Audio/Video: Both versions (hot and cool) HD transfers, uncut & restored - in widescreen 1.85:1, Remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 audio
Release Date: 11/16/12
Extras: Full length director & actor audio commentaries, Epic 45-minute documentary Behind the Scenes of Misty, Jamie Gillis: The Final Interview, film facts’ subtitle track, Over 3 hours of supplemental material including: outtakes, featurettes, trailers, slideshow, ephemera, radio spots, Multiple Language Subtitles for both versions: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese
At this year’s Cinekink film festival, one of the festival’s highlight was what is believed by many to be the finest adult film ever produced, The Opening Of Misty Beethoven. Adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion and directed by noted adult director Radley Metzger, this retelling of Pygalion takes place in 1970’s New York, Rome and Paris, the golden age of classic porn films. Starring the late Jamie Gillis as Dr. Seymour Love, the film focuses on sex for hire worker Misty Beethoven (Constance Money) who is transformed from streetwalker to the world’s greatest lover.
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As many fans of Metzger’s work will acknowledge, overall the Opening of Misty Beethoven looks fantastic from the sets, cinematography, to the style of the film. Even by golden age standards, the sex is very hardcore. Beyond that it’s a very good movie which if XCritic had been around then would have earred itself a Highly Recommended rating. At times there is just so much going on that you do begin to lose track of what’s happening in the film and at it does drag at times (always a nitpicking point with me). Still, it’s interesting to note that, in a pre-2257 world, you can’t help but wonder who were the many extras acting as maids and butlers in the Italian countryside villa who seem to be there to service and to service the good doctor Love and his cohorts Misty and Geraldine (Jacqueline Beudant), an associate of Dr. Love. Plus the many other European extras serving in non-sex roles you got to wonder if they even realized their speaking parts were for an adult film. Hey its porn and I should be focusing on the sex but when you’re watching a classic from the golden age at a movie theater no less, these things go through your head.
I really don't expect anyone to stroke it to these days. It's more of a collectable piece to put away with your porn collection. But back in those days it was the equivalent of many of today’s big budget adult films. It achieved the porn apex during the good old days of porn chic that no other adult film had reached in those 70s, renegade glory days. It’s a good one to have around to show at your next porn screening party or to be played in the background while everybody tries hard to be cool and not check out the sex and hot chicks, which there is plenty of. Maybe, just maybe, you might even get the urge to rush to the bathroom to “let the poison out.”
Even judging it by today’s standards, it’s a very sophisticated comedy/love story that really succeeds in not taking itself too seriously but definitely was a serious project at the time. Gillis proves himself to be not only the standard for cocksmen today but he also to be a very talented comic actor. His comedic timing is great and he can certainly get the "business" done when he needs to. Constance Money as Misty seems to have great fun in the part. She has a sweet sensibility that translates well and her scenes with Gillis are hilarious and sexy, holding her own with Gillis very well. She displays many personalities and is quite an effective actress herself. Believe it or not, this hardcore porn actually has character development. The Opening Of Misty Bethoven could be, even today, be compared with any indie film today in terms of plot, direction, locaton, cinematography, which in all these areas the film succeeds in.
When Seymour discovers Misty, he instantly takes an interest in transforming her from, in his opinion, most incompetent hooker he’s ever paid for. Imagine a hooker who is not only not into her job but also has no clue what to do with a john. That’s Misty. Seymour believes he can change her into the most desirable woman in the world despite the enormous challenge. He’s so sure he can do it he makes a bet with his friend Geraldine (who plays a female Hefner type) that not only can he do the job but she’ll end up as the Golden Rod Girl (think of it as the equivalent of Female Performer of the Year).
During the sexual education of Misty Beethoven, the relationship between Seymour and Misty becomes more complexed and strained. While she is succesfully transformed into a sophisticated woman, Misty is not entirely comfortable with her new status in life but eventually settles into it somewhat by the end.
The Opening of Misty Beethoven comes to the market via Blu-ray from Distribpix, which worked closely with Radley Metzger in creating the disc. The film has been newly restored from archival footage in both its hardcore and softcore versions, and it is also available in its original aspect ratio for the first time since its theatrical release. Distribpix has also packed hours of extras including a 45 minute documentary titled Behind the Scenes of Misty, and Jamie Gillis’ final interview before his death in 2010. For the 70s porn afficionado, this is the film to own.