Written by: Cliff Wood on March 30th, 2006
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
DVD released: February 2nd, 2001
Approximate running time: 84 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: VCA
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
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.
This film like many of Henry Paris’ adult films were shot on super 16 MM and then blow up to 35 MM which frames the compositions at about a 1.66:1 aspect ratio. This film is presented in a full frame aspect ratio for this release and there are a few noticeable moments when cropping is obvious as heads are cut off slightly out of frame. Colors are solid and there are no noticeable instances of color bleeding. There are some minor instances of print damage still nothing that really becomes distracting while watching the film. The source material used for this transfer is most likely the best this film will ever look and despite some of its shortcomings it is a more then watch able presentation.
This release comes with only one audio source an English language track which is presented in a Dolby Digital mono. Outside of some minor instances of hiss and distortion the overall audio track is more than adequate.
Extras for this release include original box art, production stills The Opening of Misty Beethoven and Barbara Broadcast and a gallery of stills of adult cinema’s hall of fame performers in which Jim Holliday narrates. There is also the feature in which the viewer can jump to the starlets’ sex scene they enjoy with just the push of a button. Other extras include a four minute interview with Jim Holliday who gives a capsule review of The Opening of Misty Beethoven. The main extra for this release is an audio commentary with Jamie Gillis and Gloria Leonard. They make a great pair as they remember making the film The Opening of Misty Beethoven, working with Henry Paris and working in the porn industry in general. Overall this audio commentary is more informative and entertaining than the one they recorded for Barbara Broadcast.
For this release VCA has restored some footage that had been previous censored like the ménage a trios’ between Constance Money, Ras Kean and Gloria Leonard. This scene has been returned to its former glory as Constance Money shove every inch into Casey Donovan who steps in as an ass double for Ras Kean.
Overall The Opening of Misty Beethoven is one of the greatest adult films ever made and VCA’s DVD is a strong release, highly recommended.