Erotic Symphony

1980 [SPANISH]

Crime / Drama / Romance / Thriller

Plot summary

November 25, 2022 at 08:18 PM


Jesús Franco

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
777.68 MB
Spanish 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 24 min
P/S ...
1.41 GB
Spanish 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 24 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by BandSAboutMovies 5 / 10

Erotic symphony

Based on the writings of the Marquis de Sade - that can be said about a lot of other Jess Franco movies - this is all about the rich Martine de Bressac (Lina Romay, but really Candy Coster, because she has on her blonde wig), who has just returned to her husband Marques Armando de Bressac (Armando Borges) after spending some time away and by away, I mean that she was in a sanitarium.

Yet when she gets home, she learned that her husband has been sleeping with men and women, but mostly with a nun named Norma (Susan Hemingway, who is also in Franco's Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun) who has conspired with Armando to murder Martine and live off her money.

The only problem is that Norma is also in love with Flor (Mel Rodrigo), the bisexual boy that Armando is also lying with, so things are complicated.

Lit by candles, scored by Franz Liszt and a flirtation with the supposed death of Martine and even a Bay of Blood double stabbing and you have a movie that looks, feels and plays better than a lot of what Franco would do in the decade to come. Soft focus and lens flares make this look like a trip through a dream, but one that's trapped in a home where everyone wants something carnal of their own and the death of its protagonist, who can be overcome and murdered by orgasm if the desire is pushed to its limit.

This is the only Franco movie I've seen that balances a sapphic encounter between Coster and Hemmingway with a male on male love scene between Borges and Rodrigo.

Reviewed by armando_mariani 9 / 10

Intense erotic psycho-drama - SPOILERS AHEAD!

This is an aesthetically well conceived psycho-drama, which seems built around his own (well chosen) musical sound-track (Franz Liszt romantic Concertos and Franco's own synthesized scores). Images and music combined, create a fascinating erotic atmosphere. "Sinfonia Erotica" (Erotic Symphony) is a most appropriate title for this movie. I consider it one of Franco's most ambitious and best crafted works in spite of being an "only-few-thousand-bucks-budget-production". The movie has a captivating languid pace, with slow, sudden unpredictable circling camera movements and shots from unorthodox angles. The lens cuts thru the shadows, showing mainly details of faces, bodies and objects, often reflected in mirrors. The setting is a large villa, surrounded by luscious vegetation and sunny bodies of water. The camera leads us, following the action, through rooms and corridors, whose darkness is broken by the flickering light of candles and oil-lamps, shown in close-up and out-of-focus. Distant voices, moaning, echoes and other eerie sound-effects, effectively contribute creating a morbid and hallucinated atmosphere of sensuality and corruption. The story is about Countess Martine De Bressac (sultry Lina Romay), her mental illness, her sensual obsession and her very "Sadean" relationship to her husband. She feels irresistible lust driven love for him. In return she gets rejection, psychological abuse and humiliation. Armand had engaged earlier in a relationship with an ambiguous teenager named Fiore, and completely neglects his marital duties, which drives Martine over the edge of mental sanity. During her recurring sex-abstinence triggered violent crises, she wildly caresses her body, trying in vane to quench her sexual desire. One night, she sexually assaults Norma, a young novice (beautiful Susan Hemingway). Earlier in the movie, Norma had been found wounded at the entrance of the villa and immediately "adopted" by Armand, who turned her into his favorite "pleasure-toy", to provide a touch of extra spice, during his encounters with Fiore. In a later twist of the story however, Norma and Fiore fall in love and are planning to run away. This triggers the vengeance of Armand. He discovers them making passionate love and, in a sudden burst of rage, runs his sword thru their naked bodies joined (at this point forever) in the act of love. Martine lives secluded within the boundaries of the villa, in a semi-catatonic mental state, her eyes gazing through the window towards imaginary spaces. She spends time only in the company of her lady-friend Wanda, who warns her about the criminal plans of Armand and will pay with death her loyalty to her mistress and, sometimes, briefly with her mysterious Doctor who, however, seems "playing on both sides of the fence". Martine appears not able to communicate with the real world. In her mind she hears the loving words exchanged with her husband at the beginning of their marriage. She only becomes alive during her continuously frustrated attempts to make love to Armand. She keeps getting rejected and forced back to a borderline mental state, where reality and fantasy are deeply interconnected. Relentlessly she keeps offering herself to him and finally, one night, he violently possesses her. At one point, close to the peak of pleasure, she gasps, collapses and dies or, at least so it appears. Here we get the most baffling conclusion of the story! Armand plunges into a remorseful state of despair for having killed Fiore. In spite of having reached his objective (getting rid of his wife to get free access to all her wealth), he is a broken man. One night, suddenly Martine appears like a ghost in front of him, with a deadly sword in her hand. Did she came back from death or did she faked it? She is vengeful and determined to finally settle the scores. Armand is in shock, he can't take it anymore and begs her in tears, to put and end to his misery. She runs the sword thru his throat and...Justice is delivered! In the closing sequence we see Martine with her shady Doctor, who urges her, now that "their plan has been accomplished", to forget the whole sad story and start together a new life. Does this mean that Martine was not the "victim" but really the architect of a complex plot, to turn her husband into the "actual victim"? De Sade often mixes-up the roles of "victim" and "executioner" and the "victim" has to fall to the lowest annihilation level and "die" in order to "resurrect". Or was the whole story just the product of Martine's schizophrenic fantasy? Or perhaps a dream? This is a complex, multi-layered movie, recommendable to mature and open-minded viewers and to Franco fans. The depiction of sexual situations is graphic, bordering (and frequently trespassing) forbidden territory. This "IS" a movie for grown-ups. Without the sex sequences, the movie would simply fall apart. If you decide to go for it, please beware of any edited/cut versions. They would keep you safe from nudity and sex however, they would leave you guessing, hopelessly trying to find some sense for the (at this point) loose images rolling on screen. Lina Romay is a wonderful leading lady and she delivers one of the best performances of her career. Her portrait of Countess Martine is convincing and compelling. She is sensitive, romantic, passionate, sad, wild and crazy. Her wonderful big dark eyes have a unique and natural ability to express all kind of feelings. Her sensuality is intense and overwhelming. She doesn't only impersonate the character; she really "IS" Martine De Bressac! Susan Hemingway's character is also complex. She is young and pretty and shows generously her teen body. Perhaps she also actually tried to act here, which is hard to tell since, in my copy, she gets the worst and most vulgar Italian dubbing among the whole cast. Sadly, this little gem, in spite of being an Italian co-production, probably never made it to regular theatrical release in my own native country. I give it a 9 out of 10.


Reviewed by Woodyanders 8 / 10

One of Jess Franco's better films from the early 1980's

Emotionally fragile young nobleman Martine de Bressac (a fine and affecting performance by Lina Romay) gets released from an asylum and returns to her lavish estate only to discover that her no-count husband Marques (a nicely slimy portrayal by Armando Borges) has become involved with both gigolo Flor (pretty Mel Rodrigo) and runaway nun Norma (the lovely Susan Hemingway).

As usual, Jess Franco happily indulges his trademark penchant for all sorts of unbridled carnal lust and sexual perversity with his usual leering gusto as well as evokes a strong sense of total decadence and debauchery and even makes excellent use of the gorgeous palatial abode main location. Moreover, Romay gets a rare chance to play a more vulnerable character and displays her acting range with genuinely impressive results. Naturally, we also get a sizeable smattering of explicit nudity and fairly graphic couplings. The hypnotically gradual pace, the elegant classical music on the soundtrack, and Juan Soler's fluid cinematography all give this film an oddly entrancing dreamlike quality. Recommended viewing for Franco fans.

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shavone1 November 25, 2022 at 07:22 pm

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