One of cult director Jesus Franco's most popular films, this uneven adaptation of the Marquis de Sade's notorious Justine stars Romina Power, daughter of actor Tyrone Power, in the title role. Justine and her sister Juliet (Maria Rohm) are poor orphans in 1700s France forced to leave school and find a way to survive in Paris. Juliet soon becomes a prostitute, while Justine is employed as a maid by Scrooge-like innkeeper Mssr. de Harpin (Akim Tamiroff). Eventually, Justine is falsely arrested for stealing a brooch and sentenced to death. Escaping prison with the murderous Mme. Dubois (Mercedes McCambridge), Justine becomes a fugitive. In her efforts to hide from the law, Justine finds herself captured first by a perverse gay Marquis (Klaus Kinski), who subjects her to various tortures, then by a group of sadistic monks led by Brother Antonin (Jack Palance in an amazingly bizarre performance). Rosemary Dexter was originally intended to portray Justine, and might have done a better job than the wooden Power, but appears only briefly in a lesser role. Heavily censored, various prints run 120, 105, 93, and 90 minutes.
by Robert Firsching synopsis