The Naked Venus Film Details
Overview: A young American painter and his French wife move with their small daughter to the US when the husband’s father dies. His mother takes an instant dislike to the wife, and when she finds out…
Tagline: A Beautiful and Extraordinary Loves Story About A French Girl Who Joins and American NATURE COLONY!
Review: The Naked Venus is in fact a morality play and although a nudist camp plays an important role, the movie can hardly be compared with the usual nudist camp exploitation flicks. It has a coherent, quite serious message, genuine artistic qualities and addresses an educated adult audience, not the usual drive-in crowds. The soundtrack consists almost entirely of Classical Music. The nudist colony is used (well, some may say: exploited) to expose the hypocrisies of American society in the fifties. POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD Simply put you might say that The Naked Venus represents the antagonism between a “liberal”, cultured outlook on personal freedom and a more virulent version of “Americanism”. The story line represents views that even today some might call radical. It does it pungently and with some bitterness. The story goes roughly like this: A young, aspiring American painter lives in Paris with his French wife and their little daughter. He wants to return California because his father recently died. He feels it is his duty to be at the side of his mother. His wife is scared of moving to America and meeting her mother-in-law. She is persuaded, and the little family moves to a spacious Californian Ranch style house. Latent tensions between the two women quickly arise. The mother is the painter’s “close friend” and has a strong hold over his rather weak and insecure character. She claims to be shocked, that her daughter-in-law posed in the nude for artists in Paris. Wh ile mother and son are away on business, an unknown man calls on the French women. He presents himself as a lawyer friend of the family and tells her that her husband has filed for a divorce. She is completely surprised by this move and flees with her daughter to a nudist camp as she and her family belongs to the nudist movement. The second part of the movie is dedicated to court proceedings in the divorce case. The central question is whether the French woman’s willingness to display nudity in public is immoral or not. But it is really a trial against a mentality that is dominated (as shown in the movie) by bigotry and unmitigated material greed, that wants to eradicate anything that stands for individual freedom and an attitude towards it that many call liberalism. The nudist camp is idealized as a world where freedom and the liberal mind rule. The picture of the people in the nude are quite artistic and studied. They have a solemn dignity that sometimes verges on the ridiculous. Much care was taken to present the court proceedings as a really fair trial. There is some really good, straight dialogue. Women (especially the artist’s mother, his American girlfriend and the defense counsel of the French women) dominate the scene. The artist breaks down in the end, and the “good side” wins. The Naked Venus represents the “liberal” cause. “Liberals” who are depicted as the more decent people who discuss their grudges and doubts openly and don’t try to scheme behind the others backs. The opening of this movie is very beautiful. The French woman is shown in the nude from a distance, bathing with a girl friend in an isolated mountain lake whose surface is rippled by a gust of wind. The scene is filmed by a detective hired by the artist’s mother. This movie making in the movie seems to me a clear statement against voyeurism and, well, against making this very movie. Very odd, but quite powerful and certainly interesting.
Duration: 75 min
Also known as: La Venus desnuda,A Vênus Desnuda,The Naked Venus