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Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann, The

Studio: Video X Pix » Review by Marine Hardcore » Review Date: 10/2/11

XCritic's Advice: XCritic Pick

Studio: VCA, Distribpix

Genre: Classic Porn

Category: All sex

Director: Heny Paris (Radley Metzger in his first film under this nom de plume)

Length: Uncut Hard version: 83 minutes Soft Version: 72 minutes

Production Date: 1974

Re-release date: 8-22-2011

Video & Sound: Uncut. Eastman Color. 16x9 Widescreen HD. 1.85:1. Mono.

Extras: Two discs—hardcore and soft. 44 page line note book.

Uncut Hard Version: Full length audio commentary with Radley Metzger, Eric Edward's interview (44 minutes), Original Trailer (6 minutes), Slide Gallery

Soft Version: Georgina Spelvin interview (40 minutes) The Locations of Pamela Mann (7 minutes) Metzger’s Manhattan (7 minutes), The Cutting Floor (9 minutes), 2011 trailer, Slide Gallery, Ephemera Gallery

Condoms: No

Cast: Barbara Bourbon, Eric Edwards, Georgina Spelvin, Alan Marlow, Sonny Landham, Marc Stevens, Darby Lloyd Rains, Jamie Gillis

Hype: “Best Film of the Year! Easiest 100% I have ever given.” – Al Goldstein

 “Premium quality! Hard core with genuine talent and sparkle” – Bruce Williamson/PLAYBOY

Synopsis: This movie—and this is really a movie—relates the tale of a private investigator (Eric Edwards) who is hired by the husband(Alan Marlow) of his wife Pamela (Barbara Bourbon) to investigate her suspected infidelities. Metzger follows the cast around New York City and realistically conveys how the detective becomes somewhat obsessed with his target. Along with the main story, there hovers around on the peripheral subplots that involve Pamela's maid (Darby Rains, who was quite a porn star in those days, a politician (Sonny Landham, the Predator co-star of Arnold’s who played the badass tracker with the huge knife), and her hooker best friend (one of my favorite golden era stars: Georgina Spelvin).

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What I saw in this Movie:  The restored uncut print looks very good as is the R-rated version. The sex in the uncut version is excellent with good camera positions during blow jobs and fucking that allow the viewer to get off as easily as watching the graphic porn of today. Did I really just say that? This is good sex presented in a solid story format. Barbara Bourbon looks fantastic and holds her own with any of the plastic bottle blonds of today. Georgina is great and her acting above average compared to stars of then and now. She had an average body but what set her apart was her unbridled passion and it shows here. Her entre’ into porn at a later age showed us for the first time older women could do sex on film and be successful. Many of the comments from the women stars of the time—Annette Haven, Kay Parker, Seka, and Veronica Hart was that they loved sex and I got to tell you, it’s the truth. If you want to see passionate women loving every little bit of sex, then watch these women from the Golden Era of Porn. Eric Edwards is here looking like he just graduated from acting school somewhere. Jamie Gillis, one of the weirdest guys in porn in any era is here. Darby Lloyd Rains, a sexy and dangerous looking babe who was in many films back then plays a presumed criminal and rapist alone with Gillis in a scene where they attack and abuse Bourbon—or do they? Assumptions of what is happening and the surprise ending is what makes this porn film a classic and the package you get here is so complete as to make it a graduate course in film and directing at one of the major universities in America. I am sure the stars and director Metzger did nor think of this film in this way and just made something they could sell, but there it is—a classic given a classic treatment equal to Criterion or Kino releases of other film genres.

My Rating: This is an XCritic Pick far and away. Why? As an historical artifact of a bygone era the packaging and historical information this 2-disc set contains is fantastic and enough to satisfy the most avid historian or fan of those great films of the 70’s. And as a film, the technical aspects are very good and the chance to see locations in and around Manhattan from 1974 is rare and very useful. Both the Cut and Uncut prints are very good and it is wonderful to see Eric Edwards, Georgina Spelvin, and Barbara Bourbon in such clarity and youthful exuberance.

The story itself is very well-done and keeps you interest like a lot of films from this era did. It is a great film to watch on its own as straight entertainment; with your girlfriend or wife as an arousal session or by your self to masturbate to, either male or female. Radley Metzger’s films have always had an extreme erotic slant to them and I vividly remember seeing The Lickerish Quartet for the first time and how turned-on I was. I have since seen all of his others from the late 1960’s and also have seen and enjoyed his Henry Paris period that included films such as Maraschino Cherry, Misty Beethoven, Barbara Broadcast, and Naked Came the Stranger. They all have the “Radley” touch and like many very good directors you can tell their films right away without seeing any of the credits.

Compared to today’s porn that encompasses gonzo, parodies, and all kinds of minimal plot points, if any, it was a joy to watch a real story develop that was interesting and held your attention to the last minute. This film just happened to contain some hard core sex scenes in it. Without them, the story would have not have been as strong.

I think younger viewers of porn who are used to gonzo and the like where the sex starts almost immediately will see this film as slow-moving and boring at first blush, thinking the sex is minimal and not as graphic as today’s unvarnished presentations. Yet, if you give this and others a chance at repeated viewings you will recognize a quality far surpassing anything of today (Blu-Ray? Who needs it?) and revel in the real effort these films delivered to you, the viewer. Remember, these films were made before any type of video recording and viewing was available and the only place you could see them were in theaters. Thus, they were made to higher standards of presentation with that venue in mind. Today, anybody with a camera obtained from your local Best Buy can film a porno and either put it on the Web of manufacture DVDs for sale anywhere. Back then it was more of a struggle and quality was the byword. Quality is what you get here and this particular package is the best of that era you can find.

So, I am giving a film made in 1974—a year after I was married and my son was one year old—the highest rating available from www.XCritic.com? You bet cha! Get it!

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