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The Story of O - Blu-ray DVD / arthouse and international DVD / erotic drama DVD review
THE STORY OF O X curledupdvd.com rating: 2 stars
Featuring: Corinne Clery, Udo Kier, Anthony Steel, Jean Gaven, Christiane Minazzoli
Director: Just Jaeckin Distributor: Somerville House
DVD release: 11 November 2008 Runtime: 105 min.
(1 disc)
Format: Color, Dolby, Original recording remastered, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p High Definition, Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 2.0 - English, French, Spanish), Trailers, Biographies, Photo gallery

Smut can be defined as being of no literary or artistic value other than to stimulate sexual desire.

The Story of O is from the 1954 prize-winning French literary novel of the same name. It details the major story points of O (Corinne Clery) as she is guided into a world of sexual submission. O is a fashion photographer whose lover, Rene (Udo Kier), brings her to some sort of submissive training camp at Chateau Roissy to learn to accept beatings and other sorts of physical and emotional torture. Rene loves her enough to share her with other lovers, have her chained up and subjected to whippings and ridiculous rules. Upon leaving the chateau, she is given a ring. The ring entitles those who recognize it to have their way with her. What a treat for her!

Soon she is given to Rene's half-brother, Sir Stephen (Anthony Steel). Sir Stephen puts her through the same kind of ordeal - he objectifies her, submits her rules, beats her, has his maid beat her. He always believed that no woman would be anything more to him than a pebble on a beach, but somehow O submits herself so well to his abuse that he falls in love with her. O becomes more confident in this somehow.

The Story of O can avoid the label of smut because it is nicely photographed. That's about all I can offer it. It reminds me of the kind of movies that are shown late nights on Cinemax; certainly it must have been seen there a time or two. It's not a hardcore submission film from the looks of it, though I wouldn't know one if it whipped me with a hickory switch. O is always given an out. Sir Stephen tells her "As long as you're mine, you'll do what I say", but on the heels of that, "it's your choice whether or not you're mine". She submits willingly to the beatings, the genital piercing, even to being branded with Sir Stephen's mark. If that's what she's into, who am I to judge?

The DVD itself is uneven. It defaults to English audio, but only offers subtitles in the two pieces of extra footage that have only the original French audio. These pieces of extra footage are part of the film and not separated into the Special Features section. The original trailer is included. Save yourself some time if you're curious and just watch that.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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