1968 Twenty-five Years Ago

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The revolution in film that had begun the year before with the institution of a ratings system had brought immediate effects: swearing and increasingly naked and exotic situations in American film. November saw the release of The Killing of Sister George , a seduction story about two women (Coral Browne and Susannah York). What was different about the film was its established director, Robert Aldrich (known for another offbeat story about two women, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? ), and its presentation as mainstream cinema. In Life magazine Richard Schickel reviewed the film as the biggest and boldest of the recent “flock of films on lesbianism,” which included Les Biches and Thérèse et Isabelle . Aldrich hoped to dare Americans into the theater by promising that Sister George ’s wicked denouement, “Scene 176,” was “the most erotic, provocative English-language sex scene ever filmed.”