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Two men enter a fast food place. The owner asks them about a mysterious matter. After some considerations, one of the two guys accepts to tell the story. Here starts a long flashback: the two men are in a terrace, next to a lake, and one is telling the other a story. A woman sits at a table nearby. Later the same woman is kidnapped. When the blindfold is removed, a woman welcomes her. After a relaxing massage, she is accompanied by 6 women, into a stage, in front of masked men, and women of all kinds. A speaker explains that the woman will be pleased, by all means. The 6 women first, and later some men make love to her, while the audience progressively move into a orgy. This is the end of the flashback. The owner of the fast food place asks what happened after that time, but the men refuse to tell... Written by
Andrea Pasqua <firstname.lastname@example.org>
1972 was, of course, the year that porno briefly became "chic", entirely due to a triumvirate of films that have lost little of their iconic stature three and a half decades further down the line. Queens hairdresser turned quim artist Gerard Damiano unleashed the double whammy of DEEP THROAT and DEVIL IN MISS JONES while the ultimately tragic Mitchell Brothers pooled their considerable talents and resources for the very different BEHIND THE GREEN DOOR. Different in its approach to erotica, making a serious bid for highbrow respectability rather than just content to stimulate its audience's groin area, it was clearly intended to appeal to women as well as men. As a result, the female contingent of its viewer-ship during its initial theatrical run at the brothers' fabled O'Farrell cinema was rumored as being uncharacteristically high. Though exact numbers are nigh impossible to come by, it has also been documented elsewhere that an inordinate amount of female buyers procured the cassette when it was launched on its particularly profitable video career. Supporting the distinction between "rape fantasy" (fuelled by bodice-ripping romance novels) and the disturbing reality, GREEN DOOR details the feature-length subjugation of one woman fair-haired all American girl Gloria Saunders, portrayed by former Ivory Snow model Marilyn Chambers in her indelible adult baptism by fire abducted and taken to an underground sex club where for one night she's told she will be publicly "loved like she has never been loved before" with freedom returned to her the next morning.
Story was taken from an anonymously penned pamphlet that has been passed around among soldiers ever since the Second World War, framed by the supposed eye witness account of two "Everyman" types, strapping young Barry (George S. MacDonald, the boyfriend from David Gerber's superlative SCHOOLGIRL) and elderly Dudley (character actor Yank Levine, who played Abraham in the Mitchells' ill-fated epic SODOM & GOMORRAH) to an inquisitive diner cook. Helpless to save the girl Barry had been flirting with mere moments before, they watch her being dragged (by Jim & Artie no less !) into a car and speeding off. As coincidence would have it, she turns out to be the main attraction at the mysterious Green Door Club both men frequent later that night. Making their bid for real world respectability, the Mitchells enlisted a pair of minor celebrities for brief appearances at this stage. Former pro football player for the Oakland Raiders Ben Davidson plays the bouncer and Angela Castle a/k/a "Toad Attell", who was a regular on Sid Caesar's family-oriented YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS, performs her patented mime routine which stands as one of few elements that really date this film. Though she's an unwilling participant at first, Gloria gradually grows to enjoy the erotic experiences afforded by her captors, a rapt audience progressively partaking which shifts the film's focus from stage to auditorium. In a key element to women's enjoyment of the premise, Gloria is immediately soothed by a sympathetic, tellingly mature matron (with the hint of a British accent, supplied by Linda Grant who thereby has the most extensive dialog scene in the movie) who assures that no harm will come to her and that she should just open herself up okay, you can stop sniggering ! to the physical pleasures that await her. Ravishment by half a dozen women in stylized nun garb, beautifully shot at strangely skewed angles by regular Mitchell DoP Jon Fontana (who worked on AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A FLEA and their rarely revived CB MAMAS), leads to Gloria's response to the call of nature in the shape of the industry's original black stallion Johnny Keyes in an all time classic encounter. No longer on the receiving end, our silent heroine reciprocates in the legendary trapeze number with Mick Jones (another man of color, also in Ann Perry's COUNT THE WAYS and Gary Graver's V THE HOT ONE) and an early appearance by Tyler Reynolds, culminating in the extended solarized spurting that now unfortunately seems mostly like the brothers showing off their technical prowess as it tends to stop the film dead for a ten minute stretch. The highly ritualized theatrical "performance" contrasts effectively with the spontaneous action bursting out among the rapt audience, including an imposing obese lady whose presence has engendered reviewer references to Fellini, along with a recent French critic likening the film to the works of Godard and Ozu in light of the brothers' documented film school training. Great, so at least I don't have to venture down a path that can logically only lead to ridicule ! More than just a hardcore history relic, GREEN DOOR actually holds up well for most part, save for its few dated aforementioned stylistic touches. By restricting their central heroine to complete silence throughout, the Mitchells adopted the "blank screen" approach onto which each viewer can project his or more specifically her private fantasies. There had been cute girls in porn prior to 1972, like Tina Russell for instance, but Chambers was without doubt the first truly beautiful woman to enter the industry, her until then minor real world recognizability facilitating audience identification. It may also be an important factor, as critic Danny Peary points out, that the sexual feats she performs are relatively modest in comparison to those achieved by Linda Lovelace and Georgina Spelvin around the same time and therefore quite attainable for the average Jill Public. Further proof that the genre was still in its infancy and feeling its way is the haunting and utterly non-porno type music composed by Daniel Le Blanc which perfectly accompanies this timeless and still tantalizing classic.
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