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The Radley Metzger Collection, Vol. 1 (Therese and Isabelle / The Alley Cats / Camille 2000)

2.6 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Three erotic Radley Metzger classics in one box set : THERESE & ISABELLE, CAMILLE 2000, THE ALLEY CATS

Therese and Isabelle
Radley Metzger's most acclaimed film is a melancholy tale of a woman wandering through the landscape of her memory to relive the joys and sorrows of the first love of her adolescence. We flash back on the young Therese (Essy Persson), who has grown up as the only person in her single mother's life, but due to her mother's abrupt marriage she has now been banished from the family home to a finishing school. Feeling abandoned, Therese becomes friends with the vivacious and lively Isabelle (Anna Gaël), but their relationship grows past friendship to love, and together they taste the forbidden fruit of sex. Based on the autobiographical novel Le Batarde by Violette Leduc, Metzger's handsome black-and-white film (elegantly shot by Hans Jura) is constructed as a prismatic set of flashbacks, constructed not in chronological order but rather along thematic lines, intercut with the adult Therese revisiting the ghosts of her past in the now-deserted school. The tasteful restraint of the first half gives way to discreet sexual explorations and finally nudity, which may be troubling to some viewers in light of the age of the characters (who are played by adults), but Metzger never exploits the situation. The poignant scenes have a tenderness and raw emotion that captures the mix of excitement, fear, and confusion of adolescence, and ultimately the film becomes about the tragedy of loss that continues to haunt the adult Therese.

Camille 2000
Radley Metzger's erotic take on Alexandre Dumas fils' tragedy The Lady of the Camellias is a hedonistic journey into decadence among the chic world of upper-crust Rome. Marguerite (Danièle Gaubert) lives off the gifts and good graces of an elderly sugar-daddy count, treating love as a game and sex as a pastime (she is "discriminating but not particular," in the words of one rival). Sweet-faced innocent Armand (Nino Castelnuovo), a young bachelor newly arrived in Rome, courts the comely beauty and wins her heart, and together they live a fairy-tale romance--until his father intervenes and Marguerite (already conveniently dying of one of those afflictions that strikes gorgeous young women who flirt out of their class) selflessly leaves Armand to his greater fate and sinks into a haze of drugs, alcohol, and promiscuous abandonment. Metzger's romantic tragedy is a fleshy delight--the camera lovingly caresses every voluptuous curve of Gaubert's face and body--with a surprisingly restrained display of nudity. Lushly photographing in seductive color in the elegant mansions of Rome, Metzger cranks up the kink in one scene, a party set in a prison turned pleasure house where dates are chained together and couples retire to a cell for privacy, but balances the erotic decadence with tasteful restraint. The art direction and cinematography are so rich that, apart from the magnetic Miss Gaubert, the characters are constantly in danger of being overwhelmed by their surroundings. But little matter--if the tragedy is less than devastating, the realization is delightfully tactile and alive.

The Alley Cats
The success of Radley Metzger's smooth, stylish erotic bonbon The Dirty Girls inspired him to try something a little more ambitious. The Alley Cats is the simple story of Leslie (petite, big-eyed brunette Anna Arthur), a frustrated young woman in the European jet set ignored by her fiancé, Logan. When she discovers he's in the middle of an affair with her best friend, Leslie decides to have a few dalliances of her own. To her surprise, she falls for a beautiful, seductive socialite and is suddenly confronted with a choice she never expected to face. Daring in its time, it feels rather dated today, as the decadent display of sexual freedom collapses in a conclusion grounded in conventional attitudes. But until then it's a lusty yet sleek look at swinging '60s Europe shot on gorgeous locations and in chic, elegantly furnished apartments in cool, crisp black-and-white widescreen, enlivened by a funky rock and jazz-influenced score. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Essy Persson, Anna Gaël, Danièle Gaubert, Nino Castelnuovo, Barbara Laage
  • Directors: Radley Metzger
  • Writers: Alexandre Dumas fils, Jesse Vogel, Michael DeForrest, Peter Fernandez, Violette Leduc
  • Producers: Radley Metzger, Kurt Ulrich
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    Mature Audiences Only
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: November 23, 2004
  • Run Time: 316 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002ZDWTE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,985 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Radley Metzger Collection, Vol. 1 (Therese and Isabelle / The Alley Cats / Camille 2000)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
[CAMILLE 2000 (Extended Version) -(1969)- Directed by Radley Metzger - Widescreen Presentation] Loosely based (and I do mean loose) on the classic Alexandre Dumas story, 'The Lady of the Camillas' - one of the few times a filmed erotic re-creation of a traditional title actually works without embarrassment - Radley Metzger finally actualized his attempts at merging arthouse sophistication and eroticism. This film, along with 'The Lickerish Quartet', stands proudly above his other work in the 60's, though no one can ever accuse him of not over-reaching in previous attempts. I personally found 'Score', released around the same time, to be a sordid, second-rate take on 'Bob and Carol, Ted and Alice' that never hit its mark (impoverished acting might have had something to do with it) but, in this instance, Metzger got the brass ring he so desperately sought and deserved.

The tale of a beautiful but self-destructive woman named Marguerite (captured by the striking Daniele Gaubert, who had appeared in about 20 films prior to this), whose addictions to drugs, sex and money are the focal point of most of the film, who later falls in love with an aristocratic young man named Armand (Nino Castelnuovo of 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg') she meets at one of the notorious soirees she regularly threw at her villa for hip jet-setters and the extravagantly rich at the end of the late 60's - certainly a fantastic time to be either. Though she is kept by a grand Duke, has a host of other lovers and attends all the glamorous parties of the decadently entitled, her love for Armand leads her to run away with him on a yacht so they can concentrate on each other.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Last year, I reviewed the first release of Director Radley Metzger's Erotic classic which First Run Features culled from a worn 35mm negative but now , Cult Epics has released this wonderful revelation: an enhanced Director's cut which restores over 12 minutes of footage and brings Metzger's color images into the fold. The memorable music score by Piero Piccioni can be heard clearer than ever and now the film looks better than when it was projected in the theatres back in the day. The release is loaded with extras including a before and after restoration segment showing the process of sequences being cleaned up and polished, a great audio commentary track with Director Metzger and moderator Michael Bowen, a 20 minute behind the scenes featurette showing the actors on set , 2 extended isolated erotic scenes and trailers for other Metzger releases. This release is a must have if you adore and appreciate this film as I do and Cult Epics deserves major kudos for allowing cinema lovers the opportunity to view this masterpiece the way it was meant to be seen. Highly recommended.
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Format: Amazon Video
A powerful story and a great cinematic experience, Metzger was at the top of his game in Camille 2000. But this movie goes deeper than most on this topic.

You probably already know the story line -- a beautiful "jet setter" bought and paid for by a very rich count hosts frequent parties dedicated to the hedonism she so passionately pursues. She meets a man and they fall in love for a summer. Then the romance ends unexpectedly. The next few weeks and months are a predictable series of chance meetings at various parties where the couple attempt to be unaffected by the other while doing things to intentionally hurt each other. It seems the couple themselves are the only ones who cannot see the clear and obvious love still smoldering between them.

But this story goes much deeper than a simple summer romance about love won and then lost. All through the movie it is clear that this large cast of "the beautiful people" is nothing more than a group searching for real meaning in their lives and not finding it, resulting in the predictable substitution of physical pleasure for real meaning. We have all done it on some scale - not finding what we truly want so we settle for what we think we want or for what we believe is the best we will find. And history suggests that sensuality is the most effective substitute for real meaning.

As for all of us, sensuality works for a while for our central couple. But the truth seeps in no matter how badly we want it to stay out. It seems that the love our central couple feels for each other cannot withstand the forces attacking it. Then hurt, anger, and even bitterness becomes their constant companions.

Yet Metzger gives us so much more than this common and tragic story.
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Format: VHS Tape
Camille 2000 is a tale of a rich Italian businessman, Armand, who falls in love with Marguerite, a rich French Madam. The story follows the opera "La Traviata", which is not new territory for Metzger (Carmen, Baby), and is based on the Alexandre Dumas story "Lady of the Camellias". The most interesting aspect of this film is the use of color, the extravagant costumes, and the photography. This film has a reputation as being a sort of "soft-core" sex film, but actually it is very tame compared to many other adult films from that decade. The film does have some flaws, such as editing and acting, however it is visually soothing. The soundtrack by Piero Piccioni is the best psychedelic film music I have ever heard. A good choice for fans of that "Peter Max" look.
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