>Invited by Rachel Kramer Bussel to take part in the kinky virtual book tour for her just-published anthologies, She’s On Top: Erotic Stories of Female Dominance and Male Submission, along with the complementary He’s On Top: Erotic Stories of Male Dominance and Female Submission, we pretty readily chose the latter to highlight. Because we’re switchy and all, but given a real choice in the matter, that’s the direction we’d generally prefer to tumble.
That said, book in hand, we recalled, afterall, that our focus is ordinarily on kinky film and television, and that there are plenty of other outlets devoted to literature and such. What might we possibly add to the discussion, other than the observation that the bulk of the stories are well-crafted, engaging, achingly hot and, best of all for the adaptation-minded – really, really short! (We might also point out which of them are ripest for a jump to the silver screen – perhaps even suggest some casting possibilities – but that’s generally the type of high-level development work best reserved for your cadre of unpaid interns.)
Instead, we thought we’d take He’s On Top: Erotic Stories of Male Dominance and Female Submission as a jumping off point for a ramble through some of our favorite cinematic male dominants:
Rene/Sir Stephen/random guys at château
This one was tough. It’s one of the most obvious in terms of literary characters, but we just can’t seem to make the leap to film with everyone successfully intact. Udo Kier plays a romantic if overly mopey Rene in L’Histoire d’O and Evan Stone nearly nails – so to speak – the role of Sir Stephen in Ernest Greene’s recent O – The Power of Submission. We’re still waiting for a rendering of “random guys at château” that anywhere near approaches the version that lives on inside our fevered brain.
Marquis de Sade
Another classic, one who’s made countless cinematic appearances. Our personal best is Benoît Jacquot’s Sade, featuring a rumpledly handsome Daniel Auteuil. This depiction takes place at a point when Sade is not confined to a grim cell, just merely detained with various noble others at a château (again with that!) in the French countryside, allowing for a bit of fresh air, lavish costumes and dalliances that include a wide-eyed daughter of aristocracy and a whip-flavored romp with the stable boy.
This time the action moves to a villa in 1960s Italy for The Frightened Woman – and we’ll cop to including this one largely so we could link to its mondo groovy trailer. But while Philippe Leroy is a bit bloodless for our taste – and, hmmm, is he a real dominant? – there’s something about his chilly sadism that resonates. Bring out the big hoses!
To our mind, 9½ Weeks has always gotten a bit of a bum wrap. Sure, it’s from a big-budget Hollywood director and it’s all mainstream and shit. But Mickey Rourke definitely looks great in a suit, knows how to smack a riding crop and he’s always got this wry, little smile about to break through, so we’re never quite sure how much trouble we’re actually in for. (No château, but in Manhattan real estate terms, a penthouse loft is just as good.) So what if it turns out that Kim Basinger’s really not all that kinky afterall? There’s plenty more of us just waiting to fill the void.
Mr. E. Edward Grey
Just three little words: type it again.
Captain von Trapp
Yeah, this one surprised us a bit as well. But – a cautionary note to parents with young children – take a four-year-old to the movies and you might well create an imprint. We first saw The Sound of Music in its original release way back when. But then, during a latter years screening it struck us – Christopher Plummer – it all began right here! The handsome but aloof (suit-wearing!) man, just waiting for the right woman’s love to melt his heart. The willful young supplicant who blossoms under (finally!) just the right amount of discipline and loving guidance. And, of course, row upon row of fresh-scrubbed faces gazing up beseechingly for approval. (“You’ve been fraternizing with Nazi sympathizers again? I’m afraid that Daddy’s very, very angry with you.”)
Hey, we’re just glad we managed to avoid also fetishizing Bambi.