Posted: 07/11/2010


Joy and Joy and Joan - US Release

by Elaine Hegwood Bowen

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For the first time in the U.S. – the original uncut and uncensored French versions of the erotic classics JOY and its sequel JOY AND JOAN are available on DVD.

Adapted for the screen from Joy Laurey’s popular erotic novels, JOY (1983) and JOY AND JOAN (1985) became international sensations in the early ’80s thanks to their daring depiction of sexuality, seductive tone and stylish, sensuous settings. Joy received excellent reviews and had a successful box office run upon its release in France in 1983. It has a tone and style similar to Adrian Lyne’s 9 ½ Weeks, which came out in 1986 and starred Kim Basinger. The Joy films rank as two of the era’s best and mark the end of the golden age of big-budget erotic films like The Story of O and the Emmanuelle series.

Both reissued films have been restored from their original negatives and contain footage previously unreleased in the U.S. Fittingly, JOY was restored using a print discovered in the screening room of a Paris brothel, while JOY AND JOAN was restored from a print seized in a Marseilles vice raid. JOY boasts an additional 12 minutes of footage, including the complete ‘secret orgy dungeon’ sequence.
The DVD also features an interview with the film’s star Claudia Udy, her first on the subject since she quit the business more than 15 years ago. JOY AND JOAN includes five minutes of film never before released in America, including the complete ‘Philippine sex grotto’ sequence.

In JOY, Joy isn’t sure just what she wants after living a childhood in which her father abandoned her. She’s a model and an actress, and she’s known for going to the art gallery with one man and leaving with another. Her sexual appetite seems to be unfulfilled, until she meets Marc. But the only sticky issue with Marc is that he already has someone. And as luck would have it, Joy really loves Marc and misses him dearly while she’s on location in New York City shooting a film.

I’m uncertain as to whether Joy gravitated toward Marc, because he was an older, refined man, to whom she may have clung because he reminded her of her father. Or whether he caught her at the right time, between other men and piqued her curiosity enough that she fell for him. Their relationship goes good enough until after Joy returns from New York. Once she returns to Paris, she sees that Marc is willing to “lend” her out to other men, as evidenced in the ‘secret orgy dungeon’ sequence, which isn’t so secret in the movie. But it’s certainly not for the faint at heart.
In the end, Joy finds joy, but in an unlikely place and in an unlikely location.

Each DVD will be available on July 27. For more information, visit Web site The movie is presented in French with English subtitles.

Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago.

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