Marquis de Sade's Justine



IMDb Rating 4.4/10 10 550 550


Top cast

Koo Stark as Justine Jerome
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
906.02 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 38 min
Seeds 20
1.64 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 38 min
Seeds 25

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Nodriesrespect 8 / 10

An English Rose for the Marquis

One of the more accomplished albeit liberal adaptations of the writings of the Marquis de Sade, maligned during his deeply troubled lifetime predominantly spent within the walls of jails and loony bins though subsequently canonized as an enlightened anarchist, CRUEL PASSION ultimately suffers most - rather appropriate, considering the source - from being a British sex film from the 1970s. Don't get me wrong, I have tremendous fondness for the genre's general saucy wink, nudge in the rib naughtiness and there obviously has never been a better decade for it but the template generated expectations, nay demands, soundly crashing with the intentions of both author and one time filmmaker Chris Boger whose obvious art-house aspirations were similarly thwarted by the modest means at his disposal. Justine yet again then, though fashioned more as bodice-ripping melodrama than poker-faced pornography.

Their convent education cut short by the death of their parents, leaving them practically penniless, sisters Juliette (Lydia Lisle, who was to become one of those reliable TV talents rarely recognized by name, also briefly if memorably appearing as the unfortunate John Merrick's mom in the haunting pre-credits sequence to David Lynch's ELEPHANT MAN) and Justine (Koo Stark, daughter of venerable veteran producer Wilbur) are forced to seek fortune in the streets of London, the action transposed across the pond so as not to further alienate an audience already weary of having to deal with culture over carnality. At the behest of their friend Pauline (adorable Ann Michelle, sister of TV's 'ALLO 'ALLO!'s Vicky), forging livelihood by catering to the base desires of men, the siblings take up residence at the brothel of Madame Laronde (Katherine Kath, sporting a real French accent rather than the overdone "ooh la la" Brit variant, who had perhaps most famously appeared as La Goulue in John Huston's MOULIN ROUGE) who's thrilled at the prospect of putting up two maidenheads for auction. As the pious Justine quickly exits, stealing a jewel box to pay her way, Juliette fully embraces the lascivious lifestyle in a series of scenes that unfortunately play closer to Benny Hill than the sophisticated Continental carnal iconography they seek in vain to emulate, including an inbred nobleman played by Barry McGinn (another actor to find his niche in TV walk-on bits) whose mad cackle seems to have served as inspiration for Tom Hulce's annoying giggle on Milos Forman's AMADEUS. The sole benefit of this section - considerable if you happen to be a genre aficionado such as myself - consists of the minute plethora (again, the budget...) of contemporary skin flick starlets on display such as Canadian-born Glory Annen, soon to gain immortality as John D. Lamond's allegedly Australian FELICITY, and Jeannie Collings from Trevor Wrenn's wall to wall shag-fest EROTIC INFERNO.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, or the rectory anyway, Justine comes looking for sanctuary from the revered reverend Father John (Louis Ife) whose weakness for her womanly charms lead to his accidental death and another "crime" weighing down the girl's conscience. Going on the lam as the forces of law edge closer, she's accepted into a gang of thieves spearheaded by the seemingly maternal Mrs. Bonny, a full-blooded turn by popular comedienne Hope Jackman, who wants to employ the girl as a faux innocent decoy in their stagecoach robbery attempts. Handsome Lord Carlisle (the mostly mainstream Martin Potter, then fresh off TV's ROBIN HOOD !) has taken a shine to Juliette and, heeding her worries about her kid sister's whereabouts, sets off in search of our increasingly notorious nubile heroine. It's most definitely a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire for poor Justine however as she's successively subjected at film's climax to group rape by her repulsive partners in crime, violation at the hands of her would be savior as he "forgets himself" in the face of her fleshy delights, attack by bloodhounds and death by drowning as the image thankfully freezes on the girl's lifeless waterlogged form, a haunting image informed by both John Millais' famous painting of Hamlet's Ophelia and Sandra Cassel's indelible death scene from Wes Craven's notorious LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT.

Like French filmmaker Claude Pierson's superior JUSTINE DE SADE before it, CRUEL PASSION proves far more convincingly acted than one would expect from what's generally if wrongfully dismissed as fodder for the dirty Mac brigade. Captivating Koo Stark never managed to surmount her subsequent reputation in the eyes of the world as one of Brit Prince Andrew's more high profile girlfriends, a reputation ironically informed by her "shady past" as a sexploitation siren, which is a crying shame as she had screen presence to spare, suggesting resilience under a vulnerable exterior in her three landmark performances of which this was the last, following Henry Herbert's EMILY and Pedro Maso's hard to see LAS ADOLESCENTES. Hindsight's a beautiful thing but no one could have predicted that homegrown DoP Roger Deakins, on an early assignment, would go on to become an Oscar winner and regular Coen brothers collaborator, were it not for the glossy patina of his cinematography belying the film's frugal funds, especially his atmospheric handling of a frightening fever dream sequence straight out of Hammer horror.

Reviewed by smatysia 4 / 10

Stark looks nice, but that's it.

Yes, there was some really, really bad acting in this film, but it wasn't done by Koo Stark. She was beautiful, demure, and a pretty decent Justine. (It's often hard to judge an actor in a really bad movie.) i have never seen Stark elsewhere, and would need to do so before deciding if she were a hack. About the material itself, I have read some Sade, (although not "Justine") and it is some really vile stuff. Someone mentioned that the sex scenes were depressing and un-erotic. That describes Sade's stuff on a very mild day. He was a fanatical atheist, and took great delight in portraying sex as sacrilege, and all religion as hypocritical.

Reviewed by Falconeer 7 / 10

Surprisingly faithful adaptation...

"Justine: Cruel Passion" is much better than expected. This 1977 film version turns out to be very faithful to it's source material, in this case the writings of the Marquis De Sade. His tale of a young innocent, cast into the cruel, corrupt World when her parents die, is certainly a grim one. Koo Stark does surprisingly well at portraying virginal innocence, disgusted by the violence and vice surrounding her. The more she resists, the harder she is pursued by the corrupt people in her midst. Stark really is good here; she doesn't overplay it, she never comes across as unbelievably naive and innocent. Overdoing it might have made it seem silly to care for Justine. I was rather expecting a trashy excuse to show wall to wall soft core sex, but "Cruel Passion" turns out to be rather tame in that regard, which probably explains the low ratings here. Any viewer looking to get a lot of nudity and sex out of this production might be a bit disappointed. What we have instead is a very handsomely filmed, Gothic/Victorian "bodice ripper," only with a surprisingly bleak and grim conclusion, that I was not expecting. Beautiful sets and costumes, mist shrouded countrysides, and a fine utilization of it's classical soundtrack, all come together to make an above average film that is essentially about the loss of innocence. Entire passages are taken verbatim from the Marquis De Sade, resulting in dialog that is at times poetic. The story of Justine was filmed several times, but this 1977 version remains the most faithful to the original writings. Recommended for anyone interested in the writings of Sade, as well as fans of Gothic and erotic films.

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