The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1976)

Radley Metzger directs Constance Money, Jamie Gillis and Gloria Leonard in this classic porno where a sex expert trains up an uncouth prostitute.

One the more celebrated adult movies of “The Golden Age”. Critically tolerated in its day. Even Ebert covered it with an open mind. It has the decent production values of a well budgeted independent movie, rhythmic cross cutting, globetrotting location shoots and a kinky spin on the plot of Pygmalion. It is definitely a lot less grimier than any of its peers I’ve explored (Deep Throat, I’m pointing but certainly not looking at you.) The performers can act, have characters, look movie star attractive. Cute Constance Money could easily fit between PJ Soles and Jamie Lee Curtis in a decent slasher. Jamie Gillis has an Elliot Gould air about him. The movie has a wit, not up to Woody Allen levels but certainly not sub-Confessions of a Window Cleaner innuendo. At times it feels like an unintentional satire of how difficult it would be to enjoy everyday pleasures if people are allowed to be constantly at it in any setting. Misty Beethoven would make a stronger ‘Couples Movie’ than anything of its stripe I’ve seen so far. There is more dick on display than female nudity, rarely a scene goes by without an average sized cock being unzipped, pumped or sucked. For the first thirty minutes there is no sustained sex set pieces even if there are lots of random instances of fellatio. But the lengthier set pieces do come. They are sensual, well edited , the women often stay half clothed, any emphasis is on genitalia. It isn’t all vanilla sex. An old man in a Napoleon outfit is wanked off, later a handsome man is pegged with a strap-on. Women come out on top in most of the encounters, especially the coda. Compared to mainstream cinema or modern pornography this is still quite wonky, dated and unarousing. Yet it is outstanding in its field for 1976. If you are going to wager your evening on anything from this sub genre, this has to be the most appealing bet going. The Opening of Misty Beethoven did not need to try to be this competent to make money, so I’ve given it an above average score for purely that reason.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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