Friday, November 15, 2013

#1,187. Behind the Green Door (1972)

Directed By: Artie Mitchell, Jim Mitchell

Starring: Marilyn Chambers, George S. McDonald, Johnnie Keyes

Tag line: "The All-American Girl"

Trivia: The source story was an underground work of fiction that had been circulating for decades

Since the start of my challenge, I have, on occasion, checked out a few soft-core sex films (The Image, The Lickerish Quartet), as well as some that crossed into hard-core territory (Caligula and, most recently, Erotic Nights of the Living Dead). Behind the Green Door is the first “official” porno I’ve covered. Starring the gorgeous Marilyn Chambers, who would go on to become one of the industry’s biggest stars (this was her first adult role), Behind the Green Door brings more to the table than graphic sex, and, in so doing, earns a place among the classics of the adult genre.

Moments after leaving her house, Gloria (Chambers) is abducted by three men and taken to an upscale adult club known as the Green Door, where she herself becomes the main attraction. But what starts as a nightmare turns into an evening of passion the likes of which she has never experienced before.

Directed by brothers Artie and Jim Mitchell and based on a story of unknown origin (one that had been circulating underground for years), Behind the Green Door is adult entertainment with a decidedly art-house feel. After being led inside the club, Gloria, who’s understandably frightened, is taken to a back room, where she’s greeted by a woman (Elizabeth Knowles) who attempts to calm her down. This woman proceeds to tell Gloria that, not long ago, she herself was in the same predicament, and her experience at the Green Door turned out to be “the most exquisite moment” of her life. Interspersed with images of a mime (Toni Attell) performing on-stage, we watch as the woman gives Gloria a full-body massage. Soon after, Gloria, dressed in a white gown, is escorted to the stage by a bevy of women, all in black. “Ladies and gentlemen”, an unseen announcer says, “you are about to witness the ravishment of a woman who has been abducted, a woman whose initial fear and anxiety has mellowed into curious expectation”. What follows is approximately 45 minutes of uninterrupted sex, yet even here, the Mitchells throw in a few cinematic bells and whistles (including slow-motion) to prevent the film from devolving into nothing more than a clinical depiction of the sex act.

Fancy presentation aside, Behind the Green Door is, first and foremost, a porno movie, and those who shy away from films featuring hard-core sex will want to steer clear of this one. But in the realm of adult entertainment, Behind the Green Door is definitely better than most.


sookietex said...

i know there is a distinction btwn "adult/porn" and "x-rated" but i was checking the list of films you have covered & did not see a listing for Last Tango in Paris [MPAA originally gave an X rating---it has since changed to NC-17]. i hope you get the opportunity to see this classic.

Anonymous said...

The film's star, Marilyn Chambers, did not have a single line of dialogue.