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  • When adult films of the '70's made their way back into the mainstream of popular culture, Radley Metzger most definitely holds his regard as the finest adult filmmaker ever. My first encounter with Metzger's work was "The Opening of Misty Beethoven" which, as a boy looking through a friend's parents' videos, was far more than I'd expected. Years later, I was happy to view "The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann," which, aside from the pornographic content, I found totally engrossing. I admit being completely shocked by the surprise ending!

    Maybe it's the recent admiration of independent film that has made the acting in Radley's movies seem so much better, but his camera work is unsurpassed in his field. Beautifully shot, well acted smut, which borders on proving itself as "erotica!" Yeah for Radley Metzger!
  • tedg13 October 2004
    Warning: Spoilers
    Spoilers herein.

    Some ideas are so penetrating that you can find them in unlikely places. One unlikely place for film ideas is porn. Porn today is little like that of the 70's which 'Boogie Nights' celebrates. This stuff is film first, with the subject matter tailored to a specific market.

    Seen that way, it is no surprise that there is a lot of Godard in this. The self-awareness and self-reference would be curious in any film, but more so where we are voyeurs.

    This is a voyeuristic film about a voyeuristic film, episodes shown about episodes shown. Sexual fulfillment in watching sexual fulfillment in watching. Not entirely stupid, this.

    As porn, it is a bit interesting too. The star is a far cry from what porn stars are today. This woman is just like many you'd pass on the street: no Jesabel makeup, no tarty clothes, no silicone boobs, no pubic shaving, no particular bodily conditioning at all. In fact, she's sorta lose and fat. To the extent that these can be erotic, this makes it more so.

    Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Softcore maestro Radley Metzger (THERESE AND ISABELLE) adopted the pseudonym "Henry Paris" for a mere five hardcore endeavors, all of which – with the possible exception of the last, 1978's MARASCHINO CHERRY – are considered true classics of their kind. It was his eminently witty spin on "Pygmalion", THE OPENING OF MISTY BEETHOVEN (1976), that would singlehandedly assure his everlasting reputation as one of the most adroit and intelligent filmmakers in adult. Two years prior, Metzger was just dipping his toe into the water when he made THE PRIVATE AFTERNOONS OF PAMELA MANN, a sophisticated comedy of bad manners, wowing genre critics and audiences alike.

    An unnamed private eye (played by veteran performer Eric Edwards) receives a phone call from worried businessman Mr. Mann (Alan Marlow, the womanizer reincarnated in female form in Roberta Findlay's ANGEL #9) who suspects that his wife Pamela (gorgeous Barbara Bourbon, the violated farmer's wife from David Fleetwood's A DIRTY WESTERN) may be fooling around on him. Trailing the sexy socialite, Edwards uncovers all sorts of naughtiness. Having got the idea from a dinner conversation about Gerard Damiano's box office blast DEEP THROAT, very much the scandal du jour at the time, she obviously wants to see whether she can perform Linda Lovelace's "Look, ma, no gag reflex" party trick by picking up a stranger (the massively endowed Marc Stevens, an early bisexual performer) near the Brooklyn bridge and going down on him right there and then. She supplies social rehabilitation services for happy hooker Klute (legendary adult actress Georgina Spelvin) in one of the all time Sapphic encounters and drags off a moral reformer running for mayor (beefy Sonny Landham, ironically cast in retrospect considering the political upheaval he would cause in later life) for a quickie mere moments prior to his addressing a women's group. A drawn-out garage rape sequence (missing from VCA's recent DVD release) by a pair of propaganda-spouting revolutionaries (perennial bad boy Jamie Gillis and Darby Lloyd Rains, who would rejoin forces with Metzger on NAKED CAME THE STRANGER) might seem somewhat out of place due to its – admittedly cartoonish – brutality, until the director turns the tables by the last act revelation that Pamela's "rapists" are actually her domestics and part of the whole set-up. The couple have in fact constructed these elaborate games to spice up their marriage, hiring a series of good looking detectives to capture their escapades on film, Pamela's seduction of the investigator (who subsequently refuses all remuneration as he has "failed" in his assignment) forever the final movement of their association.

    Almost as complex as Metzger's 1970 simulated sex masterpiece THE LICKERISH QUARTET, this is one of very few porn movies that actually yield whole new levels of meaning on each viewing. The general motif seems to be appearances, the various roles people assume in daily life taken to farcical extremes. No one is what he or she pretends to be, certainly not the game-playing Manns or the private dicks hiding their identities as an occupational requirement, unwittingly ensnared to do the couple's bidding. These deceptions extend well beyond the main characters. Actor Hiram Wood (Levi Richards, who took part in the memorable Georgina Spelvin sandwich scene with Marc Stevens in Damiano's DEVIL IN MISS JONES) claims sexual confusion in order to fool the prostitute, just to see whether he could play a gay character on Broadway. She recognizes him anyway but plays along since she has always wanted to have sex with him. Who's fooling who then ?

    Brimming with subtle visual and aural jokes in just about every scene, the film's funniest conceit might be the presence of the female poll-taker who regularly pops up to ask Pamela the most ridiculously long winded political and sociological questions (invariably answered by a brisk yes or no) and who explains her role at film's end as providing socially redeeming value ! Rarely has a pornographer thumbed his nose quite so elegantly at morally upright naysayers. Beautifully photographed and meticulously edited (witness the final sequence with the couple mirroring the actions in their home movies), PAMELA MANN's one conceivable failing might be its lack of heart due to all the pretending going on. The audience never gets a grip on any of the characters, robbing the film of the warmth that Metzger's other hardcore works possess. It's perhaps unfair to cite this as a flaw since it comes down to a matter of personal taste. There's no denying Metzger's brilliance as a writer, director or eroticist however, as every single frame of this movie bespeaks so eloquently. If, like me, you've watched enough run of the mill fornication marathons, you really come to appreciate the genuine gems the genre has to offer.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The wealthy Mr. Mann (nicely played by Alan Marlow) hires handsome private detective Frank (an excellent and engaging portrayal by Eric Edwards) to keep tabs on his wife Pamela (a radiant and winning performance by beautiful slender blonde Barbara Bourbon), who Mann suspects is having secret carnal liaisons with various people behind his back.

    Writer/director Radley Metzger's first foray into hardcore territory not only features Metzger's trademark sly wit and captivating elegant style (the running gag involving a pesky poll taker is hilarious!), but also makes neat use of assorted New York City locations, offers a provocative subtext concerning both role playing and voyeurism, and even comes complete with a real doozy of a surprise twist ending. The sex scenes possess a genuinely arousing charge. The topflight cast of Golden Age adult cinema favorites qualifies as another substantial asset: Georgina Spelvin as a sweet, yet brash hooker, Jamie Gillis and Darby Lloyd Rains as a pair of vicious rapists, Marc Stephens as a guy Pamela picks up in the park, Day Jason as a sharp-tongued and long-suffering receptionist, and Sonny Landham as a hunky political candidate. Further graced by Paul Glickman's sumptuous cinematography and a right-on groovy soundtrack, this infectiously frothy romp sizes up as a whole lot of smart sexy fun.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I Recently discovered that back in 2011 a restored version of the film came out.I got it.It was from," Video X Pics". The portrayal of the consenting kidnapping and rapes scene was put back.It was originally censored because of the State board of Censors ,in New York .as well as the distributors were against it .The Irony is that it was on the previews .Another sex scene was cut because it would of made the film too long .It was shown on the 8mm projector instead,in the movie.It also contains A soft core version ,that was created in 1976,with a Barbara bourbon ,two year later,either posing or discussing patriotic thing ,as well as showing patriotic images covering up the hardcore stuff.Even that version contained the rape scene.I want to tell you more about the stars.The title was named after Barber's first Husband Alex Mann,who was an actor and pimp and drug dealer.Both of them ,in between his abuse against her formed an Sexploitation agency .Barbara had acting training at the Lee Strasbergs actors studio.She did acting at with a troupe in Boston. She had a walk on scene in the God father part two .Today She is in her 60's .In 2011 ,she was living in Kansas as a interior decorator and property developer.She came from a Jewish family ,but, now she a church going Christian .She misses acting and she want to be a singer again,She would like to hear from Radley Metzger again.Eric Edwards ,who played frank the detective,is now retired from show business,cause he got lung cancer .Even though he now survives with one lung .He stated that his energies are not as strong as it was .Yul Brynner had the same problem ,but that did not stop him ,until he died. The menu also had another Georgina Spevlin interview ,which she explained ,more clearly , how she adapted her name .The film was shot in super 16mm ,but, the Restoration came from the 35 mm blow up in wide screen .The soft version ,the print is a little bit murky .They did not fix it up .It also has a segment of showing all the new york sights and the surviving out take footage of Radely's films and comparing it with how the sights look today.Now I finally saw the full version of this porno classic and under stand it better .04/08/15