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Private Lessons (1981)

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NOTE: This commentary is available on the 25th Anniversary Edition DVD.

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Alan Myerson, writer Dan Greenburg, and actor Howard Hesseman Rating:3.0/10 (1 vote) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by frankasu03 on November 13th, 2012:Find all reviews by frankasu03
This track is much better than its' current 3.0 rating. Or, should I say much more "bitter?" I say that, because "Private Lessons" was taken from its' very creators. Despite being shot by future star cinematog 'de Bont, he had no say in the final "color correction." Furthermore, the producers re-edited the flick, shot additional scenes, and made an overall mess of the finished film. Despite these incidents, director Myerson, writer Greenburg, and Actor Hesseman have fond memories of the people they worked with during "Lessons." I was surprised to learn of the original novel's more horrific elements, which became diluted in this "first of the teen 'wet dream' story." Those are Myerson's words, not mine. There are actual scenes that he didn't even shoot, and when the trio point out a crucial shot that gives away the whole tension of the 3rd act, you are sort of outraged, as them. If there's one detriment to this track, it's that their insolence doesn't go far enough. They allude plenty to "higher-ups" who mangled their film, but there could be so much more that they're keeping mum on. It's okay, those comments might have been cut anyway. What's clear is that "Lessons" was one of the most successful independent films (as far as gross to cost comparison) of all-time, and tapped into some themes that won't be revisited anytime soon in major motion pictures (not in a post "Mary Kay letourneau" world). I recommend checking this track out, so as to share in the befuddlement of its' creators. Good Stuff. 8/10