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The Art of Seduction

Be beguiled by cinema's smooth talkers and teasing temptresses.

From the travails of hopeful ingénues to the smarmy scheming of professional pick-up artistes, the game of seduction makes for a highly cinematic pursuit.

Our BFI Player+ collection focuses on those charismatic leads who steal both hearts and the screen itself, including some protagonists whose mesmeric power is not necessarily sexual.

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The Art of Seduction
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View L'Amore

L'Amore 1948 PG

Roberto Rossellini’s controversial two-part anthology film showcasing the manifold talents of his then-wife Anna Magnani.

80 mins Italy Director. Roberto Rossellini

In Roberto Rossellini’s diptych on the theme of love, Anna Magnani is seduced by a man pretending to be a Saint.

The nefarious imposter is portrayed by none other than legendary director Federico Fellini.

View Deep End
Deep End

Deep End 1970 15

A darkly comic and compelling coming of age story set during a time of social change.

88 mins Federal Republic of Germany Director. Jerzy Skolimowski

Swimming pool attendant Mike (John Moulder-Brown) tries desperately to tempt co-worker Susan (Jane Asher), with only the small matter of her fiancé in the way.

Rights issues prevented the home video release of Jerzy Skolimowski’s Swinging London drama for many years, until it was re-released by BFI in 2011.

View The Gigolos
The Gigolos

The Gigolos 2006 12

A highly original comedy following a pair of professional male escorts and their interactions with their lonely, over-50s 'regulars'.

95 mins United Kingdom Director. Richard Bracewell

Watch the art of seduction in its most professional guise in this delightful and under-rated comedy about London male escorts and their elderly clients.

Director Richard Bracewell has continued to work in low-budget British cinema, but also recently directed the feature comedy from the Horrible Histories troupe, Bill.

View Hors Satan
Hors Satan

Hors Satan 2011 15

A mysterious figure strolls around a French coastal town offering a bizarre and violent path to salvation, in this controversial shocker from Bruno Dumont.

109 mins France Director. Bruno Dumont

A relative, perhaps, of the ‘Visitor’ from Pasolini’s Theorem (see below), Bruno Dumont’s starkly brilliant drama revolves around an enigmatic avenging angel.

While barely speaking, he entrances an abused girl from a desolate village who follows him as if he was a Messiah, meekly accepting his brutal acts of vengeance that follow.

View King of Escape
King of Escape

King of Escape 2009 18

A film about tractors, aphrodisiacs and forbidden love from Alain Guiraudie, the Cannes award-winning director of Stranger by the Lake.

93 mins France Director. Alain Guiraudie

In this riotous farce from the director of Stranger by the Lake (Alain Guiraudie), a gay, middle-aged salesman falls for a teenage girl.

Guiraudie's bizarre film depicts a French community where everyone seems to be consumed by uncontrollable desires.

View The Man Who Lies
The Man Who Lies

The Man Who Lies 1968 15

Jean-Louis Trintignant is the mysterious stranger who arrives in a French village claiming to be an old comrade of a local resistance hero, in Alain Robbe-Grillet’s piercing fable of war-time myth and memory.

95 mins France Director. Alain Robbe-Grillet

In Alain Robbe-Grillet’s study of identity and deceit, Jean-Louis Trintignant plays a devious interloper who arrives in a small French village claiming to the comrade of a local (dead) war hero.

Regaling townsfolk with tales of his bravery, he’s taken in by the dead soldier’s widow and sister, both of whom he seduces with fabricated stories that become increasingly complex.

View Nighthawks

Nighthawks 1978 15

A schoolteacher juggles everyday life with nights spent cruising for Mr Right in this fascinating landmark in British gay cinema.

United Kingdom Director. Ron Peck

This landmark of LGBT cinema depicts a gay man’s double life as he teaches geography during the day, while his nights are spent trying to pick up men at gay bars.

One of the first features to portray a popular trope from gay cinema: the tension between irresistible promiscuity and ideal of a stable relationship.

View Theorem

Theorem 1968 15

Pasolini’s classic about a handsome, enigmatic stranger (Terence Stamp) who arrives at a bourgeois household and seduces an entire family.

94 mins Italy Director. Pier Paolo Pasolini

Cinema’s ultimate seducer may be Terence Stamp as the unnamed visitor from Pasolini’s provocative 1968 drama...

... an enigmatic stranger who beds every member of an entire family (male and female alike), and in the process ruptures its sense of bourgeois identity.

View Twinky

Twinky 1969 12

Richard Donner directs this unlikely romance between a 38-year-old writer of erotic novels (Charles Bronson) and a 16-year-old schoolgirl played by Susan George. After marrying and absconding to Scotland, the pair finds it hard to adjust to life together.

94 mins United Kingdom Director. Richard Donner

The perils of inadvisable seduction are laid bare in Richard Donner’s sex comedy about a middle-aged writer’s affair with a 16-year-old girl.

Susan George plays the London schoolgirl who’s whisked away by an American novelist (Charles Bronson). The honeymoon period doesn’t last…

View Unrelated

Unrelated 2007 15

On a Tuscan break a fortysomething woman finds herself drawn to the company of a group of partying teens, including a young Tom Hiddleston (in one of his earliest roles).

96 mins United Kingdom Director. Joanna Hogg

Yet more inadvisable temptations abound in Joanna Hogg’s delectable comedy of manners, as 40-something Anna falls for a teenage Tom Hiddleston (and who can blame her?).

At least the glorious Tuscan locations go some way to alleviating the awkwardness of an ill-advised infatuation.

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