Lady Libertine is a French 1983 softcore erotic film directed by Gérard Kikoïne, based on the erotic Victorian spanking novel "Frank" and I (1902) by an anonymous author. The film was distributed by Playboy Enterprises and was also released in the U.S. and for TV under the title Frank and I.
The role of the orphan "Frank"/Frances was played by Jennifer Inch. Charles Beaumont (changed to Charles de Beaumont), the rich nobleman, was played by French actor Christopher Pearson. This was Jennifer Inch's first major film role. She starred two years later in the role of Ruby Gillis in the well-known TV film Anne of Green Gables.
Lady Libertine is the only mainstream film known that is based on a real spanking novel. Harry Alan Towers adapted the story for the film. Gérard Kikoïne had quite a large budget for this film and was assisted by French set designer Jean-Charles Dedieu. Therefore production values are quite good, especially since they involve a lot of period costumes and sets.
The film has the following spanking scenes:
- Caning of "Frank" by Charles de Beaumont: 16 strokes with a bamboo cane on her bare bottom, bent over a chair (M/f) — at the end of this caning, Charles discovers that "Frank" is a girl.
- Slippering of juvenile Frances in the brothel (bare bottom on a bed, F/f).
- Whipping scene in one of the tableaux vivants in the brothel (acted "prison CP" scene, standing chained to a wall, bare bottom, F/F).
- Slippering of Mrs. Leslie, the brothel owner, by Charles (off screen, only heard, M/F).
- Cropping of adult Frances by Charles (13 strokes with a riding crop, bare bottom, M/F). Video clip at Dailymotion
Differences from the novel
The film follows the plot of the novel closely, with a few exceptions:
- "Frank"/Frances is older and an already developed adolescent (in the film, "Frank"/Frances claims to be 16 and is played by the adult Jennifer Inch, whereas in the novel "he"/she is still a prepubescent girl in the beginning of the story, saying "he"/she was "going on 15" but being more likely 13).
- Charles is portrayed as a vanilla man in the film, whereas in the novel he is a "lover of the rod" and describes in detail his passion for spanking and the many spankings he enjoyed giving and watching.
- There is not a single hand-spanking or birching in the film, whereas the majority of spankings in the novel are hand-spankings or birchings.
- The scene where Charles spanks Mrs. Leslie does not exist in the novel.
- In the novel, Charles spanks Frances whenever there is an opportunity, and is perfectly happy doing so. In the film, he spanks Frances only twice: the first time as a child for being naughty, and the second time for having broken her promise of never talking to a young man again who tries to seduce her. After that second spanking, he is deeply troubled about what he has done. He apologizes to her ("I don't know what came over me ... I beg you to forgive me") and afterwards throws the crop in the fireplace.
- At the end of the film, Charles proposes to Frances and the two get married. In the novel, he never proposes to her and she marries another man.
- Sophie Favier, the French actress who plays the role of Charles' London mistress Maud, unsuccessfully sued to stop the release of the film. She is today best known as a TV game-show hostess.
- The same scenario with a woman disguised as a boy who gets punished is seen in the play Janika. Both the play and the 1949 Hungarian film Janika feature M/F over the knee spankings.