Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 30th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1974
Director: Francisco Lara Polop
Writers: Francisco Lara Polop, Francisco Summers, Manuel Summers
Cast: Ornella Muti, Philippe Leroy, Emilio Gutiérrez Caba, Lina Canalejas, José Vivó, Curro Summers, David Lara, Yelena Samarina, Ángel Menéndez, África Pratt, Pilar Gómez Ferrer, José Luis Uribarri, Fernando Guillén , Kino Pueyo, Enrique Paredes
DVD released: September 28th, 2010
Approximate running time: 85 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Synopsis: A teenage girl is seduced by her father’s boss. She tries to end the illicit affair. When she falls in love with another man. Jealous and not willing to let her go. Her fathers’ boss forces her to remain his lover blackmailing her. Now caught between two men who desire her. Will she stay with her blackmailer or will she reunite with the man she loves?
Forbidden Passion was co-written and directed by Francisco Lara Polop, who’s other notable film’s include Maniac Mansion and Christina. The cinematographer on Raúl Pérez Cubero, who’s other notable credits as a cinematographer include Dracula’s Great Love and Hunchback of the Morgue. The score for Forbidden Passion was composed by Alfonso G. Santisteban (The Mummy’s Revenge).
Story wise, Forbidden Passion retreads familiar territory. An older man who seduces a much younger woman (in this instance as teenage girl). And under normal circumstances this kind of familiarity can quickly become anticlimactic. Fortunately for this film is features one of the more prominent sex symbols from Italian cinema of the 1970’s, Ornella Muti (The Most Beautiful Wife, Oasis of Fear, The Nuns of Saint Archangel ). This film would mark one of her first starring roles as an adult and while many of her early roles relied primarily on her beauty. It is refreshing seeing her in role that does not only rely of her psychical appearance. This is not to say that her character is not the object of desire in the film. It is just not her only asset. It is the way in which she brings a naivety to her character in which her performance is most powerful.
On the flip side, her male counterpart Philippe Leroy who is cast in the role of her seducer. His performance is not a rock solid and at times underwhelming. Having previously seen him in The Frightened Woman. Another film in which he portrays a domineering male character. The character which he plays in this film never feels like a real threat, even when he tries to blackmail Ornella Muti’s character Maribel.
Also anyone going into this film expecting an exploitation or erotica themed story will surely be disappointed. This film takes on a more melodrama feel with the closet any naked flesh of Ornella Muti’s appearing on the screen. Are a handful of scenes in which she is wearing a bikini. Even the sex scenes are shot is such a way that they are tame enough to be shown on TV without any editing. Ultimately Forbidden Passion is an uneven production that never fully realizes its potential.
Forbidden Passion is presented in an anamorphic widescreen. Framing wise this appears to be the film’s original aspect ratio as the image does not look cropped. Colors tend to fluctuate with the majority of time they look muted. Even though flesh tones fare ever so slightly better than also look off. Black levels are average at best and details range often lack clarity. Also there are nicks, scratches and other forms of print debris that vary in degree throughout.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian and removable English subtitles have been provided (there are a few typos). There are a few instances where background noise is noticeable. Also there some mild instances of distortion most notable when the film’s score is prominent in the mix.
This release comes with one extras content. Overall Forbidden Passion gets a sup par audio / video presentation Mya Communication that in on par with their DVD release of Eros Perversions.