Age of Consent is a 1969 film directed by Michael Powell.
Bradley Morahan (James Mason) is a successful artist. His sculptures and paintings are selling quite nicely but Bradley feels he has lost his creative spark. In an effort to find inspiration again, he goes back home to Australia, renting out a dilapidated cabin by the beach on a remote island.
He finds inspiration in the person of Cora, a shockingly gorgeous teenaged girl played by 22-year-old Helen Mirren. Cora, an orphan in the care of an awful monstrous alcoholic grandma, longs to escape the island and move to Brisbane where she can become a hairdresser. Bradley and Cora start to form a bond as he paints her, but "Ma Ryan", her horror of a grandmother, threatens to ruin everything.
Powell's last theatrical feature, and Mirren's first starring role. Based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Norman Lindsay, whose life also inspired another movie about artists and sexy models, Sirens.
- Abusive Parents: Abusive grandparent, in the form of Ma Ryan. When she catches a naked Cora in the shack trying on lipstick, she whacks her on the back with her cane.
- The Alcoholic: Awful, awful Ma Ryan. There's a pile of empty gin bottles outside her shack. She's constantly swigging from a bottle. Cora notes that the last time Ma went to town she was arrested for public intoxication.
- Bait-and-Switch: Ned the comic relief character is talking about how he had sex with the wife of his banker. The husband comes home and catches them. Ned says "Do you know what he did, the jealous bastard? He cut it off." (Beat) "My overdraft." (The line of credit at his bank, that is.)
- Bath Kick: Not in a bath, but the same effect. The movie ends with Bradley and Cora frolicking in the ocean. They plunge into the water, Cora kicks a leg up in Bath Kick style, freeze frame, movie ends.
- Black Comedy Rape: Ned, who's looking for someone to sponge off of, starts courting Miss Marley, a lonely middle-aged lady. He's unctuously praising her cooking at dinner when she decides to stop wasting time, throws him off to the couch onto the floor, and jumps on top of him as he cries out in protest. The movie then cuts to a disheveled Ned returning to Bradley's cabin and saying "Brad, I've been raped." It's played for laughs.
- Disney Villain Death: Ma Ryan steals the money that Cora's been squirreling away for passage off the island and on to Brisbane. Cora chases her down and confronts her. They tussle over the little bag of cash, a struggle that ends with Ma slipping and falling off a cliff to her death.
- Dramatic Irony: The local cop returns to Bradley the stolen $300 he retrieved from Ned. The cop says "I may only be a country copper, but I don't miss much. No one puts anything over on me." This is right after Cora manipulated the scene to make it look like Ma fell off the cliff in a drunken stupor, when it really happened while she was fighting with Cora.
- Erotic Film: An artist is enchanted by his sexy, voluptuous young model.
- Fan Disservice: Scrawny, ugly old Ned shucking off all his clothes to go swimming on the beach.
- Gilligan Cut: Bradley describes his old friend Ned as a "nice, shy, quiet sort of joker." This is followed by Ned bellowing "Brad you old bastard!" at the top of his lungs as he plows through a crowd to meet Brad.
- Groin Attack: The guy ferrying people on and off the island in a motorboat tries to rape Cora. She knees him in the groin and pushes him off the boat.
- Jail Bait: Ma Ryan screeches that Cora is underage and that she will sic the police on Bradley. The potential creepiness of this onscreen is somewhat lessened by the fact that curvaceous Helen Mirren is not at all convincing as a teenaged girl.
- The Jail Bait Wait: Averted within the movie, as while Cora and Bradley are obviously developing feelings for each other, there's no sense that Bradley is hoping to make a move or that he is waiting for some deadline to pass to make a move. However this is made explicit in the very creepy closing theme song, in which the singer sings that he and Cora can be together now that she has passed "the age of consent."
- The Ken Burns Effect: Used in the opening credits as the camera pans over a painting by Bradley Morahan of a scene on the beach with himself and Cora.
- Letting Her Hair Down: One scene has Cora, who has been gaining confidence after posing for Bradley, letting her down from a bun in the shack. It's not the first time she's been scene with her hair down, but in this case it's symbolic, as in this instance she takes her dress off as well, looks at her naked body in the mirror, and starts putting on lipstick.
- MayDecember Romance: Cora is a teenager. It's debatable how old Bradley is supposed to be (in Real Life James Mason was 60), but he's certainly well into middle age.
- Ms. Fanservice: Skinnydipping, Sexy Soaked Shirt, Toplessness from the Back, nude modeling—the movie really gets maximum mileage out of Cora.
- Naked People Trapped Outside: Ned is embarrassed when Miss Marley comes by with her dog while he's swimming naked in the water.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: For most of the movie Mason sounds more like he's Not Even Bothering with the Accent. It's only in a couple of scenes, like the one in the general store where he's making a phone call, that he manages to affect a vaguely Australian-sounding voice.
- Scenery Porn: Dunk Island, Australia is shown off to great effect.
- Sexy Soaked Shirt: In both Cora's first and last scenes she is wearing a thin cotton shift that gets soaked to her skin, leaving nothing to the imagination.
- Skinnydipping: One of the more famous scenes in the movie features Cora swimming around the beach in the nude, looking for lobsters and oysters and such, while Bradley draws her.
- True Art Is Angsty: In-Universe. Bradley is doing pretty well for himself in New York but chafes with discontent, not being happy with selling workmanlike art to rich people. He leaves for Australia to find his muse.