Before “Fifty Shades Of Grey “
Much has been written about Fifty Shades Of Grey, the huge bestseller that now stands poised for big screen success.
Thirty years before Fifty Shades of Grey, another risque love story shocked (and titillated) movie audiences.
Shot in 1984 by English director Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction, Unfaithful), 9½ Weeks starred Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger as a pair of yuppies.
In the 1980s, Adrian Lyne’s 9 1/2 Weeks – based on an intriguing memoir, written under a pseudonym – explored some of the same terrain as Fifty Shades, with a central female character plunged into a world of luxury and control, dominance and submission. Recently divorced Elizabeth (Kim Basinger) works at a New York art gallery; John (Mickey Rourke) is a wealthy financier who swiftly draws her into an erotic tangle of game-playing. He softens her up in a range of ways; when they are alone together in an isolated location, he makes a point of highlighting how vulnerable she is. He gets a fairground attendant to maroon her on a ferris wheel. He blindfolds her. Does this frighten you, he asks. Does this excite you? And it’s yes to both.
He cooks for her, dresses her, cossets her; and their sexual encounters become riskier and more exploratory. There are scenes that are virtually music video clips, with Roxy Music’s Slave To Love and Joe Cocker’s You Can Leave Your Hat On as quasi-narrative elements. Gradually, the stakes are raised, and the games take on a harsher edge, before Elizabeth makes a crucial choice.
Kim Basinger is beautiful ! Blonde, with full sensuous lips and a certain subtle luminescence to her skin, she projects an air of sexuality mixed with an almost childlike vulnerability that reminds some viewers of Marilyn Monroe.
But 9 1/2 Weeks did not get the hype or best-selling status that Fifty Shades of Grey is getting.
The film was a box office disappointment in the United States, grossing only less than $7 million at the box office on a $17 million budget. It also received mixed to negative reviews at the time of its release. However the film was a huge success internationally, particularly in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom making $100 million worldwide and acquired a large fanbase on video/DVD.
After 9 1/2 Weeks ..
In 1991 Rourke, who had trained as a boxer in his early years, left acting and became a professional boxer for a time.
After retiring from boxing in 1994, Rourke returned to acting and had supporting roles in several films, including the drama The Rainmaker (1997), the comedy-drama Buffalo ’66 (1998), the thriller-remake of Get Carter (2000), the mystery film The Pledge (2001), the crime dark comedy-drama Spun (2002), the action film Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003) and the action thriller Man on Fire (2004), playing the role of a corrupt lawyer.
In 2005 Rourke made his comeback in mainstream Hollywood circles with a lead role in the neo-noir action thriller Sin City, for which he won awards from the Chicago Film Critics Association, the Irish Film and Television Awards, and the Online Film Critics Society.
In the 2008 film The Wrestler, Rourke portrayed a past-his-prime wrestler, and received a 2009 Golden Globe award, a BAFTA award, and a nomination for an Academy Award. In 2010 he appeared as the main villain in the superhero movie Iron Man 2 and had a small role in Sylvester Stallone’s action film The Expendables.
On November 28, 2014, Rourke briefly returned to the boxing ring and fought 29 year old Elliot Seymour in Moscow, Russia. It was Rourke’s first boxing match in over 20 years.
Several directors cast her twice in their films, including Blake Edwards for The Man Who Loved Women (1983) and Blind Date (1987) and Robert Altman for Fool for Love (1985) and Prêt-à-Porter (1994). The highest-grossing film of her career thus far was Tim Burton’s 1989 blockbuster Batman, where Basinger played the role of photojournalist Vicki Vale.
In 1992, Basinger was a guest vocalist on a re-recorded version of Was (Not Was)’s “Shake Your Head”, which also featured Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, and reached the UK Top 5.
In 1997, after a three-year hiatus from acting, Basinger made a comeback as the femme fatale in Curtis Hanson’s neo-noir L.A. Confidential alongside Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe. She initially turned down the film twice, feeling an insecurity at returning to the screen and enjoying motherhood. The role earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, as well as the Golden Globe and Screen Actor’s Guild Award.
In a 2000 interview with Charlie Rose, Basinger said that L.A. Confidential and her next project, I Dreamed of Africa (2000), were the most pleasurable of her career and that the cast were all there for the right reasons.
Hanson cast her again, as Eminem’s alcoholic mother in the hit film 8 Mile (2002). In 2004, Basinger starred opposite Jon Foster in The Door in the Floor, a drama with heavy sexual themes adapted from the novel A Widow for One Year by John Irving.
Basinger’s more recent work in the 2010s includes Charlie St. Cloud (2010) and Grudge Match (2013).
In 2012 BLACK NOVEMBER Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger starred in political drama ‘Black November’.
9½ Weeks stars Kim and Mickey have experimented with a number of looks since 1986 – and, in Mickey’s case, not all of them good
9 1/2 Weeks – Memorable Scenes