Der Turm der verbotenen Liebe

1968 [GERMAN]

Adventure / Drama

IMDb Rating 5.3 10 157

based on novel or book swashbuckler

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN
July 31, 2022 at 08:14 PM


Top cast

820.62 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 29 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Squonkamatic 8 / 10

Malice in the Palace

This film is a crackerjack, at times rivetingly atmospheric con job of a mishmash of a film that defies convention so much that it is pimped as something it really isn't. The title and opening 10 minutes or so promise a sort of Edgar Wallace-like horror thriller about young men lured to their doom in a forbidden tower somewhere in France. There are hooded assassins, some surprisingly gory deaths, a bit of female nudity, and then the film shifts gears to become a swashbuckler right out of Alexandre Dumas -- who gets a writing credit -- concerning "The Hero of the Flanders Campaign" who has come back from chasing maidens around the countryside to engage in derring-do, righting wrongs, making the ladies swoon & the other swordsmen salute his valor, and above all serve his King.

In other words this is a strange movie and I'm not surprised to look at the user ratings vote board and see an inordinate amount of 1 star ratings. That's probably because due to the Englicanized title TOWER OF SCREAMING VIRGINS, most of them gave it a look expecting atmospheric, lurid Euro Horror with 17 year old girls being torn from their clothes by satanists in red hoods for nefarious purposes. And the most notable name in the cast is Uschi Glass, best known for baring her wonderful body in various exploitation & horror epics from the 1970's.

Instead, viewers find D'artangan's 3rd cousin doing the Errol Flynn bit. The best way to describe the film it is that it's a costume drama hybrid mixing horror, swashbuckling, palace intrigue and Three Muskateers flavored heroics. Nincompoops will be disappointed, but fans of *FILM* will find this to be an enjoyable hodgepodge that has a strange agenda. The Screaming Virgins of reference are young men, the film's sporadic & exploitational nudity and at times surprisingly graphic violence are too overboard for the younger audiences this kind of fare is usually aimed at, and the movie is filmed with a sort of ornate, Gothic/baroque production design is often reminiscent of a Harald Reinl or Adrian Hoven production. Misty, vaulted castle interiors with winding staircases to nowhere look like an Escher drawing, with swordfighters leaping from parapets instead of Count Dracula.

The change of pace is most refreshing and I'd say this is one of the most interesting genre films to come out of Continental Europe during the later 1960's. Seek it out, it's quite rare and worth more than one viewing, and you can't say that for a lot of movies with such a title.


Reviewed by Leofwine_draca 6 / 10

Raucous historical adventure

Although clearly marketed as a sex flick, TOWER OF SCREAMING VIRGINS is a surprisingly well-made European potboiler, jointly made between three countries: West Germany, France, and Italy. However, the film's description and title are a far cry from what the film actually contains: there is indeed a tower in the film, but the women in it are clearly not virgins, seeing as they have different men delivered to their doors every single night. There's not a great deal of screaming in the film, either. Still, despite the misnomer, TOWER OF SCREAMING VIRGINS is a fast-paced little flick that's only spoiled by an overly twisty plot that'll have you scratching your head before long.

The story – supposedly based on a play by Alexandre Dumas – is about an evil French Queen who's running riot whilst the King's away. She has young men delivered to her tower, where she has sex with them, then kills them and dumps their bodies in the river. Into this story comes a war hero who decides to investigate the mysterious murders, and comes face to face with court intrigue. Then there's a complicated back story and incestuous twist in the tale which'll have your jaw agape (yes, I know this was the 'swinging' '60s, but even so…). The best thing is to not even attempt to try and understand what's going on – just enjoy the plot.

Jean Piat is the athletic hero and he carries the role with some aplomb and charisma – he reminded me of a dark Lex Barker. He's supported by a great cast of nubile young women, most of whom are happy to strip for the screen, so expect to see breasts and bums aplenty in this movie. Then there are the action sequences, which are superbly staged, although too few for my liking. Things climax early on with a highlight involving a bar-room brawl, in which our heroes fends off his attackers with a burning cloth! Costumes and sets are spot on and the tower itself (a miniature, like Hammer's Castle Dracula) looks great. The script isn't too shoddy and although the head-scratching plot is a turn-off, this film packs three stories into one, and never becomes boring. Instead it just piles on twist after twist, surprise after surprise, before finishing on a fiery high. Lovers of historical adventures will be in their element with this raucous offering which never lets up.

Reviewed by melvelvit-1 8 / 10

Dumas does it again- Depraved damsels & Derring-do!

Tagline: "Every man was theirs to command. Each night three more were summoned to the Tower to satisfy their lust. And still they hunger for more..." Alexandre Dumas' works are action-packed adventure tales that skillfully blend history with fiction -and this lively adaptation with its surfeit of sex & savagery has suffered in obscurity thanks to a sleazy ad campaign. Filmed internationally as "The Tower of Nesle", it was later changed to "Tower Of Screaming Virgins" and dumped on the U.S. drive-in/sexploitation circuit. Ironically, it turns that misogynistic genre on its ear. There are virgins (and yes, they scream!) but -they're all young MEN! The film is actually an erotically charged romantic thriller of French medieval times/crimes on a lavish scale -with abundant doses of murder, sexual debauchery, intrigue & skulduggery at the palace of Louis X.

King's swordsman Captain Buridan, hero of the Flanders campaign, returns to Paris to find it in a grip of fear -a "vampire/witch" in the "Tower of Sin" is luring young men to their deaths by offering them a night of sexual ecstasy followed by savage slaughter: "You've had your fun -now its our turn!" Buridan is holding secrets of his own and his battle to save France from an evil Chancellor, an impotent King and a lascivious, wanton Queen make the battlefields of war seem like child's play. The killer may be a beautiful beast above the laws of man but finds she's not above poetic justice while the Musketeer saves the day for the French monarchy.

The 1832 Dumas play/novel on which the film is based has a curious history of its own: Considered a masterpiece of French melodrama, it began as a five-act play by Frédéric Gaillardet but was given to Alexandre Dumas pere to rewrite. He rewrote it in two weeks, without credit, but the play was so successful that Dumas later decided to claim it. Gaillardet was upset and they fought a duel with pistols -but neither man hit the other. "La Tour de Nesle/Chamber of Death" tells of the murderous (and libidinous) Queen Marguerite of France in the 14th century who, purportedly, had handsome young newcomers to Paris picked up, brought to her tower on the banks of the Seine where she enjoys them for a night, then has them strangled and dumped in the river. She's had two sons by an earlier lover, who have been raised in the country not knowing who their mother is. Then they come to Paris as handsome young men –and that's only the beginning..." The film, and possibly the Dumas saga, finds its inspiration not only in the life of Marguerite de Bourgogne (1290-1315) but in the notorious Hungarian Countess Erzebet Bathory (1560-1614). Marguerite, wife of Louis X, did take a lover and trysted in the Tower of Nesle but was no killer. When caught, she was imprisoned and her lover flayed alive before being beheaded and his genitals fed to the dogs. The cuckolded King divorced his Queen and she was "quietly suffocated" in her cell a few years later. The Transylvanian Countess Bathory, however, was not only inspiration for Bram Stoker's immortal "Dracula" (she was actually related to Vlad The Impaler by marriage) but (according to the Guiness Book of Records) was the most prolific serial killer of all time. The legend of "The Bloody Lady of Cachtice" has her bathing in her female victim's blood to retain her fabled beauty but in reality: "she may not have actually bathed in the blood of her servants, several accounts of her tortures described her as being so soaked with the blood of her victims that she had to change her clothes before continuing". Like "The Queen" in the Dumas, the "Blood Countess" was a sexual sadist who tossed the bodies of her victims over the parapets of her castle at dawn and had the entire countryside in a state of terror. Like the Dumas villianess, the lady was also too high-born to ever be brought to justice (her uncle was King of Poland) -the Countess was merely walled in the rooms of her castle so she couldn't get her hands on fine young flesh ever again: "Late in August of the year 1614 one of the Countess's jailers wanted to get a good look at her, since she was still reputedly one of the most beautiful women in Hungary. Peeking through the small aperture in her walled-up cell, he saw her lying face down on the floor..."

"The Tower Of Screaming Virgins" boasts enthusiastic performances from the leads, especially Jean Pait as the fearless Lothario "Buridan/Bourdonville" and voluptuous Terri Torday as his lover-turned-nemesis, "Milady, The Queen". When she rises nude from her bath, a young portrait painter gasps "I want to paint you as God made you!" She smiles and replies, "How do you know the Devil didn't make me?" There's non-stop love-making & swash-buckling sword-play with enough plot/sub-plot for five Dumas series-novels. The film benefits from nice production values and the capable direction/cinematography is highly atmospheric. It captures the tale's time and place perfectly, from the taverns & marketplaces of idyllic rural France to the opulence of Court chicanery -replete with towers, dungeons & double-crosses. Derring-do & duels to the death erupt every ten minutes or so and nearly every wench is willingly bedded. This adult tale doesn't stint with its more prurient aspects either -the (very) soft-core sex is reminiscent of Radley Metzger and the killings are tastefully graphic. All in all, a rousing good show and highly recommended! "Tower Of Screaming Virgins" would make a great double-feature with Jorge Grau's 1973 take on the Bathory myth, "Ceremonia Sangrienta", starring a former Miss Italy, Lucia Bose, as the blood-thirsty "Countess".

In 1955, director Abel Gance made "La Tour De Nesle" as an epic color spectacle, casting anatomical wonder Silvana Pampanini (also a former Miss Italy) as the wicked "Milady".

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