About This Item

Preview Image for Kinsey (UK)
Kinsey (UK) (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000072645
Added by: Sue Davies
Added on: 15/7/2005 01:38
View Changes

Other Reviews, etc
  • Log in to Add Reviews, Videos, Etc
  • Places to Buy

    Searching for products...

    Review of Kinsey

    7 / 10


    This is a biographical film about the man who is said to have started the sexual revolution. A low budget production (well by Hollywood standards) written and directed by Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters) it covers most of Kinsey`s life, told partly in flashback.

    From an early age Alfred Kinsey rebelled against the strictness of his Father, a hell-fire preacher and despite his father`s wishes chooses the study of nature over nurture. He flees from his family into the safer world of the gall wasp. But before the world of nature can smother him he meets a female student called Clara Mcmillan and his life begins again.

    When they get married Kinsey (or Prok as he is fondly called) is alarmed that sexual relations don`t go well. Ever the practical scientist he is able to find a doctor to help and almost by accident starts to become the campus sex therapist for other married and engaged couples. Kinsey tries to get rid of the pervading misinformation that made sex such a problem in the1 940`s.

    Having initially used students as a focus for research Kinsey decides to apply for funding to find out what the truth is about the sexual life of men and women in the United States. He makes his name when the first book is published "Sexual Behaviour In The Human Male" but there are downsides to publicity when the press takes an interest and so do Congressional witch-hunters.

    Whilst Kinsey is examining he sexual life of the nation he also makes discoveries about himself and his encouragement of open relationships within his own team leads to emotional problems.


    This is a recent issue and there are no problems with the picture. Set in the 1940`s and there are some well-thought out costuming with the archetypal Kinsey bow tie and light-coloured suit accenting the whole production.

    There are limited setting with the opening childhood scenes mainly with the backdrop of forests and rural settings. Later as the project gets underways there are scenes in the rather clinical offices and the intensificaton of the interview process and the cross-relations between Kinsey`s research group lead to a sense of momentum and claustrophobia. As the project starts to fail the claustrophobia and airlessness continues until a breaking point is reached and the natural settings can be reinstated.


    There are no problems with the sound. Given that the film is structured around the anonymous interviews of huge amounts of people is very dialogue based. There is still room for body language which is appropriate for the subject.

    There is some full frontal nudity but not a lot of `seen` sexual activity.


    Directors Commentary

    Bill Condon researched and wrote the treatment. The commentary is extremely good with details about subject choice, casting decisions and structure of the film-and that`s in the first 15 minutes.

    21 Deleted Scenes

    These include a commentary and explanation of why they were cut. As noted by Condon much of Chris O`Connell ends on the cutting room floor as does of Tim Curry`s best lines about a tap-dancing cadaver. There is some historical infill and overlong explanations that are justly trimmed.

    Gag reel -hard to imagine that there could be one but there are the usual tongue twisting moments-Given some of the words they had to say perhaps not so surprising after all!

    Other extras: Inside Look: Kingdom of Heaven, Inside Look: Sideways `Wine Featurette`


    These days there are sex quizzes in every weekly magazine so it`s hard to comprehend the level of ignorance where newly married women believed that babies came out through women`s navels. We live in an age where pretty much any information is available on the internet and in books but we are only a stones- throw away from this period.

    This film makes a good stab at presenting an unusual life without judging or wagging its finger. Kinsey certainly had some unusual ideas and his relative open mind must have produced more balanced results than if produced by someone with a different set of moral values.

    Performances by the ensemble cast are spot on with nice cameos by John Lithgow as Kinsey`s repressive father and an eerie portrayal of serial paedophile Kenneth Braun by William Sadler. Sadly Tim Curry doesn`t get enough screen time as Kinsey`s professorial nemesis but there are plenty of others even down to the on-screen personas of Kinsey statistics that offer a feast of visual and audio treats. Its goes without saying that Liam Neeson and Laura Linney play Mr and Mrs Kinsey beautifully, sharing a chemistry that is also taken up by Peter Sarsgaard, who plays the friend and lover of both.

    Overall it`s an unusual film that does not offer titillation but a fascinating sex history of a nation It`s a film that looks good and has a structure to pore over but it did leave me wanting more details about subjects such as the Congressional hearings. Its main focus is really how Kinsey`s private life both fed off and fed his desire to get the facts on sexual behaviour. It invites further study of the man and the historical context. T.Coraghessan Boyle recently published a novel called "The Inner Circle" about Kinsey and his team. There are also plenty of biographies about for more detailed information.

    Your Opinions and Comments

    Be the first to post a comment!