Immoral Tales (1974)

Directed by: Walerian Borowczyk

Actors: Lise Danvers, Fabrice Luchini, Charlotte Alexandra, Paloma Picasso

Language: French | Subtitles: English and German

Country: France

Also known as: Contos Imorais, Cuentos inmorales, Erkölcstelen mesék, I racconti immorali di Borowczyk, Moraalittomia tarinoita, Tolmires istories

Description: Four erotic tales from in various historical eras. The first, ‘The Tide’, is set in the present day, and concerns a student and his young female cousin stranded on the beach by the tide, secluded from prying eyes. ‘Therese Philosophe’ is set in the nineteenth century, and concerns a girl being locked in her bedroom, where she contemplates the erotic potential of the objects contained within it. ‘Erzsebet Bathory’ is a portrait of the sixteenth-century countess who allegedly bathed in the blood of virgins, while ‘Lucrezia Borgia’ concerns an incestuous fifteenth-century orgy involving Lucrezia, her brother, and her father the Pope.

Review: Immoral Tales consists of four stories, each of feminine eroticism through the ages. They work back through time, beginning with a contemporary surrealist story of a 20-year-old man initiating his cousin in a sex act on the beach, timing his ecstasy to the ebb and flow of the waves. In the second story, Charlotte Alexandra stars as a girl whose dedication to God reveals itself as a burning lust when she is unjustly banished to her room for three days. The Countess Bathory episode – starring Paloma Picasso – is largely the study of liquids on flesh, while the final story follows a visit by Lucrezia Borgia to see her father Pope Alexander VI and brother Cardinal Cesare Borgia, and details the bawdiness that follows. The second tale is by the far the most erotic. Elsewhere the film is a little slow – but well worth seeing.


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