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Released: Jan 01st, 2012
Running Time: 83 Min.
Director: Radley Metzger
DVD Extras: Bonus Scenes, Commentaries, Non-Sex Version, Outtakes, Still Gallery(ies), Trailer(s), Widescreen
Cast: Rita Davis, Darby Lloyd Rains, Mary Stuart, Alan Marlow, Helen Madigan, Gerald Grant, Levi Richards
Critical Rating: AAAA 1/2
Genre: Golden Age
Sizzling sex, stunning cinematography, and the director's trademark humor make Radley Metzger's Naked Came the Stranger an undisputed classic from the golden age of erotic film. Set in swinging 1970s New York, the film follows the sexual exploits of radio host Gillian Blake as she sets out to even the score with her philandering husband. Embarking on a series of torrid affairs with friends and acquaintances, Gilly ultimately ensnares the one person who can shake her husband's smug complacency to the core.
It seems somehow appropriate that Naked Came the Stranger, based on the novel by "Penelope Ashe"—who was actually a team of 24 journalists (five women, 19 guys) led by Newsday columnist Mike McGrady—should have been directed by the equally pseudonymous "Henry Paris," whom we all now know is Radley Metzger—and as sexy as the novel was, Metzger has far improved upon it, both sexually and comedically. But when we first reviewed the movie on videotape, and later as a "classic DVD," the video image was dark and "soft," so many kudos to Distribpix for giving this excellent early XXX comedy the upgrading it so richly deserves!
The story concerns Long Island-based drive-time radio hosts Gilly and Billy Blake, played by top stars Darby Lloyd Rains and Levi Richards. Their life together seems friendly enough if humdrum, but unbeknownst to Darby—at least until she tries to wake up his cock one morning and he mumbles her name—Levi's got a babe on the side: The baby-talking Phyllis, his office assistant, played by Mary Stuart.
Levi and Mary make eyes at each other all through the morning show, and when both Mary and Levi make excuses to head into Manhattan, Darby gets suspicious and follows them—and masturbates outside the couple's love nest to the sound of Mary talking about what "big love bunny" is going to do to "little love bunny" ... like putting his finger on "little love bunny's fuzzy" and into her "hiney."
But Darby sees Levi's affair as a reflection on her own sexuality, and vows to have an affair herself. Along the way, we're treated to a '70s style costume party, where Darby, in top hat and tails, is asked to accompany gal-pal Rita Davis, dressed as a harem girl, in giving a good-looking waiter a b.j.—and it inspires Darby to find a waiter of her own—but she can't get a rise out of him.
Indeed, things aren't going well for Darby. After she convinces businessman Gerald Grant to whip her with the leathery contents of her Bloomingdale's shopping bag, he goes a bit overboard and turns her off. Back to Levi, he and Mary are at it again, destroying the furniture of their love nest and getting off with b.j., mish and more b.j. Of course, this keeps him from responding when Darby tries to blow him in bed, so she decides to have a liaison with former lover Alan Marlow—while they ride around Manhattan on the top deck of a double-decker bus she's rented! He's a bit nervous about all the windows, but she calms him down with a long b.j. that takes them a couple of miles down Fifth Avenue.
Levi and Mary remain insatiable, even after she forces him into jogging around the park with her, and back at the apartment, it's b.j. and some decently hot (if short) mish action. Alan tries to interest Darby in following up on their tryst, but she'd rather make another play for Gerald, this time renting the top floor ballroom of an exclusive hotel for an intimate dinner, dancing ... and some hot screwing in a nearby bed, all shown in glorious black-and-white with silent movie title cards. Nobody had ever done anything like this before in a XXX movie, and it comes off beautifully—as does the abrupt transition from soft lovemaking to a publicity photo shoot for Darby.
Then things take a turn for the slightly weirder, as Darby in her top hat and tails seduces Mary, who's modeling the dress and wig Levi wore to the costume party. They kiss lightly, then passionately, with Darby then sucking Mary's tits and "yodeling in the gully" as Mary moans and surrenders to the sensation. Finally, Darby climbs on top for some pseudo-mish, until Mary returns the muff-munching, which turns into 69. The finale has Mary humping Darby—and so enjoys it that she vows to break up with Levi.
Of course, that means that Darby and Levi get back together again, and as he climbs into bed, she's ready with a glass of wine and a joint. As the music swells, they get each other off orally until he lays her down for a long mish session, then flips her over for doggie until she flips him over for a deliciously hot and sensual cowgirl ride that eventually has him spurting on her pussy.
But as good as this movie is, the extras are what pushes this release into the Editor's Choice stratosphere. First is the director's commentary, which is filled with background information presented in a Q&A format. But in addition, the moviemakers have "returned to the scenes of the crime," showing what the various locations that were used in the movie—Darby and Levi's house; the playgrounds where Levi and Mary played; the St. George Hotel where Darby danced; even the route around Manhattan that Darby's bus took—look like 37 years later. There are also some deleted scenes and a collection of movie posters, ads and reviews of the movie from way back when, plus a booklet of liner notes, adding even more depth to the movie and its making.
Very simply, there's just nothing not to love about this top-notch release.