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Hysteria | 2012 | R | - 7.3.4

The true story of Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy) and his invention of the first mechanical stimulator for women that changed 19th century ideas of female sexuality and medical procedures. Also with Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce, Felicity Jones, Rupert Everett and Sheridan Smith. Directed by Tanya Wexler. [1:40]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - Throughout the movie we see a man performing manual stimulation on various women; no nudity is visible but we do hear the women reach climax, including a woman panting and moaning loudly as she reaches climax.
 An older man guides a man through the manual stimulation of a woman, he talks him through the procedure and we hear the woman moan slightly (no nudity is visible as the woman's lower half is covered by a tented brace); she climaxes loudly and shouts, accidentally kicking the older man (he falls over but is unharmed).
 A man uses a device to manually stimulate a woman as part of an experiment: the woman soon begins to moan suggestively and pant, a second man watches in surprise and an older woman overhears the sexual moaning. A woman begins to sing loudly as she reaches climax while two men and an older man use a mechanized device to manually stimulate her.
 We see an elderly woman in bed and it is implied that a man is under the covers when we hear a vibration sound; mechanical stimulation is implied. A woman stares longingly at a mechanical stimulation device and it is implied that she is about to use it on herself for sexual gratification.
 A woman makes a sexual pass at a man, implying that she can perform oral sex on him and the man turns her down and pushes her arms away. A woman drunkenly remarks that she has no underwear on, and asks a man if he'd like to see; the man declines. A man accidentally grabs a woman's breast (fully clothed) as she falls to the ground; he cups the woman's breasts a second time accidentally and acts embarrassed.
 As the credits roll we see various types of manual stimulation devices and see text explaining that personal massagers were and continue to be extremely popular.
 Two men tell an older man that a woman had released "praxes" (meaning climax) three times with the use of a device. A woman teases a man, saying that women can enjoy sexual pleasures after being diagnosed with "hysteria," which the woman remarks means not being pleasured by their husbands. A woman makes a remark about a man "pleasuring" women. A man testifies in front of a crowd of people that hysteria is false and that women are just not sexually gratified by their husbands. A man makes a crude remark about another man performing oral sex on women instead of manual stimulation. A man crudely remarks that all women want is male genitalia. An older woman implies that she has sexual feelings during the middle of the night. A woman tells an older man that she has had "distracting" thoughts (implied to be sexual thoughts). A man jokes with another man that he is "enjoying it too much" when a device he is holding starts to vibrate. An older man implies that a maid is a former prostitute.
 A woman wears a tight, cleavage exposing corset-style dress. A man and a woman share a passionate kiss and they hug.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A man grabs a woman, one man shoves and punches her as another holds her arms and we later see the woman with a cut on her eye and lip as she rushes into a party when two police officers come to arrest her; a second woman shouts and punches one police officer to the ground (the woman is later seen in jail).
 A woman shouts in pain, another woman explains to a man that the woman had broken her leg, the man twists the woman's ankle, we hear a snap and the woman passes out from pain and the other woman and the man apply a plaster cast to the woman's leg. We see a young woman with leeches on her arm and blood is seen coming from the wounds. A man warns a woman that she needs to change the bandages on an elderly woman's injured foot and that the elderly woman might have germs; the man begins to remove the dirty bandages from the elderly woman's feet, an older man warns him not to take off the bandages and instructs the man to "bleed a pint" and give her pills, and he shouts at the older man, saying that the leg is going to be rot. We very briefly see a man with blood covering his shirt; he is implied to be a doctor having just performed surgery.
 A woman storms out of a room and shouts at an older man. A woman shouts at her father on multiple occasions, storming out of a room and slamming the doors. A man shouts at another man stating that medicine as being practiced is only going to kill people.
 A woman tells a doctor that she occasionally has a vision of herself splitting his head open with an axe. A man tells an older man and his young adult daughter that his parents had died during a cholera outbreak. Throughout the movie an older man mentions the death of his wife. A young woman mentions to a man that her mother had died. A woman jokingly remarks that her father is not dead, however her mother is and will not be attending a party. A man declares that a woman is legally hysterical and that she needs to be granted an immediate hysterectomy and locked into a sanitarium; a judge declares that a woman does not need to be "maimed" and jails the woman for only thirty days. A man reads a woman's charges aloud, he explains that a woman had been arrested previously after resisting arrest, and was arrested for solicitation and for assaulting an officer. An older man explains to a man that women are suffering from hysteria, which leads to mental disorders and melancholia. A woman tells a man that children she works with have rickets and are suffering from malnutrition. A man offers to help an older man, saying that he wants to help patients in a way that cannot kill them and the older man jokes that he has never killed a patient. An older man tells a woman that she goes down streets at night that he fears walking down at night. A man playfully jokes with another man that he needs to be careful not to stab himself as he holds a knife.
 A man appears ill and we see him breathing vapors from a jar as he lies on a hospital bed. A man accidentally shocks himself as he tries to light a battery (he is unharmed).
 Throughout the movie we see people implied to be stepping in horse manure.


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LANGUAGE 4 - 7 sexual references, 2 anatomical terms, 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (selfish, prudish, erratic, volatile, villain, trollop, those people, hysterical, bloody dinosaur, wonderfully middle class, greedy pill pusher, draft horses of society, selfish), exclamations (bloody, bugger), 6 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - Men drink and toast with liquor, women and men drink wine at dinner, and a woman jokes that a man steadies himself with gin.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Medical revolution, phrenology, hysteria as a medical diagnosis, being an equal in marriage, suffrage, germs, medical advancements and technology.

MESSAGE - Medical technology has come a long way in the last hundred years or so.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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