History of Sex in Cinema:
1997, Part 2
|Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description|
Liar, Liar (1997)
In this major comedy vehicle starring Jim Carrey as lawyer Fletcher Reede, his son Max's birthday wish came true -- his father could not tell a lie for 24 hours.
In a memorable elevator scene, he shared the enclosed space between floors with a big-busted, newly-hired office worker (Krista Allen, exhibitionist star of Emmanuelle in Space (1994) films, see earlier) who told him: "Everybody's been real nice." Uncontrollably and in uninhibited truthful fashion (expressing what most men would be thinking in the same situation), he blurted out:
She slapped him before the doors opened on the next floor.
Busty Woman in Elevator
Live Flesh (1997, Sp.) (aka Carne Trémula)
Writer/director Pedro Almodovar's crime film and twisted story of passion and vindictive romance between five individuals was loosely based on Ruth Rendell's book "Live Flesh."
It told of prostitute Isabel Plaza Caballero's (Penelope Cruz) son named Victor (Liberto Rabal) and his obsession over a period of years with drug-using hooker Elena (Francesca Neri).
After serving a prison term for shooting (?) and paralyzing a clean-cut, handsome cop named David (Javier Bardem), Victor entered into a 'teach-me-about-sex' affair with experienced and promiscuous Clara (Angela Molina) - the wife of David's abusive and psychotic cop-buddy Sancho (Jose Sancho), while David married Elena (who could only be satisfied through oral sex).
In the meantime, sexually-obsessed Victor was stalking Elena while working at her orphanage for disadvantaged children.
In the end, Victor was given one pleasurable night of intertwining passion with Elena, but violence ensued: Sancho shot and killed Clara, Clara wounded Sancho, and Sancho killed himself.
Director Adrian Lyne's controversial version of Vladimir Nabokov's novel, due to its subject matter and young star, faced many obstacles to theatrical release in the US, although it contained virtually no female nudity (and a body double was used in one brief dimly-lit sex scene), and strict precautions were taken during filming.
It was a remake of Stanley Kubrick's film version in 1962, telling about a young 14 year-old "nymphet" named Lolita (15 year-old Dominique Swain at the time of filming) and an obsessed professor named Humbert Humbert (Jeremy Irons), who was renting a room in her New England house.
The first view of young Dolores "Lolita" Haze was sunbathing in the backyard piazza-garden where a lawn sprinkler soaked her pale sundress. Entranced by the provocative "nymphet," he would daydream about her, lose sleep, and call her a "little deadly demon." Lolita's widowed mother Charlotte Haze (Melanie Griffith) was concerned that her maturing daughter was bothering Humbert, asking: "Is she keeping you up?" Before Lolita was taken off to summer camp by her mother, she gave Humbert a memorable goodbye hug and kiss after she jumped into his arms.
To keep close to Lolita, Humbert accepted Charlotte's proposition that he marry her and become a "father" to her "little girl." But she discovered his ruse and called him a "despicable criminal monster" and threatened: "You will never see that miserable brat ever again." His wish that she would be eliminated came true (she was fortuitously struck by a car outside their house), allowing him to have "Lolita in my arms."
When he picked her up at camp, she admitted: "I've been revoltingly unfaithful to you," and then asked for a kiss. He pulled over and obliged her - she hopped into his lap for two sensuous kisses. When they spent an overnight in a hotel, they were forced to share a room with only a double bed. Lolita blurted out the word "incest" when they talked about how they were "thrown together" and sharing the same hotel room as father/daughter.
In the room after dinner, as he removed her ankle-socks, she confided: "If I tell you how naughty I was at camp, promise you won't be mad?...I've been such a disgusting girl, just let me tell you." Early the next morning after sleeping in the same bed, in one of the film's most controversial scenes, she turned over and wet-kissed him on the mouth with a French kiss. She then whispered in his ear that she had played sexual games with Charlie while at camp. She then declared that she would demonstrate what she had learned: "I guess I'm gonna have to show you everything." As a prelude to oral sex, she started to remove his pajama bottoms (and her own retainer) before a fade-out. Hubert explained in voice-over: "Gentlewomen of the jury, I was not even her first lover."
Later, Humbert was curious and asked if Charlie was her "first one." He felt "more and more uncomfortable" about corrupting her innocence, especially after she said that she hurt inside: "I was a daisy-fresh girl and look what you've done to me. I should call the police and tell them that you raped me, you dirty old man" - but then smiled teasingly. He mused during their extensive road travels that "despite all the fuss, the faces she made and the danger and hopelessness of it all, despite all that, I was in paradise, paradise whose skies were the color of hell flames, but a paradise still."
In the film's most sensual scene, Lolita rocked pleasurably on Humbert's lap while reading the newspaper comic pages.
When Humbert began teaching at Beardsley College in the fall, Lolita was enrolled in the Beardsley Prep School (for Girls). Humbert considered himself both "the willing corruptor of an innocent" and a "happy housewife." In another scene, Lolita manipulatively stroked his thigh with her bare foot ("You want more, don't you?"), then nuzzled next to his crotch, inched her hand up his left inner thigh, and bargained for $2 (instead of her usual $1/week allowance).
When their relationship cooled, Humbert paid her for sex: "As she grew cooler towards my advances, I became accustomed to purchasing her favors." Long simmering hatred erupted when she accused Humbert of murder and howled at him: "Murder me like you murdered my mother!" But then, desperate not to lose her, they made up only hours later, when she undressed in front of him and requested: "Take me to bed." During another road trip, Lolita provocatively mouthed a banana while wearing a white two-piece outfit.
As tensions and jealousy continued to rise between the two, he suspected that she had another rival lover like himself ("another mad lover of nymphets") - playwright Clare Quilty (Frank Langella) - who was thought to be following them. He forced a kiss from her - lipstick became smeared on their faces as he begged to know the pursuer's identity: "Please tell me."
The film ended tragically for all the major characters after she was kidnapped by the perverted Quilty and eventually ended up destitute, married to another man, and pregnant (and soon to die during childbirth), while Humbert died in prison after brutally and vengefully murdering Quilty.
Kisses for Her Stepfather Humbert (Jeremy Irons)
On Humbert's lap
"Take me to bed"
Mouthing a Banana
Lost Highway (1997)
David Lynch's cryptic, non-linear film about double lives, a two-part almost incomprehensible film, included many steamy sex scenes performed by Patricia Arquette, playing a dual role as:
She interacted with two other characters respectively:
Renee and Fred found themselves troubled when a series of mysterious packages (with videotapes of them sleeping while someone surreptitiously filmed them) appeared at their door. Fred was startled when he received a videotape of himself murdering Renee and standing over her slaughtered body (he murdered her for having an affair). He was accused and charged with her murder, put in jail, and sentenced as a death row murderer (to die in the electric chair).
Then suddenly - as part of a surrealistic dream fantasy of a dying and guilty man (the film's main plot twist) - auto mechanic Peter Dayton replaced Fred in the cell (Fred imagined himself as a younger and attractive man working at a garage), and he was released. When Pete returned to his garage job, he attracted the attention of mobster thug "Mr. Eddy"/Dick Laurent (Robert Loggia) for car repairs, and found himself having passionate feelings for the mobster's mistress Alice (resembling Fred's wife Renee) - Pete/Fred was soon having illicit sex with her, to compensate for losing his wife earlier.
There was a dialogue-less scene in which mobster "Mr. Eddy" forcibly at gunpoint had Alice, his female companion, strip down to her thong in front of him.
When Pete was drawn into the schemes of Alice and Mr. Eddy, his plan was to rob her porn producer friend Andy (Michael Massee) and then run away with Alice, but the theft was bungled and Andy was accidentally killed. Alice told Pete that "Mr. Eddy" was actually a porno producer named Dick Laurent, and she was forced to perform in his skin flicks. When the two laid naked together in the desert and were lit by the car's headlights while making love, he told her: "I want you," and she whispered in his ear: "You'll never have me."
The plot became even more complex when Pete transformed back into his original identity as Fred, and Alice returned to being Renee, and the plot circled back upon itself. Fred's delusion broke down and he found himself back in reality and under interrogation for his wife's murder.
Fred Having Sex With Wife Renee, Before She was Dismembered and Murdered
Renee Murdered and Dismembered by Fred
Alice Wakefield (also Patricia Arquette)
In the Desert in Front of Car Headlights, Pete Had Sex With Alice - She told him: "You'll never have me"
Sheila (Natasha Gregson Wagner) - Pete's girlfriend
Open Your Eyes (Abre Los Ojos) (1997, Sp./It./Fr.)
Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar's surreal, psychological suspense film was compared to Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958). (See also the entry for Vanilla Sky (2001), starring Penelope Cruz with real-life lover (at the time) Tom Cruise.)
This confusing, baffling and somewhat captivating film told about 25 year-old formerly handsome, narcissistic playboy César (Eduardo Noriega) who suffered a hideous facial disfigurement following an automobile accident.
Just before the tragedy, he had spent a long evening at his own birthday party with beautiful brunette Sofia Cueto (Penelope Cruz), the girlfriend of his best friend Pelayo (Fele Martinez) and was very much interested in her. He also wanted to escape his possessive and jealous black-haired lover Nuria (Najwa Nimri) at the same time.
After a deliberately-caused major car accident with Nuria driving her sports-car, she was killed and Cesar was seriously injured, with disfiguring facial injuries. After the accident, Cesar had a prosthetic mask. He became suicidal and was suffering from mental trauma and delusions, and was looking for a way to resolve his life predicament. He began to have unsettling disjunctions, dreamy wish fulfillments (mostly to get together with Sofia, or to have a new face), and bewildering reality flips. (Note: From here on, the film was an "artificial perception" or dream, provided by a cryogenics company to which he was contracted.)
In this plot-twisting film about the nature of reality, he 'awoke' lying in a Madrid street - awakened by Sofia's whispered words "Open your eyes" and a kiss. In the meantime, his wishes were fulfilled (in dreams?) when plastic surgery appeared to restore the narcissistic Cesar to his former self.
Sofia quickly became his lover and they made love in a highly-sensual, remarkable topless scene. She posed while atop him, motionless and suggesting:
After he pretended to insert a coin in a slot in her left shoulder ("Ting"), she smiled and lavishly smothered him with more kisses. An off-screen narrator spoke:
Poison Ivy: The New Seduction (1997) (aka Poison Ivy 3)
This erotic thriller was the third in a long series of sometimes profitable, often direct-to-video 'Poison Ivy' films (see other three entries), with R-rated and unrated versions (and extended sex sequences):
Jaime Pressly, in her feature film debut in a lead role, starred as Violet, Ivy's evil and manipulative younger temptress sister, regularly seducing anyone. A prologue introduced Violet as an 8 year-old (Tenaya Erich), whose mother Rebecca (Athena Massey) was living as a housekeeper in the Greer family home, run by husband Ivan (Michael Des Barres) and Catherine (Merete Van Camp). When they were evicted due to promiscuous Rebecca caught having sex with the pool-boy, a traumatized Violet was forced to leave the household.
It wasn't until around 11 years later (in 1997) that she was reunited with grown-up 19 year-old step-sibling Joy Greer (Megan Edwards), when she took summer residence as a houseguest at the Greer's hillside home - seeking retribution as a blonde hedonistic bombshell.
It wasn't long before scheming and seductive homewrecker Violet was taking a bath, and then sharing cocaine and performing oral sex on her best friend Joy's Ivy League, sexually-frustrated fiancee Michael (Greg Vaughan), who had a drug problem.
After a night swim, she poured champagne over her chest to get Michael's attention before having sex with him. She also manipulatively targeted widowed, white-haired head of household father Ivan by first disrobing and swimming topless (in slow-motion) in the outdoor pool in a shiny gold thong bikini. She then undressed for him down to her red thong underwear (and sat fully naked on a chair in front of him), and also allowed him to pull down her red dress and touch her breasts from behind.
Michael began to rightly suspect that the malevolent Violet was seductively evil - faking night waitressing at a Denny's Restaurant and working instead as a high-priced sadomasochistic, dominatrix prostitute.
To silence him, Violet murdered Michael with a drug overdose injection, and was discovered by a shocked Joy having sex with Ivan. The homicidal temptress then killed Ivan by subjecting him to carbon monoxide poisoning in a closed garage. During a climactic struggle between Joy and Violet, the evil seductress fell to her death down stairs, as the film concluded, leaving Joy as the family's sole survivor.
Preaching to the Perverted (1997, UK)
Writer/director Stuart Urban's R-rated dark comedy-drama was his debut film. It was banned in Ireland and in the Philippines for promoting "lesbianism and other immoral acts," although its kinky sex acts and abundant nudity were not very erotic. However, in order to avoid the restrictive NC-17 certificate, the US distributor of the DVD and video was obliged to edit three scenes to achieve an "R" for its release, one of which was the Relaxacisor scene in which electrodes were applied to Tanya's genitals. Another was the severing of the prosthetic penis (and fluorescent pink "blood") by performance artist Tutu.
The risque film - actually an off-beat romantic comedy - told about young, virginal and innocent British House of Commons government intern Peter Emery (Christien Anholt), a computer buff (working for Holy Hardware with the motto: 'Log On to the Lord!') dispatched by a crusading Christian right group called the United Front Opposing Filth.
Peter was assigned by high-ranking Tory bureaucrat official Henry Harding MP (Tom Bell) to investigate ("penetrate") the world of London's S&M subculture, including fetish and extreme sex clubs, etc. He was to use undercover tactics (with a concealed camera) to divulge 'indecency' and 'bodily harm' inflicted on individuals.
He became obsessed with imperious New York sex goddess and fetish dominatrix Tanya Cheex (lesbian actress Guinevere Turner) in the underground S&M sex club named House of Thwax, which put on roving leather and whip shows for decadent aristocrats in luxurious country manors.
In one scene, fetishists were invited on-stage to engage in debauchery: "Volunteers - Approach the altar." She preached against penetration, while sporting various piercings and raging against straight intercourse.
The inexperienced Peter tried to persuade her to reform and go straight, while she ended up perverting him ("One day, I'm going to give you such a spanking"), and causing a rift with her own subservient slave-assistant and loyal lesbian lover Eugenie (Julie Graham). When the results of his investigation were revealed, it was too late to stop proceedings now that he had fallen for Tanya.
The end credits listed nipple and tongue doubles for Turner, who also confessed that modest members of the cast wore a flesh-colored G-string with fake pubic hair (a muff-wig, pubic wig, or merkin).
(l to r): Eugenie
(Julie Graham) and Tanya
Private Parts (1997)
Betty Thomas' controversial comedy-drama and media satire was based upon Howard Stern's best-selling 1993 book. It was a quasi-autobiographical account of "Shock Jock" Howard Stern's rise to stardom as the self-crowned "King of All Media." The irrepressible and rebellious Stern received a Razzie nomination as "Worst New Star" for his portrayal, losing the honor to Dennis Rodman in Double Team (1997). The film contained both profanity and nudity - and therefore was censored/edited for various network/TV broadcasts.
It followed him from his early days as a geek and his marriage to social worker Alison (Mary McCormack) to his uncensored, scatological fame as a DJ on NY morning radio. In the film, he was joined by real-life sidekicks: news anchor and partner Robin Quivers, engineer Fred Norris, Jackie "The Jokeman" Martling and producer Gary ("Baba Booey") Dell'Abate.
In real-life, Stern displayed adolescent humor, such as the scene in which he imagined the breasts of airport traveler Gloria (model Carol Alt) ballooning in size. He continually battled his prudish superiors at various radio stations over his overt bathroom humor and sex antics. Behind the scenes early in his career, he had a naked sudsy bathtub dalliance with red-haired rising starlet Brittany Fairchild (Melanie Good) in her hotel room, causing his wife to leave him temporarily when she found out.
In the film's most voyeuristic scene typical of Stern's on-air antics, he received a massage from buxom, totally nude porn star Jenna Jameson in a cameo appearance as Mandy, causing radio executive nemesis Kenny "Pig Vomit" Rushton (Paul Giamatti) to cut off the broadcast.
It also included the infamous scene of a female listener, credited as Orgasm Woman (Theresa Lynn) being sexually stimulated when she straddled the vibrating bass sounds of her speaker when he hummed her to orgasm. During a "Match Game" parody, he provided fill-in-the-blanks words: "(blank)-willow" and "(blank)-a-doodle-doo," forcing obscenities to be spoken.
Stern's Wife Alison
Starship Troopers (1997)
Paul Verhoeven's science-fiction film was accused by critics of displaying gratuitous nudity (female breast nudity and partially-veiled male frontal nudity), although it was of a non-sexual nature. It followed the training of Mobile Infantry volunteer Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien) from basic training through brutal combat experiences in an interstellar war against alien arthropods to becoming an officer.
It included an infamous uni-sex shower scene with male and female soldiers cavorting and sharing the same open shower stalls at boot camp. In the scene while they soaped and rinsed off, the camera showed various grunts talking about their "excuse" for joining up with the futuristic 23rd Century Mobile Infantry: "Well, we all have one thing in common. We're all stupid enough to sign up for Mobile Infantry." In the futuristic society, military service was required in order to attain citizenship. African American Djana'D (Tami-Adrian George) added that she was going into politics so she had to be a citizen.
After brash and tomboyish Ace fighter Dizzy Flores (Dina Meyer), who was infatuated with hot-shot Johnny (he joined the military with demure pilot girlfriend Carmen Ibanez (Denise Richards)), removed her black T-shirt top and joined the bathers, she answered for Rico and embarrassed him. She referred to his 'girlish' reason to enlist in the military: "Oh, uh, he said because of a girl." She didn't answer back when asked: "Is it you?"
When Carmen Ibanez broke off her romance with Rico for career reasons, he became romantic with Dizzy Flores. She leaned back and peeled off her own black T-shirt (with her dog-tag dangling between her breasts). Part way off, it got stuck over her nose and head - serving as a mask over her eyes as she was being kissed by Johnny; he asked her: "What's so funny?" and she replied: "You know. Just the way things work out," but their heated kissing was interrupted by a call to move out because of a distress call from Planet "P." Their relationship was short-lived when she was impaled by one of the giant bugs.
Rico and Dizzy
James Cameron's romance epic about the cruise ship's demise in 1912 was one of the biggest blockbusters of all time and a Best Picture Oscar winner. It told a flashback story about the discovery of a nude sketch and a 56-carat diamond necklace.
The setting for the drawing was later realized with a younger Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) - a society rich girl, who posed naked (wearing only the blue diamond necklace) for poor boy Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio). Some versions of the film (the TV network version and others) edited out or modified this brief nude scene.
She was the one who proposed the idea of a drawing while wearing the necklace:
She entered the room wearing a semi-transparent robe, noting: "The last thing I need is another picture of me looking like a porcelain doll. As a paying customer, I expect to get what I want." She opened the robe, revealed her complete nakedness. Jack nervously instructed: "Over on the bed - the couch. Go, lie down." She then reclined on a couch, with the Blue Sapphire nestled between her breasts. As he sketched her naked figure and drew the curved line of her breasts, she noticed: "I believe you are blushing, Mr. Big Artiste. I can't imagine Monsieur Monet blushing." The eye of Rose aged, and then she recalled: "My heart was pounding the whole time. It was the most erotic moment of my life. Up until then, at least." Jack dated the sketch April 14, 1912, and signed his initials.
Also slightly later, in the stereotypical 'make-out' scene between the couple (with significant class differences) in the back seat of a car onboard, Jack first asked Rose: "Where to, Miss?" (pretending to be a chauffeur), and she responded: "To the stars." She dragged him through the open window into the backseat. Close to each other before love-making, he was slightly apprehensive, but she was more assertive:
He intimately touched her breast as he kissed her and they reclined. (During a short interlude, the ship came closer and closer to meeting its fateful destiny.) Rose's handprint was seen on the fogged-up window of the car - it reached out and then slid down and left a steamy imprint.
The camera panned down to reveal their sweaty embrace, as she noticed: "You're trembling." He replied: "Don't worry, I'll be all right" and then he continued kissing her.
Jack (Leonardo di Caprio) and
Rose (Kate Winslet)
Two Girls and a Guy (1997)
Writer/director James Toback's R-rated, adult-oriented, dark ensemble psycho-drama was about love, dishonesty and infidelity.
As the title suggested, it told about "two girls" in love with the same "guy" --- struggling, two-timing actor Blake Allen (Robert Downey, Jr.) with two girlfriends:
It included a dimly-lit, silhouetted hot seduction scene in Blake's bedroom in a trendy SoHo Manhattan apartment - an impromptu exchange of sexual favors (oral sex) between two semi-clothed, non-nude individuals: Blake with Carla. At the same time, "Lou" sat outside the door.
[Note: The major seduction scene was trimmed by 45 seconds to comply with censorship regulations and to escape an NC-17 rating.]
Under the Skin (1997, UK)
Writer/director Carine Adler's debut film (with the tagline: "Her Passion was Undeniable") told about the rivalry between two bereaving sisters when their beloved mother (Rita Tushingham) died from a terminal illness:
In the film's opening, Iris drew with a black marker pen on her naked abdomen. The unstable and waif-like Iris, who had broken up with her steady boyfriend Gary (Matthew Delamere) and quit her job, sought comfort through promiscuous sexual and physical gratification while grieving over the overwhelming emotional loss of her Mum.
As she disintegrated and alienated everyone, she engaged in dispassionate and casual one-night-stand hookups with various objectified and dangerous men, including Tom (Stuart Townsend), while sometimes dressing slutty by wearing her mother's wig and rabbit-fur coat and pink sunglasses, or by engaging in masturbation (on her bed) and phone sex - her sexual encounters were described in her own voice-over.
In another scene, the interconnections between sex and death were emphasized by the cross-cutting between a sex pickup (with the kissing of her breasts and stomach) and the burning of the mother's casket.
The Wings of the Dove (1997, UK)
Director Iain Softley's British romantic costume drama, based on the 1902 Henry James novel, was a story of forbidden and tormented love, deceptive loyalties and friendship, betrayal, deceit and vigorous sex -- in a secret affair at the turn of the century in Venice.
Young, desirous, and high-class society woman Kate Croy (Helena Bonham Carter) was threatened with loss of her inheritance and impoverishment by entering into a relationship with poor, working-class journalist Merton Densher (Linus Roache).
Further complications were provided by a third individual - terminally-ill American heiress Millie Theale (Alison Elliot), who was set up with Merton by the scheming, exploitative, and cynical Kate in order to inherit the woman's fortune upon her death. After the inevitable death occurred, shame and guilt-filled Merton suggested to Kate that they renounce their claims to the ill-acquired wealth.
In a scene played with the two stripped nude as they made love (but did not complete the act as she turned away) in his shabby London apartment, the couple discussed their plight. Kate rightly suspected that Merton was still in love with the memory of Millie and therefore couldn't marry her.
(Helena Bonham Carter)
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