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Drama » » Erotica »
Benjamin


1968       Catherine Deneuve

The story begins with Benjamin (PIERRE CLEMENTI) opening a notebook in which he has recorded his memoirs.

He bids farewell to the place of his orphaned childhood and, with his faithful guardian, Camille (JACQUES DUFILHO), rides off to visit his rich Aunt who has never seen him, the Countess de Valandry (MICHELE MORGAN). Although the two behave rather boorishly in their unfamiliar plush surroundings, they are nevertheless made welcome by the Countess. They are given new clothes and eat regally-prepared dishes with ravenous appetites and poor table-manners while the Aunt and her guests watch with unconcealed amusement.

Later, Benjamin describes his awkwardness when taking a bath, apparently for the first time in his life. He does not even know how to wash himself properly-but three voluptuous servant-girls, who are part of his Aunt's libertine ménage, are quite willing to become his helpmates in the watery undertaking.

Another instance of Benjamin's complete naiveté occurs when the sophisticated guests speak of carnal desire. The youth cannot comprehend its meaning in the amorous sense

until one of the servant-girls explains it to him most graphically-allowing Benjamin to lightly caress her face, her neck, her breast

His Aunt's lover, Philippe (MICHEL PICCOLI), delighted by Benjamin's freshness, invites the lad for a horseback ride by way of beginning his education in the ways of sophisticated amour. First, he decides, Benjamin must witness an "expert" in the fine art of seduction at work. They ride to the nearby manor of Anne de Clecy (CATHERINE DENEUVE) on the pretext of inviting her to a party at the Aunt's Chateau the following evening. Philippe carries on a mild flirtation with the beautiful young woman before they finally take their leave.

Later that same day, Benjamin, secretly following Philippe, has a chance to observe a daring seduction of a married woman by his libertine mentor.

Again that night, the two return to visit Anne, with whom Philippe now seems quite taken. Though she is an orphan of about Benjamin's age, she proves remarkably sophisticated in repelling Philippe's attempts at love-making.

The following day, there is a splendid garden party at the Aunt's Chateau, replete with fireworks, musicians and hundreds of guests. During the festivities, Philippe tells Anne that because she has resisted his amorous advances, he might like to marry her. She refuses, but is secretly pleased that it is her body and not her mind which he has found resistant.

Later, Anne and the Countess de Valandry engage in a conversation about the Don Juan-type of man, in this case, Philippe. The Countess believes that such a man is invincible because he has no heart, while Anne insists that the contrary is true-it is necessary to have a heart in order to truly love well. it is soon apparent that the Countess is concerned lest she lose Philippe to the more youthful rival.

Suddenly, one of the fireworks falls on a nearby stable, setting a fire which quickly spreads. But the conflagration is soon put under control by the Countess' gay guests, who dance and sing as they pass buckets of water for the fire.

Meanwhile, Anne has returned to Benjamin's bedroom at the Chateau, and when the youth returns to change his soiled clothing after a day of amorous frustration, he is invited inside by her. Anne tells him that she has decided to marry Philippe, but with a strange feminine logic also declares that she desires Benjamin first because they are both innocents.

The past fades into the present again as a more worldly Benjamin ends his memoirs with the recording that he is no longer a virgin.




Item Details:
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Benjamin

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CAST

Countess .......................... Michele Morgan
Anne .......................... Catherine Deneuve
Benjamin .......................... Pierre Clementi
Philippe .......................... Michel Piccoli
Marion .......................... Francine Berge
Celestine .......................... Anna Gael
Victorine .......................... Catherine Rouvel
Camille .......................... Jacques Dufilho
Woman .......................... Odile Versois


CREDITS

Credits
Produced By .......................... Mac Bodard
Directed By .......................... Michel Deville
Screenplay By .......................... Nina Companeez
Production Manager .......................... Philippe Dussart
Unit Manager .......................... Michel Choquet
Director Of Photography ................. Chislain Cloquet
Art Director .......................... Claude Pignot
Editor .......................... Nina Companeez
Sound .......................... Andre Hervee
Costumes .......................... Rita Bayance
Make-Up .......................... Alexandre Marcus
Hairstyles .......................... Carita
Casting .......................... Rene Pascal







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