The sensual story of innocence lost, desire found and an obsession that would change their lives forever... She was a married woman, tone apart from her husband. He was an innocent ...
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Pierre B. Reinhard
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The sensual story of innocence lost, desire found and an obsession that would change their lives forever... She was a married woman, tone apart from her husband. He was an innocent schoolboy on the verge of manhood. While the world was at war, they found comfort in each others arms and shared an impossible love that couldn't possibly continue... and an uncontrollable passion that they could not resist.Written by
I recall this Australian film being shown at the Delhi International Film Festival in January 1987 under its original title "Devil in the Flesh". Subsequently it also had a successful commercial run in India. Globally, though, it suffered from comparisons with Italian director Marco Bellochio's "Diavolo in corpo" (also Devil in the Flesh) which was released internationally around the same time.
The common title owed to the fact that both films were adapted from Raymond Radiguet's 1923 novel "Le Diable au corps" about an affair between a young married woman and a sixteen-year-old boy while the husband is away.
In the commercial face off between the two films competing around the same time, Bellochio came out ahead. With the smoldering Dutch beauty Maruschka Detmers, and a controversial on-screen fellatio performed by Detmers (a mainstream actress) the Italian version gained wide publicity and audience footfall. By contrast, the Australian director Scott Murray despite having the delectable Katia Caballero just could not woo enough of an audience (apart from India perhaps, which is about the only place I think this film is remembered).
For my money the Australian film has much to commend it -- less flashy, more sensitive, and truer to the book. Katia is sensual and alluring as the lonely young married woman faced with adoration and temptation, the sixteen year old boy is charmingly naive and awkward (unlike as in the Italian version), and Murray directs with a steady hand. But the film unfortunately simply did not get the exposure it deserved. A feeble late attempt at resuscitating fortunes by changing the title to "Beyond Innocence" did not work either. Over time, Murray faded away from directing cinema and Katia went off to TV.
I really wonder if the timing of this film had not clashed with the Italian one whether things would have worked out differently... We shall never know, shall we? I have been unsuccessfully trying to find a copy of this film for years -- if someone comes across it please do let me know. I would very much like to see it again.
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