Written by: Cliff Wood on May 31st, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: USA, December 17th, 1972
Director: Artie Mitchell, Jim Mitchell
Cast: Marilyn Chambers, George S. MacDonald, Johnny Keyes, Lisa Grant, Yank Levine, Angela Castle, Ben Davidson, Adrienne Mitchell, Dana Fuller, Dale Meador
DVD released: May 4th, 2001
Approximate running time: 71 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Mitchell Brothers
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $27.95
Synopsis: A young woman named Gloria is abducted while on vacation. She is taken to a club known as the Green Door where a voyeuristic audience watches a live sex show where she is the main attraction. Will the experience leave her scared for life or will it awaken her sexual desires?
When one speaks of classic adult cinema and the films from this era that stand head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd these four films immediately come to mind Deep Throat, The Devil in Miss Jones, Debbie Does Dallas and Behind the Green Door. During this era in Adult cinema plot were just more than filler between the sex scenes. Artie Mitchell and Jim Mitchell were two of adult cinema’s first Auteur’s with the way they approached sex films with their innovative techniques and emphasis’s of character and plot.
Behind the Green Door’s first sexual encounter does not happen tell almost twenty minutes into the film. Once the sex starts the remainder of the film is wall to wall sexual action with a forty minute chunk of the film devoted to one prolonged live sex act involving the films lead character Gloria Saunders who is portrayed by Marilyn Chambers. This scene which follows Gloria’s abduction starts off with a more soft core tone before climaxing into a full on hardcore film. The ways in which the sex scenes are framed earlier on in the film obscure some of the penetration with the only unobstructed hardcore content being more oral related. The film features only one money shot and it is without a doubt one of the most elaborated ever committed to celluloid. The money shot is show in slow motion with weird psychedelic like colors saturating the frame and most of the moneys shots are repeated for effect. This climax sequence to the live sex show last nearly six minutes.
In the lead role is Marilyn Chambers who had very little acting experience before this film with her claim to fame at that point being the model on an Ivory Snow box. Performance Marilyn Chambers is basically a prop that is by the Mitchell brothers’ to the greatest effect. That is not to say that her performance is not without its own merits she is not given much to work with dialog and character wise. Besides the main sex scene there is only one other sex scene which ends the film and this scene also features Marilyn Chambers. It is reported that Marilyn Chambers was paid $25,000 and given 1% of the films gross profit. Not a bad deal since the film is estimated to have grossed around 50 million dollars to date and it only cost $50,000 to make. Graphically Behind the screen door is tame compared to today’s adult cinema and its near twenty minute set up might drive many potential viewers’ away from a truly unique adult cinematic experience.
Behind the Green Door is presented in its original 1.37:1 aspect ratio. The colors and flesh tones look accurate throughout. Details look crisp and black levels look strong. This transfer does have some mild print damage in the form of debris, nicks and starches. The print damage is never excessive or intrusive. Outside of someone doing a major restoration to clean up every frame this is the best this film is most likely going to look when its age and condition of the source material are factor in.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. Outside of a few audio drop outs the audio mix is more than serviceable.
The only extra content include is a slide show with images taken from the main feature.
Behind the Green Door is widely recognized as one of the most important adult films ever made and it is a shame that more extra content hasn’t been included with this barebones release for the film.