, he returned the piano.
Schindler's List (1993)
A few scenes were censored in the Philippines, in this acclaimed Steven Spielberg film, Schindler's List (1993) about the efforts of a WWII era businessman to save hundreds of Jews from Nazi execution during the Holocaust.
The scenes included views of women's breasts:
In another disturbing confrontational scene in his villa's basement, a lusting Goeth circled around a glisteningly-sweaty, nubile Jewish housekeeper Helen (Embeth Davidtz) in a flimsy, clinging chemise that was semi-transparent, wanting to sexually force himself on her and taste the forbidden fruit.
Short Cuts (1993)
Robert Altman's star-filled mosaic opus about Southern Californians included one couple in the ensemble in a most memorable scene:
They argued about an instance of her infidelity three years earlier while preparing to go out to dinner, as she dried her wine-stained dress with a hair-dryer -- bottomless with her reddish pubic hair plainly visible.
In another scene, Marian painted nude housewife model Sherri Shepard (Madeleine Stowe).
A third scene saw disturbed cellist Zoe Trainer (Lori Singer) skinny-dipping in a pool while spied upon by pool cleaner Jerry Kaiser (Chris Penn) - who was married to phone-sex wife Lois (Jennifer Jason Leigh).
Sirens (1993, Aust./UK/Ger.)
John Duigan's free-wheeling, erotic drama (based on a true story), with the tagline: "Be Seduced," told about "sirens" who lived in a sensual paradise, and posed 'au naturel' for controversial and eccentric Australian painter-artist Norman Lindsay (Sam Neill) at his Blue Mountain estate.
It was noted for its generous, free-spirited modeling scenes, including the following (left to right in 2nd picture):
The sensual beauties swam naked to sexually awaken the latent urges of uptight English minister Rev. Anthony Campion's (Hugh Grant) repressed wife Estella (Tara Fitzgerald). In an earlier scene, she ran in slow-motion in a white frock, and then suddenly appeared naked - there and inside a church. She was also sexually stimulated by the blind handyman (who also made a full-frontal nude appearance on a rock), who caressed her through her clothes.
The final image of the film was a long-shot of the naked sirens on an outcropping of rock.
Sharon Stone followed up her tremendous hit Basic Instinct (1992) a year earlier with this erotic psychological thriller. The film's muddled and disjointed plot, especially its hastily-altered ending and the identity of the killer, was due to a last-minute Joe Eszterhas rewrite and reshoot demanded by the studio. An unrated version was released incorporating the full width of the frame and therefore was more revealing. In the R-rated version that had bloated, cropped closer-up images, much more was obscured.
It was a popular Razzie Awards honoree with seven nominations: Worst Actor (William Baldwin), Worst Actress (Sharon Stone), Worst Director (Phillip Noyce), Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay (Joe Eszterhas), Worst Supporting Actor (Tom Berenger), and Worst Supporting Actress (Colleen Camp).
Stone starred as mid-30s, New York publishing house book editor Carly Norris, a recent divorcee in a non-femme fatale role who was introduced to a world of kinky and seamy thrills by the voyeuristic building owner and game designer Zeke Hawkins (William Baldwin) of her upscale Manhattan high-rise East Side apartment building named Sliver.
From a high-tech videocamera's point of view, she was secretly and voyeuristically watched as she masturbated in her bathtub, recorded by Zeke's hidden cameras. She and all the other tenants were viewed in Zeke's control room of banks of TV monitors. After a gym workout, they shared beers in his apartment. She claimed that she had to go, but couldn't resist him, and they were soon making love, with Carly in her black bra (and pantyless) grinding against Zeke's straddled lap. Little did she know that he was recording their coupling. The camera took a top view of their sexual intercourse. Later as they watched the tape of their love-making together, he fondled her breast.
During the film's major sexual encounter, while they were having a fancy dinner, he dared her to reveal part of her breast, and then to remove her black panties from under her black dress (she declared: "I win, you lose" after presenting him with her underwear). She alluringly wet her finger, then shortly later they fondled and kissed each other in the elevator on the way to his floor - # 13 ("an unlucky number"). He handed back her panties: "Put these on. I wouldn't want you to catch a draft." She replied: "I'm OK. I'm pretty warm down there." Although they parted at the elevator, she decided to enter his apartment (with an open door), where Zeke greeted her with his bare butt in full view as he walked over to Carly. In front of rain pouring down on the windows behind them, he grabbed her from behind, threw her against a column, and proceeded to take her from the rear - as she almost climbed the column during the mounting passion. Afterwards, she commented: "Damn you, you left the door open."
Later in the film's conclusion, she discovered his control room with multiple TV monitors. She held a gun on Zeke, and threatened him, believing he was a killer: "You like to watch? Watch this!" She shot out a few of the TV screens. As he approached, he tried to explain and have her hand over the gun: "These women meant nothing to me. It was just sex, Carly. I love you. That was the past. What we had was so powerful, Carly, can't you feel it? It was so good. You can tell, can't you?"
At that climactic moment, one of the screens played back a revealing and incriminating scene. It showed that sleazy writer Jack Landford (Tom Berenger), another apartment resident, was the jealous killer who had thrown Carly's previous 33 year-old apartment tenant Naomi Singer (Allison Mackie) from her 20th floor apartment balcony. Carly shot out and blasted the remainder of the entire system, then delivered the film's final line to Zeke: "Get a life!"
Bathtub Voyeurism of
Carly (Sharon Stone)
In Zeke's Apartment
The Finale: "Get a life!"
Wide Sargasso Sea (1993, Aust/UK)
Director John Duigan's NC-17 rated (also in an R-version and longer unrated version), lush and beautifully-photographed adaptation of Jean Rhys' 1966 acclaimed best-seller was a 'prequel' to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre (written in 1847). The film included an examination of racial issues, twisted romance, loyalty, and sexual betrayal.
It explained (or conjectured) the backstory about how Mr. Rochester's wife in the Caribbean (Jamaica), white sugar heiress Antoinette Cosway (Bertha Mason in the Bronte novel), became a locked-up madwoman in England.
The main characters in the plot set in mid-1840's Jamaica were:
Antoinette's mother was Jamaican plantation-owning English mother Annette Cosway (Rachel Ward), an alcoholic who had married rich Paul Mason (Michael York) from England, an insensitive Britisher who distrusted the locals. A destructive family home fire started by the resentful, rebellious and angry natives (ex-slaves) burned the plantation down, and Annette went insane. Her husband locked her up in an island sanitarium and abandoned her for England, although Antoinette believed that her mother had died.
Starved for love, Antoinette was often engaged in erotic, sweaty and passionate scenes with Edward. At one point during love-making, Edward mused (in voice-over) that he was "hungry" for her, but she was a "stranger" whom he couldn't really love:
Antoinette confessed: "Why do you make me want to live? Suppose the happiness was taken away when I wasn't looking. I'm not used to happiness," although she accepted an arranged marriage to Rochester, who wanted her for her dowry (and land holdings). However, she feared that her fate would be the same as her mother - abandoned and mad - and she did eventually go insane.
When her marriage to Edward almost immediately didn't go well, Antoinette requested that her former nanny, a Martinique woman named Christophene (Claudia Robinson), a voodoo priestess, concoct a love potion to give to Edward. Although the elixir was effective, Edward thought he had been poisoned. It caused him to vengefully cheat on the veranda with the black maid Amelie (Rowena King) within earshot of Antoinette in the bedroom. She reacted like a lunatic and attacked Edward - convincing him of the self-fulfilling prophecy that she would go mad.
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Index to All Decades, Years and Features
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- Top 100 Controversial MoviesMany of these included controversial sex and violence.
- Sexiest Films of All-TimeOver 75 of the hottest films in movie history.