Released: Nov 16th, 2012
Running Time: 86 Min.
Director: Radley Mezger
Company: Distribpix Inc
DVD Extras: Behind the Scenes Featurettes, Bonus Footage, Bonus Movie, Dolby Digital, Interviews, Non-Sex Version, Outtakes, Still Gallery(ies), Subtitles, Trailer(s), Widescreen
Cast: Constance Money, Ras Kean, Michael Gaunt, Tia von Davis, Jamie Gillis, Marlene Willoughby, Peter Andrews, Nancy Dare, Terri Hall, Jaqueline Beudant, Mary Stuart, Casey Donovan, Gloria Leonard, Jenny Baxter
Critical Rating: AAAAA
In his erotic retelling of George Bernard Shaw's classic play "Pygmalion," master director Radley Metzger transplants the action to 1970s New York, Rome and Paris. We follow noted sexologist Dr. Seymour Love (Jamie Gillis) as he sets himself the challenge of transforming lowly streetwalker Misty Beethoven (Constance Money) into the world's greatest lover. With the help of his beautiful friend Geraldine (Jacqueline Beudant), Love devises an erotic training program with the goal of seeing Misty crowned "Goldenrod Girl" at famed publisher Lawrence Layman's next wild party. Along the way, Misty refines her technique by seducing an impotent artist, bringing three uniformed butlers to climax simultaneously, and dallying with a rainbow-ceramic sex toy in one of the most arousing films ever created. Filmed in three countries on two continents with many of the most famous golden-age actors (including Gloria Leonard, Ras Kean, Casey Donovan and Terri Hall), featuring a witty and intelligent screenplay, and shot by award-winning cinematographer Paul Glickman, "Misty Beethoven" is the golden standard by which all other adult films have been measured. Includes behind the scenes 60 page Liner Note Book.
The roughly 40 years since The Opening of Misty Beethoven was shot have not been kind to this all-time classic, and Distribpix, in creating a Blu-ray edition of the movie, has done its best to remaster the film, shot on Super 16mm, but the film's age does show through. Fortunately, this latest packaging of the film has plenty that classic porn fans will want to see—and own.
For those who need a little refresher on the plot, it revolves around iconclastic sex researcher Dr. Seymore Love's (Jamie Gillis) chance meeting with the tomboyish Misty (Constance Money) in a French porno theater, where she offers him a handjob in the theater or a straight fuck for $50 at a nearby brothel (where all the hookers in residence seem to know him)—but one thing she absolutely won't do is give him a blowjob. Intrigued, Gillis offers her a job and a flight to New York City, where he wants to turn her into this year's "Goldenrod Girl" at his "school." In preparation for Money's introduction to milionaire Lawrence Layman (Ras Kean), he trains her in various sex acts, including how to take cum on the face without flinching, and of course, how to give blowjobs.
A quick trip to Rome, during which Money has her muff munched by the pilot's wife, Tia von Davis, also has her giving a guy a b.j. on the way to the opera, and later fucking her arranged "date" in the ladies room—a coupling that becomes a prime gossip item all over Europe. Then Gillis has actress Terri Hall show Money how to pleasure an upcoming art gallery owner date by engaging in hot girl/girl action with Gillis' assistant, Jaqueline Beudant—and then, of course, Hall has to fuck Gillis in another scorching coupling. The Money/Casey Donovan gallery scene is beautifully shot, and Money does a fine job in the clinch.
But Money begins to display feelings for Gillis, even as he intensifies her training (look for lots of b.j. action) for the rave/orgy he takes her to, where she finally gets to meet Kean and his main squeeze Gloria Leonard. Leonard primes the pump with a little pussy-licking (which Money gladly reciprocates) and soon they're a trio of tangled bodies—and Money gets to try out her new strap-on, sandwiching Kean between Leonard and herself.
But after hearing Gillis belittle her, Money leaves him for Kean—which brings Gillis back to the same theater where he met Money, hoping she'll appear, and when she doesn't, he flies back to New York, still pining for her. Of course, she does reappear, disguised as one of his maids, and blows him—as he insults her—like old times, leading to a hot sexual finale
One thing that was much more common in early porn, and highly in evidence here, is the sexual activity that goes on in the background of almost every scene. The Internet Adult Film Database lists 27 different "sex scenes" in the production, but that number barely scratches the surface. In addition to the screwing in the background, many are simply momentary glimpses of, for instance, a cock being sucked or a woman atop a man, inserting his cock cowgirl style—and as is also typical of early porn, the full sex scenes themselves, with a couple of exceptions, are rather short.
But with all that said, the real attraction of this new edition is the extras. Of prime interest is an exceptionally informative 50-minute documentary featuring interviews with Leonard, Drs. Carol Queen and Robert Lawrence, camera operator Paul Glickman, music director George Craig (whose music will be familiar to most veteran fans) and others involved in the production behind the scenes; plus audio commentary from Metzger himself with a retrospective of his career, as well as plenty of backstage footage and clips from newsreels of the '70s that put the movie in perspective beautifully. Also noteworthy is the discussion of deleted scenes, and the fact that two versions of some scenes were shot, one for the hard version, the other for soft.
Other top-notch extras include newspaper ads, reviews and radio spots for the film, Jamie Gillis' final interview as well as a retrospective of his career, and a short about Constance Money's life before and after porn—and how the producers located her after all these years.
The whole Misty Beethoven package is also available as a two-disc DVD set.