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Comedy - Adult

Hysteria (2011)


Duration 1h 40m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story Said to be based on the 1998 book “The Technology of the Orgasm” by Rachel Maine
Director Tanya Wexler
Writers/Script Stephen Dyer, Jonah Lisa Dyer
Starring Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce, Felicity Jones, Rupert Everett, Ashley Jensen, Sheridan Smith,

Elevator Pitch: After making protests about the poor medical procedures in 19th century hospitals, Dr Mortimer Granville manages to get a job with Dr Rupert Dalrymple at his medical practice specialising in relieving cases of “hysteria” in his female clients. Dr Granville is a good looking young man, so becomes popular, but begins to suffer from what we today would call Repetitive Strain Injury. Fortunately his friend Edmund has invented an electical device which can fulfil the requirement. Meanwhile Granville is courted by Dr Dalrymple’s daughter Emily and is scorned by his other firebrand daughter Charlotte.

Content: There is no sex or nudity, but quite few of women reaching orgasm with the help of the doctors reaching under suitably constructed modesty curtaining. We see bad stuff going on in hospital and the social scenes in the Dalrymple household. Charlotte runs a school for deprived children so we glimpse the Victorian underbelly of London. The vibrating device when it appears looks a bit dodgy, more likely to electricute than to excite. There are parties and a bit of romance.

A View: This film was quite good fun. It was moderately well liked by everybody, did not cost a great deal (probably) and also probably did not make any money. Sheridan Smith, as the sexy maid, seemed to steal the show. I am struggling to classify it, but it may be an adult comedy. However, regardless of the classification, it is one of those films which can be watched for nothing maybe while doing something else.

Additional Info: The claim that 19th century doctors used vibrators to cure women of “hysteria” has been debunked in a paper in “The Journal of Positive Sexuality” in 2018.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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