The Frightened Woman

  • 1969
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama, Erotic

Stylish Euro-sexploitation with a convoluted feminist twist. Wealthy, narcissistic, professional philanthropist Sayer (Philippe Leroy) has a secret life: Every weekend he takes a woman to his isolated country house and subjects her to 48 hours of S&M games. He has a hooker (Mirella Pamphili) lined up for the coming weekend, but she bails at the last minute,...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Stylish Euro-sexploitation with a convoluted feminist twist. Wealthy, narcissistic, professional philanthropist Sayer (Philippe Leroy) has a secret life: Every weekend he takes a woman to his isolated country house and subjects her to 48 hours of S&M games. He has a hooker (Mirella Pamphili) lined up for the coming weekend, but she bails at the last minute, leaving him high and dry. And then Marie (Dagmar Lassander) walks into his office. A new employee who works in the press division of his vast business empire, she agrees to come to his home to pick up some files. He drugs her drink and spirits her off to his country lair, a pop-art marvel equipped with dungeons, sliding doors and multi-media equipment galore. While ranting about the evils of liberated women — who, he says, want to emasculate men and run the world without them — Sayer torments Marie physically and verbally, implying that he's going to kill her when he's through. Though terrified, Marie quickly realizes that she need to use her wits to turn the psychological tables on her captor. Just as this cat-and-mouse game is on the verge of becoming ugly and repetitive, the film takes a sharp detour into surreal romanticism before pulling off one last, mean little plot twist. Stunning set direction; a mod score by Stelvio Cipriani; Marie's go-go dance in a bikini made of strips of gauze; and a must-be-seen-to-be-believed nightmare sequence involving a two-story tall, Nikki de St. Phalle-ish sculpture of a woman's spread legs with a sliding door (just where you'd imagine) that snaps shut like a set of teeth help make this a must-see for fans of whacked-out European erotica. Did we mention the dwarf, or Marie's story about the cat who fell in love with her, or the train that appears out of nowhere with a band perched on a flatbed car? Simply amazing.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Stylish Euro-sexploitation with a convoluted feminist twist. Wealthy, narcissistic, professional philanthropist Sayer (Philippe Leroy) has a secret life: Every weekend he takes a woman to his isolated country house and subjects her to 48 hours of S&M games… (more)

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