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Opening of Misty Beethoven, The (BluRay) 
Written by: on December 13th, 2012

Theatrical Release Date: USA, March, 1976
Director: Henry Paris (Radley Metzger)
Writer: Jake Barnes
Cast: Constance Money, Jamie Gillis, Jacqueline Beaudant, Terri Hall, Ras Kean, Gloria Leonard

BluRay released: October 31st, 2012
Approximate running time: 86 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Rating: XXX
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese
BluRay Release: DistribPix
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $32.99

Synopsis: Seymour Love (Jamie Gillis) is a sexologist who believes that he can transform Misty Beethoven (Constance Money) a second rate whore into the next Golden Rod Girl. Seymour with the help of his friend Geraldine (Jacqueline Beaudant) have to work at a feverish pace with Misty in order to have here ready for Lawrence Layman a vein magazine publishers next high society party.

If you feel like you’re experiencing déjà vu while watching The Opening of Misty Beethoven the reason most likely would be because the films is loosely based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion which is known to a wider audience as My Fair Lady. Taking one of Hollywood most beloved films ‘My Fair Lady’ and spicing it up for a more adult audience is pure genius. Most porn films suffer from little or no plot and the dialog is cringe worthy horrible beyond description. Henry Paris besides being known for his exquisite direction his films are known for their witty dialog.

There are many great moments in this film like when Misty gets a man excited at the opera and he takes her into the bathroom. The scene is accompanied by ‘William Tell Overture’ which perfectly emphasizes the immediacy of this moment in time. There is also some slick inter cutting that goes on during this scene like when Seymour is getting head and he images how well Misty is doing. The scene appropriately ends with Seymour shouting ‘Blast off’ as he and the man in the bathroom stall both men climax. Another stand out moment includes the reinstated ménage a trios’ between Constance Money, Ras Kean and Gloria Leonard.

The acting in The Opening of Misty Beethoven is the best it has ever been in any adult film, period. Jamie Gillis who usually plays heavies who like to get a little ruff does a wonderful job portraying Seymour Love. The real star of the show of course is Constance Money as Misty Beethoven. She brings a sweetness and natural innocence that totally sells her in this role. Unfortunately Constance Money would only make a handful of films before she would retire from adult cinema with her performance as Misty Beethoven being her ultimate achievement in her brief career. The supporting cast Jacqueline Beaudant, Terri Hall, Ras Kean and Gloria Leonard are equally impressive in their roles.

The films soundtrack is an eclectic mix of library tracks that help set up and shape the mood of each scene. The score includes many notable selections, especially the use of classical music like the aforementioned ‘William Tell Overture’ and music from Italian cinema like Bruno Nicolai’s ‘Thin Ice’ from the film Teorema.

Though the Cinematography on The Opening of Misty Beethoven is credited to someone named Robert Rochester. Which is actually a pseudonym for Paul Glickman, an academy award winning cinematographer. Overall The Opening of Misty Beethoven is visual feast for the eyes that set the standards for adult cinema so high that no other film has come close to ever eclipsing its majesty.

The BluRay:

The Opening of Misty Beethoven comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. Both versions of the film are presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. This release is cause for celebration as this film finally gets a release that presents the film in its intended aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and the end result is nothing short of breathtaking. It is safe to say that this is the best this film has ever looked on home video.

The hard-core version of the film comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English and a Dolby Digital Mono mix in English. Both audio mixes sound great, with the DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English doing a very good at spreading out the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack. This release comes with six subtitle options, English, French, Italian, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

Extras for this release include a trailers for The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann, Naked Came the Stranger, The Opening of Misty Beethoven, Barbra Broadcast and Marascino Cherry, radio spots for Naked Came the Stranger and Marascino Cherry, a slideshow with stills from the film, a segment titled ‘Ephemera Gallery’ which is a collection of vintage reviews for the film, outtakes / deleted scenes (24 minutes 16 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), five featurettes, ‘The Restoration of Misty’ (25 minutes 58 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), ‘Remembering Jamie Gillis’ (9 minutes – anamorphic widescreen), ‘Desperately Seeking Susan: Constance Found’ (7 minutes 41 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), ‘Jamie Gillis: The Final Interview’ (18 minutes 53 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and ‘Cinetta Studios Revisited’ (3 minutes 8 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a documentary about the making of the film titled ‘Behind the Scenes of Misty Beethoven’ (48 minutes 21 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), two audio commentaries, the first one with screenwriter / director Radley Metzger and adult film historian Benson Hurst (this one is only accessible via the  hard-core version of the film) and the second one with actress Gloria Leonard (this one is only accessible via the soft-core version of the film) and an alternate soft-score version of the film (81 minutes 15 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, Dolby Digital mono English and English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese subtitles options), this version also contains some footage not present in the hard-core version of the film.

As you can see there is a wealth of extra content to work through. With the ‘making of’ documentary titled ‘Behind the Scenes of Misty Beethoven’ and the audio commentary being the two standout extras. The “making of’ documentary gives a brief primer of the hard-core films that Radley Metzger made leading up to The Opening of Misty Beethoven. Then it shifts gears and gives a well rounded overall of every aspect of this production . The audio commentary is yet again another pitch perfect track in which Radley Metzger discusses the two hard-core films that he made before The Opening of Misty Beethoven. Other key topics he touches upon include casting, locations. the score and the look of the film.

The two segments titled ‘Jamie Gillis: The Final Interview’ and ‘Desperately Seeking Susan: Constance Found’ cover similar ground as they pay tribute to this films two leads, while the brief segment titled ‘Cinetta Studios Revisited’ offers a before and after for one of this films key locations, the party sequence. Not to be overlooked is restoration featurette which shows the mammoth amount of work that went into this release. The outtakes / deleted scenes come with a brief into explanation to the viewer what they are about to see and the audio commentary with Gloria Leonard gives a strong first person account from someone, who was involved with this film. She also has a lot of interesting things to say about moments in the film in which she was not directly involved.

Other extras include a sixty 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 collectable postcard with key art from this films promotional campaign, a magnet and promotional insert for this release of The Opening of Misty Beethoven. Overall The Opening of Misty Beethoven is not just the best XXX home video release of the year, it is by far and away the cult home video release of the year, highly recommended.

Note: This film is also being released by Video X Pix on DVD.

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