History of Sex in Cinema:
2002, Part 1
|Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description|
About Schmidt (2002)
Director Alexander Payne's R-rated drama included a landmark, infamous, much-talked about nude hot tub scene.
In the scene, divorced, sexually-liberated, free-spirited, middle-aged, and overweight Roberta Hertzel (Kathy Bates), the mother of the groom-to-be, casually stepped into the tub naked with recently-retired and widowed actuary Warren Schmidt (Jack Nicholson), the father of the bride.
Bates' real-life, plump, 'earth mother' body type was a strong and courageous contrast to the slim young ones usually exhibited on the screen.
Director Spike Jonz' brilliant comedy/drama was often bewildering, twisting and turning.
It opened with the sped-up scene of the evolutionary creation of the cosmos and man from Hollywood (from Four Billion And Forty Years Earlier) to the present which concluded with the close-up of a childbirth.
Also in a fantasy scene, struggling screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage) had the key-lime pie waitress Alice (Judy Greer) open her top for him out behind the restaurant.
In another scene, insomniac Kaufman masturbated while imagining having sex with New Yorker writer Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep) from her picture on her book cover (while adapting her book for the screen) and taking her advice:
There was an obviously-doctored (and imagined?) topless photograph of Susan Orlean appearing on the pornography website of orchid thief John Laroche (Chris Cooper). Meryl Streep's against-type character Susan Orlean snorted lines of mind-altering, ghost-orchid green extract, getting high and committing adultery with Laroche in his Florida Everglades home, and at one point screamed at Charlie:
He matter-of-factly replied: "F--K YOU, LADY. You're just a lonely, old, desperate, pathetic DRUG ADDICT."
Amadeus (1984) and Amadeus (2002)
In this PG-rated Best Picture winner of 1984, Elizabeth Berridge portrayed playful Constanze Mozart whom the musical prodigy Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) chased lustfully around and under the food table during his entrance in the film.
A Director's Cut version was released by Milos Forman in 2002 with 20 minutes of additional footage.
It was R-rated for its brief nudity and mild profanity - Constanze Mozart briefly displayed topless nudity in a non-sexual context.
Auto Focus (2002)
Greg Kinnear starred in director Paul Schrader's compelling dramatic biography and cautionary tale of mid- Hogan's Heroes TV star Bob Crane (from 1965-1971). The film was based upon Robert Graysmith's book The Murder of Bob Crane, from a screenplay by Michael Gerbosi. The film was edited in post-production to avoid an NC-17 rating.
Crane's self-absorbed and sordid life spiraled out of control due to his rapid stardom and a compulsive addiction to sex - a "very serious conflict here between (his) your lifestyle and (his) your career."
First, he hid "shady magazines" such as Nature Girls 1965 ("photography magazines" he claimed) in his garage, then frequented strip clubs, and entered into an 'open marriage' arrangement with Hogan's co-star Patricia Olson (Maria Bello) whom he eventually married. He also videotaped and took Polaroid pictures of nudes for a scrapbook, filmed sex acts, attended naked pool and house parties, and went about having a penis enlargement operation.
As he was describing (in voice-over) to an interviewer about why he had such a successful marriage, he was seen having sex with various partners, including a threesome:
In a scene set at one of the sex parties, Crane photographed a young fan (Kitana Baker), taking her picture as she said "Schmile!" while she lifted her blouse to reveal her breasts to him. He smiled and complimented her: "Really great." He then expressed, in voice-over, his obsession with breasts, during a visual montage of different sizes, varieties and shapes:
He frequently visited strip-bars, where he watched performers such as the Porcelain Twinz (Zero and Zen) (Heather and Amber).
Everything led, in part, up to his unsolved murder in 1978. He was found beaten to death in a Phoenix, Arizona condo - murdered when his skull was bashed in by the tripod legs from a camera that he used to make sex tapes.
The Porcelain Twinz Dancers
(Zero and Zen)
(Heather and Amber)
8 Mile (2002)
Curtis Hanson's gritty, R-rated semi-autobiographical urban biopic told about a struggling, mid-1990s hip-hop rapper and blue-collar worker in the Detroit area named Jimmy "B-Rabbit" Smith, Jr. (white song artist Eminem in his acting debut). The film was filled with profanities, many found in the lyrics of the performed rap songs.
In the film's extremely graphic sex scene (without nudity however), Rabbit and aspiring model Alexandra "Alex Latourno (Brittany Murphy) found themselves at lunchtime in his deserted, noisy auto factory plant - although clothed, she opened up her blouse to show her black bra and panties. He caressed her breasts (through her bra), then pulled his pants down and they engaged in sex standing up, with plenty of hot kissing and other action.
As part of the preparation for their intercourse, Alex licked her hand for lubrication and then locked her hips with his as they thrusted into each other. After he orgasmed, she giggled at him and complimented him: "You were so good outside." He asked: "In line at a lunch truck?"
As things turned out, Jimmy found that unfaithful Alex was cheating on him with Wink (Eugene Byrd) at a recording studio and beat him up (producing a bloody and broken nose), although Wink's allies, members of a rap group named "The Leaders of the Free World" retaliated against him and gave Jimmy a black eye.
He was victorious by film's end in a rap group competition with his group "Three One Third."
Alex (Brittany Murphy) with Jimmy (Eminem)
40 Days and 40 Nights (2002)
Screenwriter Rob Perez's romantic comedy was semi-autobiographical, although mindlessly foolish.
In this flat and mostly unfunny film, San Francisco dot-com web designer Matt Sullivan (Josh Hartnett) vowed to abstain from sexual activity and contact (including self-gratification) for 40 days and nights for Lent, although his roommate friend Ryan (Paulo Costanzo) considered it unnatural and against nature:
When he became involved with dream girl Erica Sutton (Shannyn Sossamon), whom he had met in a laundromat, his friend worried that his sexual inactivity would label him as a "homo."
A notable erotic scene was the one in which Matt, to not break his vow, blew white flower petals across Erica's naked body (down her stomach and then across her panties) as she was lying on her back - it caused her to writhe with pleasure and experience an "immaculate" orgasm without being touched - although it seemed highly improbable.
In other scenes during his abstinence period, he imagined various women semi-nude (on a bus and in a street scene), as he became more and more obsessed about sex ("I'm seeing things! I swear to God, everywhere I look I'm seeing tits and ass") - he described his experience at the coffee shop: "This morning at the coffee shop they were unofficially sponsoring Hot Women Wearing No Bras Day."
Femme Fatale (2002)
Brian DePalma's work was a compelling, film-noirish erotic crime thriller. The glossy film's opening theft of a gold-plated bodice (with diamonds) wasn't everything that it appeared to be as the plot twisted and became more complex.
The film opened with the blonde title character Laure Ash (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) reflected in the TV glass as she watched (in the nude from her hotel bed) the French subtitled broadcast of the film noir Double Indemnity (1944) - with its classic 'femme fatale' (Barbara Stanwyck) poised to double-cross her male counterpart in the movie's conclusion.
She then participated in a spectacularly sexy heist during the screening of the film Est-Ouest at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. One of the film's guests was Veronica (Rie Rasmussen), wearing a see-through gold-plated "amazing top in the shape of a serpent" encrusted with 500 diamonds worth over 10 million dollars. The statuesque Laure posed as a photographer and whispered in Veronica's ear to meet her in the ladies room before the show began.
There during a hot bisexual tryst of kissing, stand-up sex and stripping scored to Ravel's "Bolero," the heist of nearly-nude Veronica's serpentine gold-plated bodice took place.
Seven years later, the double-crossed partners tracked down Laure and the stolen diamonds - by now, she had taken the name of young suicidal, look-alike bereaving mother Lily Watts - the married wife of the American ambassador to France (Peter Coyote), living in Paris. She became involved with long-haired, in-debt Spanish paparazzo Nicolas Bardo (Antonio Banderas) when he took her picture without her permission and sold it to tabloids for distribution.
To conceal her former identity and to seek revenge, she manipulated and enticed him, first by non-chalantly stripping to her skimpy underwear in her Sheraton Hotel room in Paris (he asked: "Are you flirting with me?" and she replied: "You're so damn lovable") while setting him up for charges of stealing her car, and a second kidnapping-for-ransom accusation by the police.
She also enticed him ("Let's go do somethin' fun, want to?") into joining her in a sleazy bar. She asked him:
She then performed a strip-teasing dance to arouse his angry jealousy in the basement pool-room, before making vigorous love to him (she told him as she bent over: "You don't have to lick my ass...just f--k me").
She 'awakened' in an overflowing bathtub from the film's major 'dream' when thrown from a bridge into the cold waters of the Seine River and became revived - completely naked. She recalled the skillful plot to steal the diamonds with a bait-and-switch tactic.
Laure and Veronica
Friday the 13th, Jason X (2001)
This new Jason film, Friday the 13th, Jason X (2001), the first one in almost a decade, was the first science-fiction/horror film of the series, with some intentional references to Star Trek and to the Terminator and Alien films.
In one sequence, mindless cyborg killer, Uber-Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder) was tricked into entering a virtual reality, or holodeck simulation of "Camp Crystal Lake, circa 1980" (the setting of Friday the 13th (1980)) that was designed to distract him with new victims.
There he encountered VR Teen Girl # 1 and 2 (Tania Maro and Kaye Penaflor) - programmed to be stereotypical "horny girls" who teasingly asked him:
The two removed their tops and giggled: "We love premarital sex!" After they climbed into their sleeping bags, he beat them to death by bashing their sleeping bags together, and he smashed one of them against a tree. The scene appeared to spoof the Puritanical idea in the entire series of slasher films that sex led to death.
In an earlier sequence in the film, android KAY-Em 14 (Lisa Ryder) was having nipples positioned onto her prosthetic breasts, but they fell to the floor. She asked love-interest Tsunaron (Chuck Campbell) to evaluate them: "Do you like them?" Her responded:
As in all of the films in the series, the act of sex awakened Jason's murderous impulses. In this one, two horny students Stoney (Yani Gellman) and Kinsa (Melody Johnson) stripped down to have sex in his cabin. As Stoney tongued down the length of her body and heated her up by removing her panties before intercourse, Jason was also thawing in a nearby lab from over 400 years of cryostasis, and would shortly later murder Stoney (within Kinsa's sight) with an autopsy machete.
VR Teen Girls # 1 and # 2
(Tania Maro and Kaye Penaflor)
The Heart of Me (2002, UK/Germany)
This richly-appointed BBC drama by director Thaddeus O'Sullivan was based on Rosamond Lehmann's 1953 novel The Echoing Grove, and was set in mid-1930s London.
It starred Helena Bonham Carter as Dinah - the sensual, free-spirited and eccentric sister of the prim, dispassionate and proper Madeleine (Olivia Williams).
She began a sizzling, volatile, all-consuming and destructive affair over a decade's time (told in flashback) with her sister's handsome husband Rickie (Paul Bettany) - her brother-in-law.
(Helena Bonham Carter)
Irreversible (2002, Fr.)
Frenchman writer/director Gaspar Noe's hard-hitting, graphic, profoundly disturbing and violent film about rape revenge, was non-linear - it was told in flashback and reverse order in continuously-filmed takes, similar in structure to Christopher Nolan's Memento, with the theme: "Time destroys everything." The fatalistically-tinged film implied that the characters in the film were predestined (irreversibly) to face what would happen to them. It was noted for its excruciatingly-long, painful-to-watch, nine-minute anal-rape and real-time beating sequence.
It was also revealed that the film deliberately caused nausea, vertigo and unease in the viewer (and provoked many walk-outs) through two techniques:
In a Parisian pedestrian underpass lit by a reddish glow, beautiful and erotically sexual Alexandra (or "Alex") (Monica Bellucci), earlier seen being flirtatious in a revealing dress while dancing, accidentally came upon rapist/pimp Le Tenia/Tapeworm (Jo Prestia) beating up transvestite prostitute Concha (Jaramillo) in the tunnel. She found herself to be his new victim.
When she was assaulted by him, she begged to no avail: "Let me go." He ordered: "Shut your mouth, slut" as he threatened with a knife: "Is this what you want, slut? You gonna shut your mouth now?" He called her a "f--king high-class bitch," causing her terror when he stroked her face with the blade: "Stinking c--t. This turn you on, tell me?...You know, you're hot for a c--t."
He then lifted her skirt, forced her onto her knees to lay down, and then coerced her: "I'm gonna take care of you." He laid on top of her, covered her mouth, pulled on her hair and began to prepare to anally rape her: "Damn! You must have one tight ass." He untied her dress straps, stroked her bare breast, called her a "little whore," and threatened to strangle her if she didn't keep quiet. He commanded her to spread her legs, told her "I'm gonna f--k your ass...I'm gonna blast your s--thole," and then raped her while using one hand to cover up her muffled screams and moans.
As he endlessly thrust into her, he continued to call her foul names ("F--king high-class swine"), and asked: "You bleeding or you wet?" Afterwards, she attempted to crawl away, and he kicked her in the face ("I'm gonna fix your face, I'm gonna fix it good"), beat her with his fist, and smashed her face into the pavement until she went into a coma. He pronounced her "dead meat" when he was finished with her.
After that, Marcus and Alex's ex-boyfriend Pierre (Albert Dupontel) searched through the dingy underworld of Paris, looking for and eventually brutally beating the suspected rapist named The Tapeworm. There was the horrific, violent and vengeful retaliatory scene of a man getting his head beaten to a pulp with a fire extinguisher in a gay S&M night-club bar called The Rectum. [Note: The victim of the lethal beating, not known until later, was not La Tenia - who watched from nearby.]
Also earlier in the chronology (the film's final scene) was a love-making (or spooning) scene of Alex with boyfriend Marcus (Vincent Cassel, Bellucci's real-life husband). She had explained earlier to her friends during a subway ride the secret to love-making pleasure - it was a turn-off for a man to be too focused on a woman's pleasure:
As Alex and Marcus laid together in bed after awakening, she described a foreshadowing dream of a red-lit tunnel which broke into two. She also said she was a few days late with her period (it was soon learned that she was pregnant with Marcus' child). They got up for a few moments and danced naked in the living room, then returned to the bedroom after Marcus told her: "I wanna f--k your ass" - almost the exact same words used by the rapist.
While sharing a cigarette, she asked: "What if I'm pregnant?" He smiled: "That'd be fun," and they laughed together as he kissed her nipple. Realizing she was behind schedule, she showered instead of making love. He kissed her through and then behind the transparent shower curtain before he briefly left.
She decided to perform a simple 'Nataltest' upon herself - in the toilet, she urinated on a test strip and it surprisingly revealed that she was pregnant. She pondered what it would mean as she sat on the sofa and touched her belly.
One of the film's final images was of Alex holding her swelling belly on a bed, below a wall poster of the foetal 'Star-Child' in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) (with "The Ultimate Trip" tagline). The camera also soared into the blue sky, and then settled on her sunbathing on a blanket on a vibrantly green park lawn, where the camera then circled dizzingly above a lawn sprinkler as children pranced through the water.
Alex (Monica Bellucci)
Ken Park (2002)
This was another controversial film from co-director Larry Clark, in which the director was accused of exploiting young teens and lasciviously filming unsimulated sex. Clark's film was banned in Australia, and never issued in wide release in the US. Its plot was about four dysfunctional, abusive families in Visalia, California and their teenaged skateboarders, with themes of teenage suicide and wild sexual experimentation. The film also included other scenes of graphic oral and masturbatory sex and nudity, violence, suicide and incest.
In one of the scenes, scrawny teen Shawn (James Bullard) made out with his girlfriend Hannah's breast-enhanced mother Rhonda (Maeve Quinlan). They both fondled each other through their underpants, and then after being excited, she asked: "Take my panties off." He provided her with oral sex, too fast at first when she requested: "Slow." As he pleasured her, she removed her bra, and further instructed him to speed up by guiding his head until she experienced an orgasm:
[The image of the two of them engaged in sex was often displayed, in part, on the film's video/DVD cover and poster.] She let him rest his head between her breasts. After she bathed, she kissed him while massaging him (inside his underpants), when he asked: "Whose dick is bigger, mine or Bob's?" She smiled and laughed: "Yours."
In one controversially-graphic scene of auto-erotic self-asphyxiation designed to increase his own sexual arousal, death-obsessed, masturbation-addicted, sociopathic parent-less teenager Tate (James Ransone), who wore a T-shirt saying "Keep it Simple," choked himself with a long green dressing gown belt tied to a doorknob while he pleasured himself (to climax) watching Anna Kournikova playing tennis. He had earlier killed his doting, smothering grandparents that he was living with - murdering them during a scrabble game - also for purposes of sexual arousal.
The film ended with an idyllic sex orgy scene between a trio of teenagers (Tiffany Limos as nymphomaniac Peaches, Stephen Jasso as abused Claude, and Shawn) in which they were in both give-and-take positions - seeking refuge from their troubled lives.
Shawn (James Bullard) with Rhonda (Maeve Quinlan)
Killing Me Softly (2002)
Chinese filmmaker Chen Kaige's English-language film debut was this steamy, erotic thriller of sordid, obsessive, and dangerous attraction. It was a direct-to-video release with various versions (depending on ratings). The story was told in flashback, as the main protagonist brought charges of domestic violence against her husband.
The tale began in early 2001, introducing blue-eyed blonde and Indiana-bred Alice Loudon (Heather Graham), with "virtually no family and very few friends," who had been living and working in London for a year and a half in a "comfortable" and "safe" relationship with boyfriend-engineer Jake (Jason Hughes). She was a well-paid designer of CD-ROMs and websites for corporate clients.
On her way to work at a walk signal, she was love-struck by the sight of a handsome, seductive and brooding stranger. She trailed him to a bookstore, accompanied him in a car, and went to his residence (actually, the residence of his sister Deborah (Natascha McElhone)).
From behind, he forcefully grabbed her through her clothing and they engaged in heated and fiercely passionate love-making. He ripped open the front of her dress, pulled down her bra, and hungrily kissed and grabbed her naked breasts. Their clothes dropped to the floor, and he carried her naked into the living room, where they had intercourse on a red rug - she rolled him over and continued to make love to him. Afterwards, he invited her to return for more - "Whenever you want, Alice. You decide and I'll be here." In voice-over, she recalled the passion:
She then found out his name and identity from a bookstore display - he was celebrity mountain climber Adam Tallis (Joseph Fiennes), who two years earlier had lost his girlfriend Francoise Collette when he failed to save their climbing group on a mountainside. She bought a book about the studly climber and returned for more love-making, begging: "Please don't stop." Although "perfect together," she impulsively left her boyfriend Jake ("I can't go on like this, I'm sorry. I have to leave"), claiming that she had met someone, leaving Jake "completely f--ked up." She risked everything when she moved in with Adam.
Alice's friend Sylvie (Amy Robbins) (who eventually moved in with her "jilted boyfriend") told her:
But Alice soon accepted Adam's marriage proposal, and they were married in St. Edmund's Church. After the brief ceremony, she exuberantly changed her clothes in the nearby church graveyard in front of an angel stone statue - and he took Polaroid pictures of her as she stripped naked ("I need to remember you like this," he claimed), before they went on a lengthy hike ("his idea of romance").
The couple ended up in a stone cabin with a roaring fire - where he introduced her to bondage and displayed a fetish for erotic asphyxiation with a silk scarf wrapped tightly around her neck as they made love. He asked: "Do you trust me?" In voice-over, she recalled: "I gave up all control. I let him decide when I could breathe and when I couldn't. I loved it."
Meanwhile, Alice had been receiving numerous warning signs (that she initially ignored) about Adam's character: mysterious hang-up phone calls, an anonymous typed letter asking: "USE YOUR HEAD, ALICE - WHAT DO YOU REALLY KNOW ABOUT HIM?" and a second more troubling one: "IT WAS A MISTAKE TO MARRY HIM." The Guardian's Magazine reporter, Joanna Noble (Yasmin Bannerman), who had written an article praising Adam as a hero, received a similar note: "What you wrote made me SICK - Your BIG HERO, Adam Tallis, RAPED ME - 20.10.1989. Why don't you Try reporting the TRUTH!", and Adam's character and his past were again called into question. The note also suggested calling the rape victim, Michelle Stowe (Rebecca Palmer).
Impersonating Joanna, Alice interviewed the victim in her apartment and learned all the details of the alleged sexual assault, to satisfy her own "innocent curiosity." Her curiosity grew: "I needed to know more." Suspicious and inquisitive, she opened a locked closet in Adam's bedroom, discovering a letter from Adele Blanchard, one of his past adulterous lovers who decided to leave him after "living on the edge." A third parcel delivered to her door (with the silk scarf) and a note read: "HOW FAR WILL YOU LET HIM GO, ALICE?" A search for Adele Blanchard revealed that she had been missing for eight months - and there were disturbing facts and similarities in Adele's life before she disappeared (there was a nude picture of Adele also taken next to the angel statue).
Distrustful, Alice began to fear potentially-violent and unpredictable tendencies in Adam's nature. When Adam tied her up on the kitchen table and claimed: "I'm making you mine," he wrongly thought that she had been with another man. After she confessed that she had read Adele's letter - he asserted: "I have nothing to hide, Alice." She gave her justification for checking up on him: "I just thought if I knew more, that I could love you more." He responded: "I could break your neck, I love you so much." She fled to a police station and brought charges against Adam, but without any evidence, her claims couldn't be acted upon. Alice suspected that Adam had killed his lover Francoise while climbing a few years earlier, making it look like a tragic accident, when he learned that she was cheating on him and was planning to leave him.
As it turned out, Adam was not guilty of any of the charges related to Michelle, Adele or Francoise.
In the tense and exciting climax at the snowy graveyard, near the angel stone statue, Adele's buried corpse was dug up. Deborah confessed the motivation for committing all of the murders - a combination of protective jealousy, incestual desire, and revenge against Adam's lovers, after he had raped her in the graveyard when they were kids:
Adam arrived and fought off his sister, who grabbed a shovel to strike him in the head. With a flare gun, Alice shot Deborah in the stomach and killed her. "And that's how it ended," Alice summed up:
(Joseph Fiennes) with
Alice in Bondage
Laurel Canyon (2002)
Writer/director Lisa Cholodenko's R-rated romantic drama featured Frances McDormand as Jane, a rock-music producer and a free-spirited hippie parent to her son, recently-graduated Harvard medical school resident psychiatrist Sam (Christian Bale).
In the film's opening sex scene, Sam and his strait-laced and virtuous fiancee Alex (Kate Beckinsale) were engaged in awkward love-making, consisting of Alex verbally providing specific instructions during his performance of oral sex - she ordered: "F--k me!" which then commenced, but they were interrupted by a call from her future mother-in-law. She orgasmed, but all he could say was: "I'm OK" as he sat up unsatisfied.
When the couple came to live in the Laurel Canyon section of LA, they unexpectedly found that Jane was still living in her house, although it was supposed to be vacant. Jane was experiencing a passionate romance with boyfriend/musician Ian McKnight (Alessandro Nivola).
The film included a threesome scene of Jane skinny-dipping with Ian and Alex (in her underwear) in the pool, with the two females sharing an open-mouthed kiss. This marked the beginning of Alex's shedding of her inhibitions. Another sexual trysting in a hotel suite's bedroom between the three of them was discovered by Sam, who was hypocritically enraged.
Meanwhile, Sam was beginning to have feelings for fellow resident Sara (Natascha McElhone), hiding their relationship from Alex.
Alex and Jane
The Magdalene Sisters (2002, UK)
Scottish writer/director Peter Mullan's second feature film, a severe melodrama, was denounced by the Catholic League for its semi-historical depiction of religious and sexual repression in Ireland during the 1960s. Several of the actual victims of the Magdalene laundries in Sex in a Cold Climate (1997), Steve Humphries' TV documentary, were interviewed about their ordeal.
The docu-drama told a barbaric and scandalous story of three Irish girls, abandoned by society, cast out by their families, and treated as slaves at Magdalene Sanctuary run by the Sisters of Mercy. The "fallen" young ladies who had committed mortal sin were considered immoral, or impure (for being flirtatious, or for being raped or having an illegitimate child). Shy red-head Margaret (Anne-Marie Duff) was raped in an attic during a local dance by her cousin, and was incarcerated for naming her attacker. Unwed mother Rose/Patricia (Dorothy Duffy) gave birth to a child out of wedlock and was forced to give up the child. And orphan Bernadette (Nora-Jane Noone) was accused of being too cute as a smiling temptress and was therefore in mortal danger.
The trio of sexual troublemakers ("fallen" women) were brutalized, sexually humiliated, subsisted on bowls of oatmeal-slop, and lectured on the evils of the flesh by a group of Catholic nuns and priests in the prison-like confines. Soft-spoken saintly Sister Bridget (Geraldine McEwan) was actually cruel, callous, sadistic and tyrannical. The women were told that they could redeem themselves in the convent laundry service or workhouse, "working beyond human endurance to remove the stains of the sins" they allegedly committed, for 8-10 hours a day, 7 days a week. The three girls defied a century of injustice, lack of rights, dysfunctional sexual control, and no privacy to free themselves from the asylum.
Its most notorious scene showed a lineup of naked girls stripped as they stood before the cold-hearted nuns before tea-time. They were inspected and compared by various bodily criteria (the smallest and largest breasts, biggest behind, and hairiest private parts). One of the disdainful nuns chided, demeaned and ridiculed the nude subjects:
The Magdalene Sisters
(l to r): Crispina (Eileen Walsh) and Bernadette (Nora-Jane Noone)
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