In six stories set in different eras, a mostly cheerful insight into the oldest trade in the world is given. The story begins in the Stone Age when the pretty Brit realizes how children really come into being and one can demand something in return for the sexual intercourse. In ancient Rome, Caesar Flavius is bored by his wife and longs for an exotic beauty. But the visit to the brothel ends differently than expected. In the Renaissance, the prostitute Mimi is quite laid-back, but when a man comes along and tells her that he has now come to great wealth, she falls for him completely. In the 19th century, the prostitute Nini accidentally discovers that her client is a rich banker. She pretends that she is a decent woman, which goes so far that she actually pays him. The banker is completely enchanted by Nini. In modern Paris, two women use a coroner's hearse to work undercover as prostitutes. In the future, Demetrius lands on earth, but he is not satisfied, because there are robot women who are only specialized in sexual intercourse, but he longs for a deeper relationship.
It is somewhat surprising that a film that deals with prostitution and stars like Michèle Mercier, Jeanne Moreau and Raquel Welch in somewhat permissive roles is quite unknown. The first five episodes are quite light and amusingly staged and only slightly suggestive. You don't have to expect naked details here, but everything is staged with a slight wink. The last episode by Jean-Luc Godard is a bit unusual and doesn't really fit into the rest of the movie, as it is very abstract and serious. Nevertheless, it's a great, easy to enjoy movie that deserves to be seen.
In the US, the film was released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber. It was based on the transfer of the French Blu-ray, which was released by Gaumont in 2016. There are two cuts of the film on the US Blu-ray. On the one hand, there is the uncut French version with French sound and optional English subtitles, and on the other hand, there is the highly shortened US version, which only offers the English sound. For the US version, the same transfer was used as for the French version and the scenes for which no English sound exists were removed. The US version has been reconstructed based on the French version. Mainly plot scenes are missing in the US version, because the US audience could not be trusted with 115 minutes. Affected by the cuts are the stories from the stone age, ancient Rome, modern Paris and the last one from the future. The episodes from the Renaissance and the 19th century are complete. The cuts are set quite well, so that many of the flaws are not noticeable if you don't know the uncut version, but you should always use the French cut.
US version: 93:31 min. / French version: 115:57 min.
In the French version, the last episode is in black and white. Apparently, the US audience couldn't be forced to watch it, because all other parts were in color, so they decided to colorize this part as well. When the prostitute undresses, the picture was further alienated, probably to hide her naked breasts a bit. The part of the scene when the woman walks naked through the room was completely cut out of the film, as you can read below.
Brit refers to children as being products of sexual intercourse. Rak does not understand what she means while she has to pose for him. She tells him that children are created through the act of intercourse. He doesn't believe this, but believes in the forces of nature as the cause of origin. Brit shakes her head and repeats that children are fathered by men. Rak asks where she got this idea from. Brit replies that she has observed the sheep that gave birth to a lamb 5 months after mating. Rak is angry at the idea that sheep would be equated to men, as they cannot draw portraits either.
The US starts only when he stands up and says that he doesn't feel like painting anymore.
Uncut: 1:50 min.
Brit and Rak walk along the stand and see various children and adults playing together. He tells her not to tell anyone about her idea, otherwise it would ruin all the fun for them, as the men would want to stay with the children if they knew they were their offspring. The children would then no longer belong to the tribe but to their parents. He asks one more time if she does not want to sleep with him.
Uncut: 55 sec.
While Rak smears himself with paint, he tells her to forget about the sheep and men.
Uncut: 19 sec.
Rak is beginning to understand the concept of love for sale. Brit thinks that Rak was right about sheep and men and that they are indeed very different.
Uncut: 32 sec.
The poet raves even more about the beauty of the woman, which ends with a long enumeration.
Uncut: 14 sec.
The woman's dance goes on. One of the guests complains that the party is quite sparse and he must probably go home hungry. Then the guests remark that the emperor was taken with the exotic beauty of his wife Domitilla. Other guests talk about the fact that the emperor might be in financial difficulties because he does not lend them any more money. The emperor complains about the dance and the bad orchestra and asks for the rose petals. As it turns out, the leaves were eaten by a hungry slave. The emperor wants the slave to be thrown to the eels for food, but the eels were already on the menu for the evening.
Uncut: 2:12 min.
The guests are leaving. The emperor asks the poet if he has eaten anything yet and offers him fruit from his garden.
Uncut: 17 sec.
The emperor narrates that in Augustus' time, there were significantly excessive spectacles and today everything is a little more slumbering. It's the same with love and he craves a seductress.
Uncut: 17 sec.
The emperor is petrified by Domitilla's appearance. She asks him if he has nothing to say, which he confirms.
Uncut: 15 sec.
People walk the streets in disguise. The poet tells the emperor that at this time of celebration, various disguises are possible, that women also dress as men and men as women, but the emperor only wants to go to the Greek prostitute. The poet tells him the way, but tells him to be careful because of the disguises, as this has already been his downfall in the past.
Uncut: 1:20 min.
The camera pans over the hustle and bustle in the brothel. The emperor says he likes it already.
Uncut: 15 sec.
The dance in the brothel starts much earlier. The emperor watches with interest.
Uncut: 36 sec.
The dance goes on. Minerva comes to the poet who says he has a friend with him. He introduces Minerva. Minerva welcomes him and offers him a very special woman. The emperor is interested.
Uncut: 50 sec.
Minerva wishes the emperor good luck.
Uncut: 4 sec.
Some scenes are missing right at the beginning of the story. The man goes for a walk with his dog and describes how he noticed a car with two women following him.
Uncut: 50 sec.
The man tells how the woman admires the dog and asks for its name.
Uncut: 9 sec.
The women play the joke twice more on the man by driving away with the car, but then catch up with him again while he runs after them.
Uncut: 16 sec.
The three of them drive off in the car. Catherine says she's French and her friend Nadia is Russian. Nadia says they complement each other well. Catherine has the beauty and she has the brains. Catherine says she's had lots of good ideas.
Uncut: 37 sec.
Nadia rings the doorbell of Leskov, who opens the door somewhat sleepily. She says she has a client for him. Nadia discovers that the furniture is missing, which Leskov had to sell out of necessity. She tells him to clean up his act since the client is about to arrive. She looks out the window and sees Catherine arriving. She asks downstairs for Leskov, the lawyer. Since there is no elevator, she must take the stairs. Inside the apartment, Catherine is horrified by the state of his apartment. When she tries to sit down on a sofa, it collapses. Catherine flees the apartment because she has no confidence in the lawyer. Leskov appears and is not impressed by the broken furniture. He asks if Nadia is still singing, but she says that this is a thing of the past. Catherine runs downstairs but reconsiders.
Uncut: 3:21 min.
Catherine talks to a man from the ambulance and asks him if he is interested. The man says that he is not ill, so the two ladies explain what they really want. The man is terrified and walks away. Catherine yells at Nadia because the idea seems to be no good.
Uncut: 55 sec.
The plane is landing. A female voice tells that the radioactive level is ok and that the Inter Superjet has landed from Orbital Station 12 and is connecting several galaxies.
Uncut: 33 sec.
The woman being checked is led into a separate area by a police officer. The woman's voice reports some details about the two people being taken away.
The drawing of a naked woman can be seen.
Demetrius looks at another picture, while the woman sees only lightly dressed men in her magazine. A police woman takes the woman with her while Demetrius is picked up by a policeman after they point to a picture in their magazines. Shots from the airport can be seen. Demetrius is taken to a hotel. A bellhop leads him to a room.
Uncut: 3:13 min.
The bellboy takes various items from the chest of drawers while Demetrius takes off his jacket. The bellboy leaves and the man runs into the bathroom.
Uncut: 41 sec.
The woman prepares the bed and draws the curtains.
Uncut: 25 sec.
The woman runs out of the bathroom naked.
Uncut: 3 sec.
The man sits in the room after the woman has been taken away. Then we see the plane earlier.
Uncut: 16 sec.
Eleanor says she acts normal when she's looking for lovers. And she pulls the curtain.
Uncut: 27 sec.
Eleanor says she's found her love and won't let him go. Demetrius drinks motor oil. Eleanor reports that her having sex is like a hidden garden.
Uncut: 31 sec.