MovieChat Forums > The Barbarian (1933) Discussion > A movie about Stockholm syndrome

A movie about Stockholm syndrome


Reading the synopsis, it makes it seem like Myrna Loy's character falls for this ruffian when if you watched the film that's clearly not the case. She gets manipulated by Jamil throughout the entire course of the movie.

- She gets stalked and her dog "stolen" from her so he can weasel his way into her life.
- Jamil sneaks into her house and watches her change.
- He sneaks into her room and forces himself on her before she tells him to leave.
- She fires him but he stalks her AGAIN to the desert and forces his way into her party.
- Jamil manipulates her into going to Pasha's palace.
- Pasha beats her and almost rapes her because Jamil lied to him and told him she wanted it. Just so he could play the hero and "save" her, mind you.
- He intentionally leaves her dirty, tired, and thirsty in the desert and weakens her constitution.
- He rapes her in the desert. That tear flowing down her eye and the coldness she treats him with afterwards says it all, there was no "giving in to his advances."
- He proposes to her and she accepts because she has been mentally broken by him.
- She stands up for herself and doesn't go through with the marriage, and then gets beaten by him as punishment.
- She finally reaches civilization and is going to marry her fiance, but Jamil breaks into her house and continues his manipulation.
- She's so broken and battered by this point she thinks she loves him and goes off with him.

This was an incredibly dark and depressing movie.

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"Ram this in your clambake, bitchcakes!"

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I couldn't agree more, and can't believe there isn't more discussion here about a romantic drama in which a woman falls in love with her stalker/rapist.

I actually dreaded that some apologists and defenders would try to argue weakly that there was no rape even though it was made as explicit (and humiliating) as possible, but instead am amazed by the silence here as well as the absence of commentary or critical response on the Wikipedia page for the film. Making the whole thing much more disturbing, the film can't decide on a tone, so we have a semi-comic flavor initially and a rascally romantic antagonist for Loy until it escalates into rape peril- toyed with, escalated, and then fully realized- and a repulsive villain who triumphs completely.

I'm not one for taking the past personally, but this was so sickening I struggled to stay with it and was nauseated when it was finally over. It must have been over the line even in 1933.

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