9½ Weeks  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

9½ Weeks is a 1986 erotic drama film, starring Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger.

It was directed by English filmmaker Adrian Lyne and based on the novella of the same title by Elizabeth McNeill (pseudonym). The film took $7m in USA box office receipts alone, but was very badly received by critics. Video sales and rentals, as well as international viewings, were extremely strong, and the film has been repeatedly screened on US cable.

9½ Weeks is known for its erotic sadomasochistic content.



The title of the film refers to the duration of a relationship between Wall Street arbitrageur John Gray (Mickey Rourke) and divorced SoHo art gallery employee Elizabeth McGraw (Kim Basinger). The two meet and have a volatile and somewhat kinky sex life.

They try a variety of sexual and erotic acts, such as a scene in which John titillates a blindfolded Elizabeth's body with ice; a scene in which John spoonfeeds Elizabeth various kinds of food while her eyes are closed; a scene in which Elizabeth takes off a tuxedo and fake moustache and has sex with John in a rainy alley; and Basinger's striptease to Randy Newman's "You Can Leave Your Hat On", as performed by Joe Cocker. Most of these erotic scenes were parodied or served as the inspiration for some music videos, like Sheena Easton's 1989 song "Days Like This" and Sarah Connor's 2007 "Sexual Healing".

The film details a sexual downward spiral as John pushes Elizabeth's boundaries toward her eventual emotional breakdown. He often manipulates her into getting what he wants during sex and sometimes abuses her.



9½ Weeks has a mixed 62% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert gave the film three and half stars, stating: "A lot of the success of "9½ Weeks" is because Rourke and Basinger make the characters and their relationship convincing". He further elaborated by saying that their relationship was believable, and unlike many other characters in other erotic films at that time, the characters in this movie are much more real and human.

The film was nominated for three categories in the 1986 Golden Raspberry Awards, Worst Actress (Kim Basinger), Worst Original Song (Jonathan Elias, John Taylor, Michael Des Barres), and Worst Screenplay (Patricia Louisianna Knop, Zalman King, Sarah Kernochan).

Soundtrack and score

The main single released from the 9½ Weeks: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was "I Do What I Do," performed by Duran Duran bassist John Taylor, giving his first solo singing performance during a hiatus in Duran Duran's career. The song reached #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #42 on the UK Singles Chart. Music for the score was composed by Taylor and Jonathan Elias. Original music for the movie was also written by Jack Nitzsche, but his compositions are not included on the soundtrack.

The soundtrack also included tracks from Luba, Bryan Ferry, Dalbello, Corey Hart, Joe Cocker, Devo, Eurythmics and Stewart Copeland. Winston Grennan's reggae "Savior" as well as Jean Michel Jarre's "Arpegiator," played during the sex scene on the stairs in the rain, were not included on the record.

Sequel and prequel

In 1997, a sequel appeared direct-to-video called Another 9½ Weeks, starring Mickey Rourke and Angie Everhart and directed by Anne Goursaud. In 1998, a straight-to-video prequel was made called The First 9½ Weeks, but it did not include any of the original actors.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "9½ Weeks" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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