Distributor: Mitchell Brothers Edition Details: Standard MSRP: $39.95 DVD Release Date: June 2001
Genres: Feature Film, Golden Age Classic (1972 - 1984) Run Time: One hour and 11 minutes Rated: X Release Year: 1972 Directors: James L. Mitchell, Artie J. Mitchell Written by: uncredited adapted from an anonymously written story Cast: Marilyn Chambers, George S. MacDonald (as George S. McDonald), Johnnie Keyes, Phaedra Grant (as Lisa Grant), Yank Levine, Toad Attell, Ben Davidson, Adrienne Mitchell, Dana Fuller, Dale Meade, James L. Mitchell (as James Mitchell), Artie J. Mitchell (as Art Mitchell), Mike Bradford, Tony Royale
Audio: 2.0 English Mono Subtitles: none Video: Pan & Scan, 1.33:1 Video Format: NTSC Regional Code: 0 (All) Disc: Single Sided, Single Layered Special Features: Photo Gallery
A short order cook convinces two customers to tell him the story of the green door that they have hinted about in the past. As the story goes, a woman (Marilyn Chambers) is kidnaped and is brought to a mysterious upscale club where she is ravished on stage for the enjoyment of the patrons.
Behind the Green Door is presented in the full screen aspect ratio, 1.33:1, which is not the original aspect ratio for the film. The original aspect ratio appears to be either 1.77:1 or 1.85:1 and although in some portions of the film the pan and scan processing is unnoticeable, in other parts the processing is very noticeable and the framing is off. The print used for this film definitely shows its age. There are artifacts throughout the film. The color levels are slightly off and in places the black level comes through as a grey. However, for the age of the film this is definitely a decent print.
The available audio track is a 1.0 English mono track, which is the original audio track for the film. The audio has obviously not been remastered for this disc, however given the huge budget restrictions on the film, the sound isn't that bad. The only places the audio has trouble are during high-pitched octaves, which come through poorly. There are no other language tracks and no subtitle options are available.
There are three chapters available from the main menu for Behind the Green Door. They are identified by a video clip from that portion of the film. Given the nature and length of the film, they provide little help in navigating through the film. There is no time code for this film, making this film virtually impossible to navigate through.
The only extra available on the disc, which is related to the feature film, is a photo gallery, which contains 13 stills from the film, of relatively poor quality, on a track. That's it folks, for one of the most important adult films of all time all we get is a photo gallery.
Behind the Green Door is the great granddaddy of adult films. This film is the brain child of Jim and the late Artie Mitchell, producers of adult film loops, who decided to make the first feature length adult film. Behind the Green Door would also lead us into the Golden Age of adult entertainment. The film ended up being a huge theatrical success, partially due to the fact that Marilyn Chambers became the Ivory Snow girl just before the film's release. So how has this important piece of cinematic history held up over the years. Depending on your tastes, very well. If you are a lover of the classics, this film is sure to please.
Despite the fact that Behind the Green Door was shot on a shoestring budget, the sets are very well done. They are much better than what you will find in the average adult film being produced today. Most of the film, I believe, was shot at the Mitchell Brothers owned O'Farrell Theatre. The cast is great too, with stage cast being very attractive, a rarity in the early seventies. Not all of the audience members are attractive though. For instance the corpulent woman in the audience is a major turn off, but casting like this makes the film seem more true to life that what you get today. The cast does a good acting job too, not that there is much for them to do. An interesting thing to note is the club's bouncer is played by Ben Davidson, an NFL player for the Oakland Raiders.
The sex in the film is very tame, especially by the standards of today. However, this film shows very successfully that you can tame sex and still have a very erotic film. There is a massive amount of variety in the scenes throughout the film to keep the scenes from getting monotonous. As the sex is tame, this film is a prime candidate for couples. For its time, the sex here was considered hardcore and in some places even controversial. Its rather amazing to see how much society has changed in 30 years. For viewers who care, there are no condoms used in the film. The sexual themes present in the film are vaginal and oral sex with fingering, lesbian and orgies.
This brings us toward the end of the film, which answers the age-old question of what a cum shot looks like in slow motion. What starts out as a well done very arty slow motion cum shot ends up becoming this hugely drawn out special effects laden scene. Instead of going on with the film after the cum shot is over, the cum shot ends up being shown over and over again repeatedly for several minutes with various types of visual special effects that I really could have done without. What may have been very impressive 30 years ago has turned into annoying today.
The film is well written and as with many of the films produced during the golden age, the writing resembles a mainstream film more than the adult films of today do. Not all the scenes are written to include sex, some are just used to actually tell the story present in the film. The music used in the film is excellent as well. It is not your average 70s porno sounding music track and adds to the originality of the film.
As with all films, not everything is perfect. The three biggest problems that plague the film are the earlier mentioned cumshot sequence. The earlier mentioned casting of the audience, where some of them are not very pleasing to the eye, detracting from the orgy scene. The final major problem lies in the editing of the film. It can be very choppy at times which becomes distracting. However, this film proves that with its shoestring budget that you don't need to use a lot of money to make a good porno.
The Money Shot:
Behind the Green Door is a must see for any aficionado of adult films and a must have for any serious collector of the classics. Viewers who like the classics, porn with a plot and couples should find this film very enjoyable. Viewers who require nasty sex or hate a plot to invade their porn will want to skip this title. Although this title tends to sell for a rather high price, if you are interested in it, it is definitely worth the cost.
The opinions expressed in this review of Behind The Green Door from Mitchell Brothers are not necessarily the opinions of Adult DVD Talk. Adult DVD Talk provides a public forum for consumers to post their DVD reviews. Adult DVD Talk does not edit these reviews.