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Radley Metzger’s Biography



Radley Metzger was born and raised in New York City and received a B.A. in Dramatic Arts from City College of New York. He studied with filmmakers Hans Richter and Leo Seltzer, and even studied privately with director Harold Clurman. Metzger served in the Air Force during the Korean War with the 1350th Photographic Group, interrupting his graduate studies at Columbia University. It was a combination of his academic studies and his photographic work in the Air Force that taught Metzger the skills he is so acclaimed for today.

In his early career in the entertainment industry, Metzger worked primarily as a film editor. He was employed cutting trailers at Janus Films, a major distributor of foreign art films, especially those of Ingmar Bergman. Metzger also dabbled in commercials and helped with the dubbing of “And God Created Woman.” He made his directorial debut in 1958 with the film “Dark Odyssey,” a drama about a young Greek immigrant living in New York. While the film did not do well with audiences, it was favorably reviewed by the New York Times.

In 1961, along with film distributor Ava Leighton, Metzger founded Audubon Films, a distribution company that specialized in importing, re-editing, and distributing international sexploitation films. They released “The Fast Set” and “The Twilight Girls” that year, followed by “I Spit on Your Grave” and “I, a Woman,” which proved to be a smash hit in the U.S. in 1966.

Metzger made his second directorial effort with the film “The Dirty Girls,” released in 1965. This film marked his emergence as a sexploitation film director, an integral moment in his career. His subsequent films were often shot in Europe and were adapted from novels or other literary sources. He had an eye for chic, glamorous beauty and made films that were glossy and had strikingly upscale production values. He cites John Farrow, Michael Powell and Orson Welles as influencing his work. He had a particular interest in “creating a total environment.” As he put it: “I created an idealized enactment of sex, as a unifying force between people … In the area of eroticism, I think it’s easier to involve the audience if you deal with rich people… So I had to keep everything upscale. It’s a kind of seduction.”

Metzger’s brand of classy erotic art films went out of style in the mid-70’s as the success of “Deep Throat” opened the floodgates to hardcore, graphic sex on the big screen. Not to be left behind, Metzger reinvented himself as Henry Paris and crossed over into the porn world, a genre his earlier, softcore art films did not fit into. Always an artist with an eye for beauty, Metzger brought his brand of high quality filmmaking to porn, successfully making five films in this mode. He began with the 1974 film “The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann” and achieved acclaim with “The Opening of Misty Beethoven” two years later. He went on to direct “Naked Came the Stranger” and “Barbara Broadcast,” two more highly successful films.

Radley Metzger is, without a doubt, one of the leading pioneers of adult cinema. He brought artistic value to eroticism and blended them as no other director had done at that time. His films are widely acclaimed still today and are often used to teach university film students. More than porn, his films were pieces of art and recognized as such when The Film Society of Lincoln Center put on a retrospective of his work called, “This is Softcore: the Art Cinema Erotica of Radley Metzger.”

Awards


“The Opening of Misty Beethoven” was the recipient of the first Adult Film Association of America awards for Best Direction, Best Film, and Best Actor. In 2002, the same production won Best Classic Release on DVD.

In 2010, Metzger became the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oldenburg International Film Festival.

In 2011, his work was the subject of a retrospective at the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

Barbara Broadcast - Director Commentary With Radley Metzger

Video: Barbara Broadcast - Director Commentary With Radley Metzger
Preview

13 Ratings
Release Year: 1977

Watch the full length feature while director Radley Metzger discusses the production, . . .

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Barbara Broadcast

Video: Barbara Broadcast
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89 Ratings
Release Year: 1977

Distribpix is proud to present Barbara Broadcast digitally re-mastered . . .

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Barbara Broadcast - A Tribute To The Players

Video: Barbara Broadcast - A Tribute To The Players
Preview

10 Ratings
Release Year: 2013

A Tribute To The Players from Barbara Broadcast - This featurette takes a brief look . . .

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Barbara Broadcast - The Outtakes

Video: Barbara Broadcast - The Outtakes
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15 Ratings
Release Year: 1977

As a bonus feature to the release of the digitally re-mastered version of Barbara . . .

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The Opening Of Misty Beethoven Actress Commentary Gloria Leonard

Video: The Opening Of Misty Beethoven Actress Commentary Gloria Leonard
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13 Ratings
Release Year: 1976

Watch the Softcore version of the film while Hall of Fame actress Gloria Leonard . . .

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The Opening Of Misty Beethoven Director Commentary with Radley Metzger

Video: The Opening Of Misty Beethoven Director Commentary with Radley Metzger
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24 Ratings
Release Year: 1976

Watch the full length feature while director Radley Metzger discusses the production, . . .

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The Opening Of Misty Beethoven

Video: The Opening Of Misty Beethoven
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112 Ratings
Release Year: 1976
Premium Title

Widely considered to be the greatest adult film of all time, Radley Metzger's "The . . .

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The Opening Of Misty Beethoven Behind The Scenes

Video: The Opening Of Misty Beethoven  Behind The Scenes
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11 Ratings
Release Year: 2012

This brand new 45 minute documentary, narrated by adult film historian Benson Hurst, . . .

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The Opening Of Misty Beethoven Ephemara Gallery

Video: The Opening Of Misty Beethoven Ephemara Gallery
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7 Ratings
Release Year: 1976

Newspaper articles, Original ad mats, VHS Covers, Story Boards and Certificates give . . .

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The Opening Of Misty Beethoven Photo Slide Show

Video: The Opening Of Misty Beethoven Photo Slide Show
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8 Ratings
Release Year: 1976

In 2010 Radley Metzger contacted Distribpix and told them that he had found some . . .

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The Opening Of Misty Beethoven - Original Radio Spots

Video: The Opening Of Misty Beethoven - Original Radio Spots
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5 Ratings
Release Year: 1976

Audio Only, No Video

Director Radley Metzger was an . . .

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The Opening Of Misty Beethoven - Theatrical Trailers of Henry Paris

Video: The Opening Of Misty Beethoven - Theatrical Trailers of Henry Paris
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10 Ratings
Release Year: 1976

Director Radley Metzger was an anamoly in the adult film industry. Fifteen years . . .

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