Left without a family and a few crowns each, cloistered sisters Juliette and her innocent chaste sibling Justine are forced to leave the nunnery's protection, and for the first time in their life, dwell by themselves in the harsh outside world. But fate can be relentless as it can be cruel and undeserved, and while Juliette finds shelter in Madame de Buisson's welcoming brothel, at the same time, beautiful auburn-haired Justine will have to cope with an almost endless parade of villains, perverts and degenerates who will claim not only her puny fortune but also her treasured virtue and her life. As a result, Justine humiliated, wrongfully accused and brought to her knees, she will inevitably question her life of uprightness, chastity and suffering, reaching to a reluctant and unpleasant conclusion. Is it blasphemy or is it the voice of reason?
Fairly decent flick for Franco
Jess Franco to me, is one of the most evil men in cinema. His films in the 60s were Hitchokian thrillers and a few good erotic ones, however by the 80s he had plummeted into making porn films, fairly crappy at best, compared to Joe D'Amatos Caribbean series. These films consisted of Lina Romay masturbating to sex acts, purely vulgar, Laura Gemser fair enough, but her, no way.
Anyhow in the late 60s Franco worked with Harry Allan Towers, and made about 8 damn good films, such as The Bloody Judge, 99 women (less good) and "".
However Justine to me, his nemesis, is a good film. It boasts an all star cast, such as Jack Palace, who gives a good performance as a decadant monk, and Klaus Kinski, as De Sade, just prancing around his cell, being taunted by nude phantoms, actually shot using good green lighting and shadow imagery.
The film is not do depraved, several nude scenes, some mild sex scenes and some cat fighting, but nothing too bad. Also the buildings, soldiers and extras were fairly epic and in good standard with any epic historical film.
The sets were brilliant, hence they were all historical, the film is well shot, cue some blurs etc, well lighted, well cast and well made.
Franco is a decent director here, when he worked with Towers, however in the 70s he declined sadly. When he worked with good budgets and actors he was a Ruggero Deodato, but alas, he failed cinema, which he claimed to love...
A good film, give it a try!, you will not be disappointed.
(Un)happy dreamer named De Sade
Not correct to call Jesus Franco's interpretation of MARQUIS DE SADE: JUSTINE as "drama" or "horror".It is very soft kind of exploitation cinema for easy viewing in the evening.This is not bad kind of movie.Because it's unexpected version of De Sade's world.With some soft humor and romantica.No straight violence and brutality.No much nudity?Fogget it!(so many good another porno-movies at 60-70-th)!There are two alter egos of marquis personality at film.First:Klaus Kinski - suffering convict writer.Happy drunker mad poet(Jack Palance no named De Sade at the movie?-Who cares?!)- second alter ego.Feverish work of cinematographer to memory of surrealistic cinema.This is good trash-film!Don't be boring!
Enjoyable and a rather provocative movie
This movie took place in France around the 17th century and focused on two sisters, one of them innocent and good and the other not so innocent and caniving. Their father is sent to exile and they are each left a small amount of money to take care of themselves and are asked to leave the convent in which they had lived. The bad sister tries to pursuade the other good sister to live with her in a whore house with her but the good sister would have nothing of that and she dicides to go off on her own away from her bad sister. Like an Alice in Wonderland adventure the good sister goes from place to place in search for a place to live and at each doorstep awaits unspeakable tourture and mayhem. Jack Palance plays a rather strange character as a leader of a sadistic cult that takes pleasure in watching and performing rituals of torture. His performance was short in this film and I wish that it could have been a longer role, not because he was good in it (because he lacked in character ) but because it could have made more sense with him in it. Klaus Kinski who also has a short lived role in this movie as the Marquie De Sade is exiled in prison and does nothing but sit at a table and writes the whole story about the two sisters and their adventures. His role makes no sense as he just gets tired of writing all those pages and calapses. The bad sister ends up getting hooked up with a rich Aristocrate and later finds her poor sister in a carnival in the midst of public humilitation after being branded a murderess by another person she seeked at one time in need for asylum. The bad sister listens to her poor sisters story and takes care of her in the end. There is a moral to this tale: You may endure many hardships, but in the end, you'll find the treasures you are given in the end.
Worth viewing, but it's not the film Franco intended
'Marquis de Sade's 'Justine'' (1968) is easily Jess Franco's most accomplished film, esp. from a technical standpoint, backed by the biggest budget he would ever have. Rich, brilliant colors, skin aplenty, a few perversities, and strange performances from Klaus Kinski, Jack Palance and Mercedes Mccambridge make for an entertaining but relatively tame Franco outing. To boot, Jack Palance's performance ranks as possibly the most bizarre ever seen on film. The dvd includes a revealing 20-minute 'making of' documentary featuring an extensive, contemporary interview with director Franco, and he doesn't hold back. Franco states that Palance was sauced during the entire shoot, drinking red wine all day, each day, starting around 7a.m.
Kinski's role (as de Sade) was originally handed to Orson Welles, but once Welles read the script, he claimed that he simply could not play the part because it included scenes of erotica. In reality, Welles would have had to do a scene with several totally naked women, and this may have made him uncomfortable and nervous. Interestingly, the de Sade character has no lines, and Kinski's scenes are just a bunch of cutaways of him sitting/pacing in a prison cell, mentally tortured, trying to write 'Justine'.
Franco intended to create an explicitly nasty, masochistic film faithful to de Sade's writing; however, according to Franco, he was forced into a watered-down, `Snow-White-lost-in-the-woods' direction because of the producer's decision to cast Tyrone Power's daughter, Romina Power, in the title role. `She was a passenger, wandering around,' Franco scoffed. `She was like a piece of furniture. It was as if I was making Bambi 2'. The role was intended for Rosemary Dexter, who appears in the film in a lesser role.
Franco's version of 'Justine' is not as grim or as depressing as Chris Boger's '' (1977), starring Koo Stark, but it's also not as nasty or as perverse. Too bad for Franco fans.
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