The Opening of Misty Beethoven
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|The Opening of Misty Beethoven|
The Opening of Misty Beethoven movie poster
|Directed by||Radley Metzger (as Henry Paris)|
|Produced by||Radley Metzger|
|Written by||Jake Barns|
|Music by||George Craig
|Edited by||Bonnie Karrin|
|Distributed by||Catalyst Productions
Joy Bear Pictures
|Release date(s)||March, 1976|
|Running time||86 minutes|
The Opening of Misty Beethoven is an American hardcore pornography film released in 1976. It was produced with a relatively high budget and filmed on elaborate locations in Paris, New York City and Rome with a musical score, and it owes much to its fastidious director Radley Metzger (directing this film as "Henry Paris").
In a pornographic take-off of Shaw's play Pygmalion (and its derivative My Fair Lady), the film is about a sexologist who tries transforming a low-skilled prostitute into a goddess of passion. While he tries to prepare her to seduce a homosexual artist, it is he for whom she develops feelings. In this film, Henry Higgins (of Pygmalion) is replaced by Dr. Seymour Love, the sexologist, played by Jamie Gillis. Eliza Doolittle (of Pygmalion) becomes Dolores "Misty" Beethoven, who is played by Constance Money, and Colonel Pickering becomes Geraldine Rich, played by Jacqueline Beudant. During the film, Misty achieves "elevation" better than Love and Rich had hoped but then cuts them off, as in George Bernard Shaw's play. However, this film then follows the common divergence from Shaw's plot when she returns to Love at the end.
In a variance of the usual ending, in this version of the story, Misty returns in a much different capacity. In the ending, Misty takes over for Dr. Love and is running the "school". Dr. Love is present but in a very subservient position. It is clearly Misty that is in charge by this time.
In an era in which pornography was just beginning to be widely released, most movies of that time were expected to have at least minimal plots. Misty's plot was more elaborate than most; it was based directly on George Bernard Shaw's play, Pygmalion, as well as the Broadway and Hollywood success My Fair Lady. The film is also satirical, with many added comic touches and dialog designed for laughs.
Awards from the Adult Film Association of America:
- Best Actor (Jamie Gillis)
- Best Director (Henry Paris, aka Radley Metzger)
- Best Picture
- Best Screenplay
- Best Editing
- 2002 AVN Award - "Best Classic DVD"
- The film was one of the first to be inducted into the XRCO Hall of Fame.
In 2004, Misty Beethoven: The Musical!, a musical remake, was released. It featured Sunset Thomas, Randy Spears, Julie Meadows, Asia Carrera, Chloe, Dave Cummings, Mike Horner, Evan Stone and Tyce Bune. It was directed by Veronica Hart. The film won the 2004 XRCO Award for "Best Comedy or Parody", and the 2005 AVN Award for "Best Sex Comedy".
In 2012, DistribPix oversaw a complete restoration of the film, with the full cooperation of the director. The result had a limited exhibition in theaters, but the main outcome of the project was the first-ever official DVD and Blu-ray releases. In addition, a fully annotated CD soundtrack was released.
- VCA Pictures
- Nault, Curran (Summer 2010). "Bend Over Boyfriend to Take it Like a Man: pegging pornography and the queer representation of straight sex". Jump Cut (52).
- Frank Thistle, "The Second Annual Erotica Awards," Adam Film World, January 1979, pp. 24-27, 72.
- AFAA, "8th Annual AFAA Erotic Film Awards," official program, March 14, 1984.
- Thomas H. Hilton, "The First Annual Erotica Awards", Adam Film World, December 1977, pp. 18-21.
- AFAA, "Seventh Annual Erotica Awards," official program, June 23, 1983.
- "Best Classic DVD". Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- Transcript of AVC video, A Night of Legends: First Annual XRCO Adult Film Awards, 1985
- "Best Sex Comedy". Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- Kevin Heffernan, "A social poetics of pornography", Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Volume 15, Issue 3, December 1994, pp. 77–83. doi:10.1080/10509209409361441.
- Peter Lehman, Pornography: film and culture, Rutgers depth of field series, Rutgers University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-8135-3871-8.
- Linda Williams, Hard core: power, pleasure, and the "frenzy of the visible", University of California Press, 1999, ISBN 0-520-21943-0.
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- The Opening of Misty Beethoven at the Internet Movie Database
- The Opening of Misty Beethoven at the Adult Film Database
- DistribPix information on the 2012 restoration
- A review with some photos
- Blu-ray Review At Rock! Shock! Pop!
- 10K Bullets review