Lipstick has pretensions of being an intelligent treatment of the tragedy of female rape. But by the time it’s over, the film has shown its true colors as just another cynical violence exploitationer.
David Rayfiel’s script tells how high-fashion model Margaux Hemingway is brutally assaulted by mild-mannered music teacher Chris Sarandon.
The early-on rape sequence (coming less than 20 minutes into the film) is really the dramatic highlight. Somehow one just knows that society’s procedures will degrade the rape victim and that the ending of the film will contrive some opportunity for partially justified violence.
Margaux Hemingway’s dramatic limitations lend more believability to the role. Sarandon’s performance is powerful in its quiet menace.
Paramount/De Laurentiis. Director Lamont Johnson; Producer Freddie Fields; Screenplay David Rayfiel; Camera Bill Butler, William A. Fraker; Editor Marion Rothman; Music Michel Polnareff, Jimmie Haskell; Art Director Robert Luthardt
(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1976. Running time: 89 MIN.
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