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Ecstasy [Import]

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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1 used from CDN$ 23.99

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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Language: French, German
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Madacy Records
  • VHS Release Date: Sept. 19 1997
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • ASIN: 6303935184
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

It is one of the notorious titles in all cinema history, but--sigh--it looks rather quaint today. In the mid-1930s, Ecstasy was a great conversation piece, for its scandalous acknowledgment of sexual passion in women and its revelation of the naked form of actress Hedy Kiesler, who would become the Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr. Henry Miller even wrote an excited essay about it, sure proof that something libidinous was loose. Czech director Gustav Machatý constructs the movie as an almost wordless shadow play of symbols and signs, mostly sexual (there are many close-ups of heavy-breathing horses and nude statues, cut together for maximum erotic impact). As precious as some of these things seem now, it's still amazing to consider Machatý's nerve in depicting one of the first orgasms to hit the movies. And then there's Hedy, whose expressive eyes matter more than her brief skinny-dip. She's an unmistakable future star. --Robert Horton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This movie, starring a young Hedy Lamarr is proof of how sexual old films could be without showing much!
Ecstasy is basically the story of a young girl who marries an old guy (though they don't really explain why she did in the first place). He isn't at all interested in her on their wedding night...he isn't really interested in her at all! The simple prettiness of Hedy makes her seem like a girl you yourself would know and it makes it that much easier to feel all the emotions she is feeling. I was a little confused as to why there were silent parts (without even the use of dialogue boxes) and also talking parts. I personally liked the silent scenes. Hedy was a wonderful actress and her face alone could tell the entire story.
Anyways, after she requests a divorce from her husband, she lives with her father and while out alone one day, she decides to go swimming in the nude (this scene was blown way out of proportion; yes, she was naked, but I thought it was done very tastefully and you really don't see much). I won't give away all that happens, but by the end of that scene she meets a very VERY handsome land surveyor, who is everything she's searching for. After this initial meeting she later goes to his home and this results in the first on-screen orgasm, which was done simply showing Hedy's face, and it became, in my opinion, the hottest love scene ever!
Overall, this movie was excellent, though it should probably be seen more than once to see every little erotic message the director put in there. I would have given it five stars, but I didn't care for the ending. But please don't let that keep you from seeing this film! It is still wonderful!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa537ce64) out of 5 stars 21 reviews
108 of 108 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb6b2eb10) out of 5 stars A novelty every collector should have Feb. 15 2000
By William R. Ray - Published on Amazon.com
This film has so many versions that it's hard to say which one you will get. The original is quite spicy with several nude scenes of Hedy Geisler (Hedy Lamar). The sound track is primitive with just a little dialog or, depending on which cut, no dialog. This film was made just into the sound era in Chechoslovakia. As a collectors' item, it is a must for classic film buffs, not for its quality or filmaking technique but for its impact on movie censorship in the US. The theme here is adultry. Hedy plays a young new wife to an older cold fish. Fustrated on her wedding night, she embarks on various endeavors clearly motivated by sexual fustration. The nude swim after a horseback ride is what all the hoopla was about. The horse runs away carrying our girl's clothes. From this point on, various versions carry various degrees of Hedy depending on which cut you get. I have 2, one purchased commercially in 1975 and another obtained later from a private collector. The second has much more nudity than the first. While hiding in the woods, Hedy meets a young surveyor and a liason blossoms. You'll have to buy the film to find out what happens. I would buy this film, especially if you haven't seen it. Although tame by modern standards, it had 'em gasping in 1933.
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb6b2ef18) out of 5 stars Four and a half stars! Dec 4 2003
By Carrie Elizabeth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This movie, starring a young Hedy Lamarr is proof of how sexual old films could be without showing much!
Ecstasy is basically the story of a young girl who marries an old guy (though they don't really explain why she did in the first place). He isn't at all interested in her on their wedding night...he isn't really interested in her at all! The simple prettiness of Hedy makes her seem like a girl you yourself would know and it makes it that much easier to feel all the emotions she is feeling. I was a little confused as to why there were silent parts (without even the use of dialogue boxes) and also talking parts. I personally liked the silent scenes. Hedy was a wonderful actress and her face alone could tell the entire story.
Anyways, after she requests a divorce from her husband, she lives with her father and while out alone one day, she decides to go swimming in the nude (this scene was blown way out of proportion; yes, she was naked, but I thought it was done very tastefully and you really don't see much). I won't give away all that happens, but by the end of that scene she meets a very VERY handsome land surveyor, who is everything she's searching for. After this initial meeting she later goes to his home and this results in the first on-screen orgasm, which was done simply showing Hedy's face, and it became, in my opinion, the hottest love scene ever!
Overall, this movie was excellent, though it should probably be seen more than once to see every little erotic message the director put in there. I would have given it five stars, but I didn't care for the ending. But please don't let that keep you from seeing this film! It is still wonderful!
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb6b2ef9c) out of 5 stars One star for film quality March 19 2005
By David E. Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was amazed by some of the camerawork in this film, enjoyed the inclusion of nudity and sensuality, and was awed by the forceful (propaganda?) images of manual laborers towards the end. The story is simple, but involving. If the film quality were good, I would give this film four or five stars. But I must warn you that while quite a few films this old have survived the ravages of time, or have been restored in one way or another, this film is in absolutely dreadful condition. The soundtrack hisses and rattles (deranging the music, since there is practically no dialogue), and the celluoid is thoroughly scratched, not to mention split asunder by occasional "thunderbolts." Perhaps it would have been too expensive to attempt a complete restoration of this particular film, but for the high price of the DVD, you'd expect some attempt to correct at least some of the damage. (Note: Anyone wishing to buy this strictly for the nude scenes will be largely disappointed because the nudity is mostly distant, and the film quality leaves most of the details to the viewer's imagination.) "Extase" definitely merits restoration, if it is feasible. As it is, the film quality so distracts from the viewing experience that it's painful to watch.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb6b2ef84) out of 5 stars A Pleasant Surprise June 30 2006
By Socrates53 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I purchased this flick because it has a notorious reputation, and my reaction was, "Yeah, Right. How wild could a 1932 movie be?" Admittedly, Heddy Lamarr is shown swimming and running through a forest in the nude, and there is a love scene where she reportedly has the first orgasm ever filmed, but these scenes really contribute to a sense of naturalness to the film that I didn't find nasty or lewd....just artful. The use of visual symbols throughout the film is rich, clever,and quite accessable to a modern mind, unlike other films approaching it's time. I'm not a great scholar of films from the 30's, but I was reminded of clips I had seen of Leni Riefenstal's film, "Olympia." There is little dialog, which is in German, although the film is subtitled, but that really removes what would otherwise distract one from enjoying the visual wealth of this film. The soundtrack is well in synchronized with the film in both timing and mood. Altogether and interesting addition to any collection.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5c57360) out of 5 stars It all started with a skin flick. Jan. 1 2013
By Deartie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Admittedly, these are not my words, but are very interesting none-the less:

In 1933, a beautiful, young Austrian woman took off her clothes for a movie director. She ran through the woods, naked. She swam in a lake, naked. Pushing well beyond the social norms of the period, the movie also featured a simulated orgasm. To make the scene "vivid," the director reportedly stabbed the actress with a sharp pin just off-screen.

The most popular movie in 1933 was King Kong. But everyone in Hollywood was talking about that scandalous movie with the gorgeous, young Austrian woman.

Louis B. Mayer, of the giant studio MGM, said she was the most beautiful woman in the world. The film was banned practically everywhere, which of course made it even more popular and valuable. Mussolini reportedly refused to sell his copy at any price.

The star of the film, called Ecstasy, was Hedwig Kiesler. She said the secret of her beauty was "to stand there and look stupid." In reality, Kiesler was anything but stupid. She was a genius. She'd grown up as the only child of a prominent Jewish banker. She was a math prodigy. She excelled at science. As she grew older, she became ruthless, using all the power her body and mind gave her.

Between the sexual roles she played, her tremendous beauty, and the power of her intellect, Kiesler would confound the men in her life, including her six husbands, two of the most ruthless dictators of the 20th century, and one of the greatest movie producers in history.

Her beauty made her rich for a time. She is said to have made - and spent - $30 million in her life. But her greatest accomplishment resulted from her intellect, and her invention continues to shape the world we live in today.

You see, this young Austrian starlet would take one of the most valuable technologies ever developed right from under Hitler's nose. After fleeing to America , she not only became a major Hollywood star, her name sits on one of the most important patents ever granted by the U.S. Patent Office.

Today, when you use your cell phone or, over the next few years, as you experience super-fast wireless Internet access (via something called "long-term evolution" or "LTE" technology), you'll be using an extension of the technology a 20- year-old actress first conceived while sitting at dinner with Hitler.

At the time she made Ecstasy, Kiesler was married to one of the richest men in Austria . Friedrich Mandl was Austria 's leading arms maker. His firm would become a key supplier to the Nazis.

Mandl used his beautiful young wife as a showpiece at important business dinners with representatives of the Austrian, Italian, and German fascist forces. One of Mandl's favorite topics at these gatherings - which included meals with Hitler and Mussolini - was the technology surrounding radio-controlled missiles and torpedoes. Wireless weapons offered far greater ranges than the wire-controlled alternatives that prevailed at the time.

Kiesler sat through these dinners "looking stupid," while absorbing everything she heard.

As a Jew, Kiesler hated the Nazis. She abhorred her husband's business ambitions. Mandl responded to his wilful wife by imprisoning her in his castle, Schloss Schwarzenau. In 1937, she managed to escape. She drugged her maid, snuck out of the castle wearing the maid's clothes, and sold her jewelry to finance a trip to London .

(She got out just in time. In 1938, Germany annexed Austria . The Nazis seized Mandl's factory. He was half Jewish. Mandl fled to Brazil . Later, he became an adviser to Argentina 's iconic populist president, Juan Peron.)

In London , Kiesler arranged a meeting with Louis B. Mayer. She signed a long-term contract with him, becoming one of MGM's biggest stars. She appeared in more than 20 films. She was a co-star to Clark Gable, Judy Garland, and even Bob Hope. Each of her first seven MGM movies was a blockbuster.

But Kiesler cared far more about fighting the Nazis than about making movies. At the height of her fame, in 1942, she developed a new kind of communications system, optimized for sending coded messages that couldn't be "jammed." She was building a system that would allow torpedoes and guided bombs to always reach their targets. She was building a system to kill Nazis.

By the 1940s, both the Nazis and the Allied forces were using the kind of single- frequency radio-controlled technology Kiesler's ex-husband had been peddling. The drawback of this technology was that the enemy could find the appropriate frequency and "jam" or intercept the signal, thereby interfering with the missile's intended path.

Kiesler's key innovation was to "change the channel." It was a way of encoding a message across a broad area of the wireless spectrum. If one part of the spectrum was jammed, the message would still get through on one of the other frequencies being used. The problem was, she could not figure out how to synchronize the frequency changes on both the receiver and the transmitter. To solve the problem, she turned to perhaps the world's first techno-musician, George Anthiel.

Anthiel was an acquaintance of Kiesler who achieved some notoriety for creating intricate musical compositions. He synchronized his melodies across twelve player pianos, producing stereophonic sounds no one had ever heard before. Kiesler incorporated Anthiel's technology for synchronizing his player pianos. Then, she was able to synchronize the frequency changes between a weapon's receiver and its transmitter.

On August 11, 1942, U.S. Patent No. 2,292,387 was granted to Antheil and "Hedy Kiesler Markey," which was Kiesler's married name at the time.

Most of you won't recognize the name Kiesler. And no one would remember the name Hedy Markey. But it's a fair bet than anyone reading this newsletter of a certain age will remember one of the great beauties of Hollywood's golden age ~ Hedy Lamarr. That's the name Louis B. Mayer gave to his prize actress. That's the name his movie company made famous.

Meanwhile, almost no one knows Hedwig Kiesler - aka Hedy Lamarr - was one of the great pioneers of wireless communications. Her technology was developed by the U.S. Navy, which has used it ever since.

You're probably using Lamarr's technology, too. Her patent sits at the foundation of "spread spectrum technology," which you use every day when you log on to a wi- fi network or make calls with your Bluetooth-enabled phone. It lies at the heart of the massive investments being made right now in so-called fourth-generation "LTE" wireless technology. This next generation of cell phones and cell towers will provide tremendous increases to wireless network speed and quality, by spreading wireless signals across the entire available spectrum. This kind of encoding is only possible using the kind of frequency switching that Hedwig Kiesler invented.



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