This was actually the first "explicit" rape revenge movie I remember
seeing. The movie was a Dino de Laurentiis production, and managed to
avoid, to my way of thinking, the sexploitation designation. It was a
powerful indictment of the criminal justice system vis-a-vis sex crimes against women
in the 70s, and the Catholic Church fared little better. Still, it
contained one of the premiere mainstream movie
rape scenes, that is just as potent today as it was the first time I
In a nutshell, the movie is about a fashion model (22-year-old Margaux
Hemingway) and her younger sister (15-year-old Mariel Hemingway, who
looked much younger), who are both raped by a music teacher (Chris
Sarandon, playing the sleaziest character imaginable). First music
teacher Gordon rapes Chris (Margaux), then there is the trial
[SPOILERS] where he is acquitted, then he rapes Kathy (Mariel), after
which we get an incredibly brief but satisfyingly violent revenge
scene. That's the plot. I'll just be hitting the GIMP bits.
10:30 minutes. Chris leans out
of the shower, briefly baring her breasts, to answer the phone. Yes,
she lives in one of those high-rises that has a telephone in the
bathroom. (This is way before cell phones.)
16:00 minutes. Gordon gets
angry because Chris is not paying attention to his weird music and has
the temerity to answer her phone when it rings. He stalks into her
bedroom. The incredible 9-minute assault and rape scene really kicks
into high gear when Gordon grabs Chris, pushes her back onto her bed,
and kisses and licks her face while she fights him.
There is a long, brutal struggle between Gordon and Chris that
includes--but is not limited to--kicking, slapping, hitting, throwing
her to the floor, smashing her head against a bed post, fondling,
slamming her against a wall, tearing of clothes, name calling, smearing
on of lipstick, and hair pulling.
Then the real action
begins, as Gordon stands up and says, "This is only the beginning."
Quick scene cut. Chris is on her bed. Gordon hits her. Quick close-ups
of her wrists as her binds her face down to the bed posts with scarves.
Her ankles are also bound. We get this in quick close-up glimpses, so
you know he has her tied in a face-down spread-eagle but you don't ever
get a good overall shot. He mounts her and sodomizes her as she
struggles against her bondage and his violation, screaming, "Oh my god,
you're killing me!"
Gordon continues to fuck her and Chris continues to scream, so he hand
gags her. He fucks her until he comes and then just lays on top of her,
both of them exhausted.
Kathy walks in and sees them, then runs out. Chris asks him to untie
her. He takes out a knife and cuts the scarves around her ankles. He
licks and traces the knife tip up her leg, over her ass, up her back
and down her arm to her right wrist, then cuts the scarf binding her
right wrist. He leaves her left wrist tied and stands up in front of
the bed. She looks up at him.
"Listen, Chris," he says, "Don't do this with anyone else." What a
great line. Gordon walks out of her room. Chris undoes her left wrist,
wraps a sheet around her body, and runs out of the room to find Kathy.
The scene is over by the 25:00 minute
1 hour, 17:00 minutes. Kathy
meets up with Gordon again at the same location where Chris is doing a
fashion shoot. There is a really creepy scene between Gordon and Kathy
that creeps Kathy out.
1 hour, 19:00 minutes. Kathy
flees. Gordon follows, playing a cat-and-mouse game.
1 hour, 22:00 minutes. Gordon
catches Kathy in a basement tunnel. He pins her to the floor and as
they struggle he rips her clothes enough to briefly expose her white
panties. The scene ends with Kathy screaming.
That's it for the GIMP. We see Kathy stumble down the spiral staircase
into Chris' fashion shoot. Chris sees her, asks who did this to her,
Kathy tells her, and Chris takes matters into her own hands.
SUMMARY: Chris is assaulted,
slapped, hit, insulted, her clothes are ripped, she is bound in a
face-down spread-eagle on her own bed and brutally sodomized in an
incredible 9-minute scene. Kathy is chased down, assaulted and it is
implied she is raped. There is also some incidental Chris nudity. No
Kathy nudity, because Mariel Hemingway was underage and this was a Dino
de Laurentiis production, not a Roman Polanski production. (Ooh, that
was a cheap shot, wasn't it?)
Lipstick has to
(arguably) rank in the Top 10 Hall of Fame for Best Mainstream Movie
Scenes. I mean, come on. Hot and sexy Margaux Hemingway. Brutality.
Bondage. Sodomy. Nine minutes.
easily an A.
And it is a classic.