Written by: Cliff Wood on January 26th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: USA, May 21st, 1975
Director: Henry Paris (Radley Metzger)
Writer: Jake Barnes (Radley Metzger)
Cast: Darby Lloyd Rains, Levi Richards, Mary Stuart, Alan Marlow, Christina Hutton, Kevin Andre, Helen Madigan, Ronda Fuller, Rita Davis, Steve Anthony, Alfie Holliday, Tom Dane, David Savage, John Buco, Gerald Grant, Marc Stevens
DVD released: January 1st, 2012
Approximate running time: 83 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital 5.1 English
Subtitles: English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese
DVD Release: Video X Pix
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.99
Synopsis: Billy and Gilly a husband / wife radio duo host a hugely popular radio sex talk show. Their marriage on the surface appears to be perfect while underneath the duo are having affairs. How long will it take before their affairs disrupt their on air chemistry?
When I first saw Naked Came the Stranger, I was not that impressed with the film. And to fair be about that first assessment, I did not watch the film in the most optimal of ways. The version I watched was shorn of almost eleven minutes of film (which amounts to 1/8 of its intended running time). Thankfully for this new release from Video X Pix the film can be seen it all of its glory.
Naked Came the Stranger is based on a novel of the same name that was written in the late 1960’s by a group of journalists who worked for News Week under the pseudonym Penelope Ashe. Director Henry Paris for his follow up to The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann decided to go a completely different route with his second adult feature. This film relies heavily on the style of comedy known as screw ball which was most popular during the depression era.
Being a fan of screw ball style of comedy, I was not initially that impressed with the way in which it was used in Naked Came the Stranger. Flash forward years and several viewings later, the comedic set pieces finally connected with me. Two of the more notable moments of humor include, the numerous times in which Billy and his secretary rush off into town at the end of each radio and meet up for sexual rendezvous. The other moment that stand outs is when the film’s main protagonist Gilly dances in a empty pool, while dressed in a tuxedo.
Besides the film’s aforementioned comedic flourishes, another area in which this film holds up really well is its stylish cinematography. With this film’s stand out moment being a black & white sequence that pays tribute silent films. Also the music always plays an important part in every Henry Paris film and the score for Naked Came the Stranger perfectly compliments all the action and the films overall mood.
When compared to the Radley Metzger’s four other forays into hard core cinema, Naked Came the Stranger is easily his tamest films. With that being said, he still manages create moments of erotica that is in line with his other hard core feature films. A few of this film more memorable erotica moments a scene in which Gilly gets worked over by wipes and various other sexual toys. And a scene on a two tier bus in which Gilly gives a man fellatio.
From a performance stand point, the entire cast all very enjoyable in their respective roles. With the film’s two leads, Darby Lloyd Rains in the role of Gilly and Levi Richards in the role of Billy being this film’s greatest asset. They have a tremendous amount of chemistry, which only further reinforces the arc of their characters infidelities. Ultimately Naked Came the Stranger is a satisfying mix of erotica and humor that fans of the Golden Age of cinema should thoroughly enjoy.
Video X Pix presents Naked Came the Stranger in an anamorphic widescreen that retains the films intended aspect ratio. This film, like all of Radley Metzger’s other hardcore feature was shot on super 16mm and blown up to 35mm. When compared to all previous home video release this new release from Video X Pix is vastly superior in every way.
This release comes with two audio options, the film’s original Dolby Digital mono mix in English and a brand new Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English. Both audio mixes sound great and while most will choose the original mono mix, it is nice that the more expansive Dolby Digital 5.1 option has also been included. This release comes with six subtitles options, English, French, Italian, Spanish, German and Portuguese.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the naked ‘soft’ version of the film (3 minutes 21 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), trailers for The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann (5 minutes 59 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and Maraschino Cherry (5 minutes 52 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), radio spots for Naked Came the Stranger and Maraschino Cherry, a slideshow with stills from the film, a segment titled ‘Ephemera Gallery’ which is a collection of vintage reviews for the film, six minutes of deleted footage – that was shot for the soft core version of this film, a seven minute segment titled ‘Locations’ that shows how locations from the film look today, a fifteen minute segment that shows the differences between the hard core and soft core versions of the film, a nine minute segment that shows the extensive restoration that went into this releases transfer, a English subtitle trivia track that gives a thorough overview about the cast, locations, the score, props that appear in the film and various other production related topics and a audio commentary with screenwriter / director Radley Metzger and adult film historian Benson Hurst.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include a brief recap of The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann, shooting films in super 16mm, the novel from which Naked Came the Stranger was adapted, the cast and rehearsing with them, mixing humor with erotica, why he choose to film a sequence in black & white, several of the film’s key set pieces are discussed in depth, the film’s distribution and commentary ends by setting up the next Henry Paris film The Opening of Misty Beethoven.
It should be noted that a brief capsule review with Jim Holliday and a audio commentary with of Jim Holliday and Shayla La Veaux, that appeared as part of VCA’s DVD release for Naked Came the Stranger has not been ported over for this release. The lack of its inclusion is not that big if a loss since Shayla La Veaux seems lost through out and they don’t make any mention of the numerous cuts that befall VCA’s DVD release.
Other extras include a forty page booklet with liner notes that was written by Benson Hurst, Ian Culmell and Lawernce Cohen, who discuss the film, the music and critical analysis, respectively. a Darby Lloyd Rains post card and promotional inserts for planned future Henry Paris releases and how to order a CD that features various music selections from all of Henry Paris’s films. Overall this is another exceptional release from Video X Pix, who continue to give films from adult cinema’s Golden Age their definitive home video releases.