The Image (1975 film)

The Image is a 1975 American adult drama that was re-released in an edited version in 1976. The film is also known by two other titles: The Punishment of Anne and The Mistress and the Slave and was directed by Radley Metzger.[1][2][3][4] The film is based upon the classic 1956 sadomasochistic novel L'Image, written by Catherine Robbe-Grillet[5] and published under the pseudonym of "Jean de Berg".[3]

The Image
Original film DVD cover
Directed byRadley Metzger
Produced byGill Champion
Written byRadley Metzger
(as "Jake Barnes")
Catherine Robbe-Grillet
StarringCarl Parker
Marilyn Roberts
Rebecca Brooke
Valerie Marron
CinematographyRené Lefèvre
Gaston Muller
Distributed bySynapse Films
Release date
February 1976
Running time
89 minutes
LanguageEnglish, French


Jean, a middle-aged writer living in Paris, meets an old friend, Claire, and is soon drawn into her world of sadomasochism along with Claire's younger partner Anne.


The film is divided in 10 chapters, titles in white letters on a black background:

  1. An Evening at the X...'s
  2. The Roses in Bagatelle Gardens
  3. Too Much Water and Its Consequences
  4. False Starts
  5. The Photographs
  6. An Expiatory Sacrifice
  7. The Fitting Room
  8. In the Bathroom
  9. The Gothic Chamber
  10. Everything Resolves Itself


  • Carl Parker as Jean
  • Marilyn Roberts as Claire
  • Mary Mendum (Rebecca Brooke) as Anne[5][6] then Metzger's girlfriend[3]
  • Valerie Marron as a Salesgirl


  • "Anyone into sado-masochism will get obvious fulfillment by watching the surface physical thrills that Metzger provides. The true fulfillment for this viewer was delving deeper into the themes of dominance and submission that the characters were exploring in their relationships." – Boris Lugosi[7]
  • "This is a must own for anyone interested in the fetishes portrayed (graphic oral sex, bondage, whipping, and urination), and also for those who would like to see what quality porn can look like."[8]


The Image received mixed critical reviews.[9][10][11] Buzz Burgess of DVDTalk gave the film four out of five stars for content, stating that "Metzger [...] has created a piece argued by some to be the best erotic film ever made."[9] Charles Tatum, of disliked the film, awarding it just two out of five stars, citing a lack of substance, "The Image is just that- pretty pictures of pretty people whipping each other during sexual sessions. Its infamy is understandable, but not deserved."[11] Michael Den Boer praised the actor's performances, especially Brooke's, even implying that she carried the film with her portrayal of Anne.[12] Although initially praised in Germany, the film became controversial later, and withdrawn from circulation.[13]


The film The Image was released during the Golden Age of Porn (inaugurated by the 1969 release of Andy Warhol's Blue Movie) in the United States, at a time of "porno chic",[14][15] in which adult erotic films were just beginning to be widely released, publicly discussed by celebrities (like Johnny Carson and Bob Hope)[16] and taken seriously by film critics (like Roger Ebert).[17][18]

Blu-ray release

In 2011, Synapse Films re-released The Image on Blu-ray and DVD.[19] The original 35mm negatives were scanned to facilitate the high definition release.[19][20] In addition to the visual remastering, the audio was also reworked for the re-release, adding DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 to the Blu-ray.[19][20] Synapse also created new cover art for the re-release.[19]

See also


  1. Bentley, Toni (June 2014). "The Legend of Henry Paris". Playboy. Archived from the original on 4 February 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  2. Bentley, Toni (June 2014). "The Legend of Henry Paris" (PDF). Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  3. "Venus Revealed: The Pubic Wars 4 1972 Part 2". Venus Observations. Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  4. Pryce. "Laura's Toys". Sex Gore Mutants. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  5. "Tuesday Morning Foreign Region DVD Report: "Thundercrack!" (Curt McDowell, 1975)". MUBI. 3 August 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  6. Lentz III, Harris M. (2013). Obituaries in the Performing Arts. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co. p. 197. ISBN 9780786470631. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  7. Lugosi, Boris. "The Punishment of Anne (1976)". Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  8. "Tuna" und Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy), The Image (1998)
  9. Burgess, Buzz (21 October 2002). "DVD Video Reviews: The Image". Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  10. Baty, Greg (18 May 2011). "The Image (1975, Review) Synapse Blu-ray". Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  11. Tatum, Charles (5 January 2011). "Image, The". HBS Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  12. Den Boer, Michael (2 May 2011). "Image, The (BluRay)". Retrieved 17 July 2013. So much of this film relies on her performance and she does not disappoint.
  13. Koch, Marco (4 June 2014). "Radley Metzgers Meisterwerk "The Image" in Deutschland beschlagnahmt". (in German). Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  14. Blumenthal, Ralph (21 January 1973). "Porno chic; 'Hard-core' grows fashionable-and very profitable". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  15. Porno Chic (
  16. Corliss, Richard (29 March 2005). "That Old Feeling: When Porno Was Chic". Time. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  17. Ebert, Roger (13 June 1973). "The Devil In Miss Jones - Film Review". Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  18. Ebert, Roger (24 November 1976). "Alice in Wonderland:An X-Rated Musical Fantasy". Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  19. Thompson, Nathaniel. "Mondo-Digital Review: The Image". Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  20. Atanasov, Dr. Svet (11 June 2011). "The Image Blu-ray Review". Retrieved 17 July 2013.

Further reading

  • Cook, David A. (2002). History of the American cinema. 9. University of California Press. pp. 274–275. ISBN 0-520-23265-8.
  • Heffernan, Kevin, "A social poetics of pornography", Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Volume 15, Issue 3, December 1994, pp. 77–83. doi:10.1080/10509209409361441.
  • Lehman, Peter, Pornography: film and culture, Rutgers depth of field series, Rutgers University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-8135-3871-8.
  • Williams, Linda, Hard core: power, pleasure, and the "frenzy of the visible", University of California Press, 1999, ISBN 0-520-21943-0.
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