Eugenie (De Sade 70)(Eugenie... the Story of Her Journey Into Perversion)(Philosophy in the Boudoir) (1970)
One of five adaptations of the Marquis de Sade's Philosophy in the Boudoir directed by cult filmmaker Jesus Franco, this version was perhaps the most subdued, although it was still explicit enough to encounter censorship problems. Maria Rohm stars as Mme. de St. Ange, who reads the Marquis' book and fantasizes about its excessive content. St. Ange has sex with a man named Mistival (Paul Muller) in exchange for permission to take his lovely daughter Eugenie (Marie Liljedahl) to her vacation island. When they arrive, St. Ange and her lover Mirvel (Jack Taylor) seduce Eugenie into joining their bizarre sexual role-playing. A party follows, during which Eugenie is drugged and forced to submit to sadomasochistic games directed by Dolmance (Christopher Lee) and his oddly-dressed followers. When she awakens from her stupor, however, Eugenie finds that the games have turned to murder. Nino Korda and Herbert Fuchs co-star in this provocative exploitation film. Christopher Lee's role as the narrator Dolmance was originally accepted by George Sanders, whose personal crises forced him to withdraw prior to production. Franco returned to the same source material for Eugenie de Sade (1970), Plaisir a Trois (1973), Cocktail Special (1978), and Eugenie, Historia de Una Perversion (1980). ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Eugenie (De Sade 70)(Eugenie... the Story of Her Journey Into Perversion)(Philosophy in the Boudoir)
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Audience Reviews for Eugenie (De Sade 70)(Eugenie... the Story of Her Journey Into Perversion)(Philosophy in the Boudoir)
Written in 1795, the Marquis De Sade's 'Philosophy In The Boudoir' continues to court controversy to this very day, leaving a mark in the sand that no filmmaker could cross with regard to a completely faithful adaptation. Spanish auteur Jess Franco took De Sade's book and, together with Harry Alan Towers, made a film that, out of all his considerable filmography, he" hates the least".
Eugenie opens in suitably sordid mode when the titular character (Liljedahl) takes a telephone call from Marianne Saint-Ange (Rohm) who is part of a devious scheme to lure Marie to an island retreat owned by Mirvel (Taylor), her stepbrother. After seducing Maria's father (Muller), offering her body in return for his daughter's, the path is clear for Marianne and Mirvel to turn normality into a nightmare of Sadean excess. It's here on a beautiful island that Franco's film really catches fire, as drug-induced sexual abandon leaves Marie in a in a halfway-house, between reality and the black veils of sleep. When sinister narrator Dolmance (Lee) arrives with a colourful band of followers straight out of Jean Rollin's The Demoniacs, events accelerate Marie's downwards spiral, leading to a bloody crime of passion.
Liljedahl, best known for her role in Joe Sarno's Inga where a young woman is also corrupted by her elders, acquits herself admirably as the lead , while Taylor, Muller and Lee - all previous Franco players - excel in their respective roles. Best of all, however, is Maria Rohm whose cruel, seductive character tracks the spirit of De Sade in suitably outrageous fashion, whether she's making love or laying out the pain while Bruno Nicolai's score drones in the background quite superbly; doubtless influenced by the seminal debut album from Velvet Underground. Regarded by many as a career best for one of Franco's finest actresses, Marianne Saint-Ange provided Rohm with a wonderfully evil character, and is a fitting showcase for her considerable range; certainly, her partnership with Taylor and Lee demonstrates that De Sade was just as misunderstood by his own followers as by 'outsiders.'
This is one of Franco's best films. Its not a movie for everyone but if your interested in watching some of De Sade's work adapted to film, this is one to check out.
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