M. Butterfly

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1/2

Content: -3 1/2

Rene Galimand (Jeremy Irons), a French embassy accountant, lives with his wife in China in 1964. He becomes infatuated with opera star Song Liling (John Lone), who plays the female lead in MADAME BUTTERFLY performed by the Bejing Opera Company. They become lovers despite Liling's reluctance to let Rene see her undressed. Rene shares secrets from the embassy about the American buildup in Vietnam, and Liling passes them on to the Red Guard. Soon after Liling tells Rene that she is pregnant, he is recalled to Paris. There he divorces his wife and waits four years for Liling and their son to join him. Their espionage work is resumed as Liling becomes active in the French Communist movement. Eventually caught and arrested, Rene learns during the trial the shocking truth that Liling is actually a man. Based on the Broadway stage play and inspired by a true story, the film has more holes than Swiss cheese. Rene's inability to see the truth, however much blinded by love, is unbelievable. This film leaves a bad taste in the viewer's mouth.

M. BUTTERFLY suffers from its homoerotic themes as well as the film's nudity, sexual situations, and violence. As with last year's CRYING GAME, we see a man in love with what he thinks is a woman. The goal is to get the audience to empathize with the characters, and stir in them the emotions they would feel watching a traditional love story. When the truth is revealed, even if the result is repulsion and rejection, the homosexual agenda is furthered. The audience is captured, then desensitized to acts that should turn their stomachs. Remember the uproar over the violent films of Sam Peckinpah, with his slow motion, bloody gunshots? That level of violence is almost common place on television today. Films depicting the homosexual lifestyle as normal are trying to make what was once reviled acceptable. Unnatural sex is implied, with no accompanying nudity. Female breast nudity and full rear male nudity occur a few times, along with several passionate male-male kisses. Mob violence, with students throwing rocks at the police, furthers the plot. However, a gratuitously bloody scene shows a man slitting his own throat with a jagged mirror. M. BUTTERFLY is one to avoid, more a moth than a thing of beauty.

Preview Reviewer: Pete Zimowski
Warner Brothers, 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (2) times - Mild 1; Moderate 1

Obscene Language: Once (f-word)

Profanity: Few (4) times - Regular 1; Exclamatory 3

Violence: Few times - Moderate and Severe (man slits own throat with jagged mirror; mob violence)

Sex: Implied few times (implied deviate acts with no nudity)

Nudity: Several (7) times - female breast 3; full male rear 4

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Slang for intercourse.

Drugs: Drunkenness once (negative consequences)

Other: Joke about Christian women

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