Even as early as 1946, lives were changing indefinitely through the artistic presentation of spanking in the movies. A Californian woman with a husband home safe from the war thanked the Christmas release of Frontier Gal for saving her marriage. Having struggled to warm to him after his absence, there was no underlying tale of love or romance in this Universal picture. What saved her relationship was the exotic display of spanking movies.
Today, spanking is still far from commonplace in mainstream movies but it’s hard to believe that in 1945 alone, an astounding FIVE movies featured the act. In Frontier Gal, the female character received a spanking from her own vanity mirror. Very cheeky!
Since then, we’ve seen many different interpretations of spanking in the movies, the most celebrated of which are listed below:
It isn’t the best idea in the world to go around spanking young ladies when John Wayne is their father. In this episode of spanking in the movies, a young male upset by the behaviour of a girl he doesn’t know very well puts her across his knee. Before the spanking begins, John Wayne shows on screen and, rather than doing what Big John normally does in a situation like this, he passes the young man a shovel and lights a cigar!
Don’t worry too much! In the movie, the young couple wed a few days later.
A young male threatens his girlfriend with a spanking in one of the most revered movies of the fifties, Oklahoma! In threatening the young lady, he suddenly realises his would-be dominance over her is a reflection of her own dominance over his heart, and he promptly asks his girlfriend to marry him. His display of love and chivalry only lasts for as long as it takes to get his girlfriend over his knee instead of getting down on it for a proposal.
The scene ends with the man spanking her while shouting “I love you!”
Personal Services (1987)
Spanking in the movies took a rather hysterical path in this British comedy biopic loosely based on Cynthia Payne, a real-life housewife turned brothel madam. Scene of raucous discipline ensue, with the lead character’s older gentleman clients receiving spankings while wearing school uniforms. Role play and spanking both had significant exposure, for want of a better word, in this Terry Jones (Monty Python’s Flying Circus) production.
Julie Walters played Cynthia Payne in the cult 1987 movie.
Maggie Gyllenhaal’s portrayal of a self-harming young secretary with a dominant James Spader as her boss made this presentation of spanking in the movies something of a cathartic experience. As Gyllenhaal’s character becomes more submissive in her role as a secretary, she becomes more dominant and confident in her day-to-day life.
Look out for the scene with Gyllenhaal in a mock stable wearing a saddle and holding a carrot in her mouth while Spader stands by with a whip!