The First Word: For porn newbies, this is a must-have title so that you can understand what us "old timers" are talking about when we reminisce about "The Classics" or "The Golden Age." It also provides a great history lesson of the top adult stars throughout the history of X-rated films.
Plot Synopsis: Jim Holliday has made a career out of knowing more trivia about the industry and seeing as much porno as Leonard Maltin has seen mainstream films. For the 25th anniversary of the adult film industry (which "began" the year I was born--you do the math), a number of critics were asked to pick the top 25 stars of all time. Of the ones that were selected, Jim got the most matches (21 or 22, I can't remember). So this DVD was put together to showcase the talents of the top 25 stars. Teaming up with his sidekick, Jill Kelly, Jim Holliday introduces and offers commentary on scenes he picked as representative of their work.
The disc is pretty much a "who's who" in porn history. By my count there are 47 stars featured (listed above) in 26 full-length scenes from 25 movies (which are Insatiable, Love Goddesses, Anna Obsessed, Devil in Miss Jones 2, Only Game in Town, Best of Alex de Renzy, New Wave Hookers, Every Woman Has a Fantasy, Outlaw Ladies, Alex de Renzy's Girlfriends, Seduction of Cindy, She's So Fine, Sexcapades, I Wanna Be Teased, Play Me Again Vanessa, Bun Masters, Devil in Miss Jones 3, Black Throat, Taxi Girls, Deep Inside Vanessa Del Rio, Debbie Does Wall Street, Let's Get It On With Amber Lynn, Pretty Peaches 2, The Chameleon, and Masque--whew!). While I don't agree with all of the choices for the Top 25 nor some of the scenes used to showcase them, I have to say that this is one of the best collections of classic porn on one disc.
Notable Performances: Aside from the two great scenes from Insatiable, the scenes that turned me on the most were from Anna Obsessed (perhaps the best lesbian scene ever filmed), Every Woman Has a Fantasy (maybe the best couples scene), and Outlaw Ladies (great dirty talk). While those were the greatest in my book, the other 20 or so scenes are not slouches either--this is like a good "Best of the 80s" CD: you want to play every track.
Dislikes: The commentaries by Jim and Jill are often rambling and there's too much BS banter between them that's off topic. Jim often doesn't finish a thought--just when he's getting somewhere, Jill interrupts with "Wow, she's hot," to which Jim replies "Yeah!" and that ends whatever story he was telling. Personally, I thought that Jim Holliday's historical documentaries were better when he did them solo without someone to distract him! :) And, folks, as much as some of you may like Jill Kelly, I think to put her in the Top 25 is a travesty--I'd almost put Jenna Jameson (who I'm not a particular fan of either) before Jill. But that's just my opinion...
DVD Notes: Since 95% of the footage was shot before 1992 and most of it is at least 15 years old, you shouldn't expect good audio or video quality. In fact, by today's standards, the quality is quite poor. But the rough quality won't get in the way of your enjoyment of these award winning scenes.
The menus and packaging needed to be refined a little bit--their designs both were a little half-assed. Also, I ran into an occasional glitch were the DVD branching didn't work right; a scene would end and reset the audio to the main soundtrack for the next scene, even if I was listening to the secondary track in the previous scene. Speaking of the commentary track, I would have preferred it if they had mixed the audio like they do for mainstream commentaries: fading the main audio track in and out as the commentators are actively speaking. That way, you can hear the main soundtrack at normal volume during long silence gaps in the commentary.
The Last Word: I bitch a lot about the lack of value for the money in adult DVD, but I can't bitch about this title. With 26 scenes in four hours, it has at least three times as much sex as any other title you'll find today. And it's great, classic sex too. I think I still prefer Only the Best (also by Jim Holliday) for a classic compilation disc, but this one is great nonetheless. Essential material for anyone who appreciates the Golden Age of Porn.