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October 12, 2011

Movie Review: The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann (2 Disc Collectors Edition)

So far 2011 has been quite a year for cult film director Radley Metzger (Camille 2000, Score, The Opening of Misty Beethoven). Cult Epics, Synapse Film's and now just recently Distripix/Video-X-Pix have released the director's 1970's erotica. Metzger used the name Henry Paris for his hardcore productions which are now being restored by Video-X-Pix in their Henry Paris Collection. Barbara Broadcast and The Opening of Misty Beethoven are a couple in the works, but first they have unleashed an impressive special edition of Paris' The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann.

Mr. Mann (Alan Marlow, Rollerbabies) loves his wife Pamela ( Barbara Bourbon, Dirty Western), but he doesn't entirely trust the slender, sexy blonde. Mann enlists the services of Frank, a private detective that seems to have the skills to follow the promiscuous cutie. It doesn't take too long see that Mann's hunch was right as Pamela goes from a rendezvous in the park to some lesbian sex with her quirky pal, Linda (Georgina Spelvin, The Devil in Miss Jones).

Radley Metzger manages to mix clever humor, hardcore sex and magnificent Manhattan locales into an amusing brew that few could pull off. His casting choices are excellent as some of the Golden Age's greatest are present. We have some strong actors (and performers) as our leads - Edwards, Marlow, Spelvin and Bourbon. Additionally, you get Marc Stevens (The Passions of Carol), Jamie Gills (Waterpower, More than Sisters) with lesser but effective performances. Some of the most amusing scenes are with Mr. Mann's secretary though, who's played by Day Jason. When Day pops up on screen, prepare to laugh.

Oddly enough, the different rendevous's Pamela is shown going on really string along the narrative, because each are so unique. The sex is different too. The comedy takes a slightly downbeat turn when Pamela is abducted and raped by two goons played by Jamie Gillis and Darby Lloyd Rains. Amazingly, even with this violation inside a filthy garage we're quickly taken back into playful Metzger mode. I will give him credit, not everything is what it seems. In the end though, it comes together beautifully.

The extra features are quite ample here, as with most Distripix's special editions. Radley Metzger contributes to director's commentary where he focuses a lot on production but most importantly why he started doing hardcore films. At the time Deep Throat had been released to historical fanfare which in turn brought Metzger to produce his first hardcore feature. It's a great listen and most importantly doesn't have any gaps or overlap from the other supplements.

Two lengthy interviews with both Eric Edwards and Georgina Spelvin are also included. Edwards talks a little about his humble beginnings trying to make it as a mainstream talent. Early on he did several loops with Linda Lovelace as well as act in commercials. After a while producers began to recognize this commercial actor from "other" works which didn't help. Later on in the 1970's, Edwards started a family and this new dynamic changed how he viewed things.

Spelvin, like Edwards, comes off very personable and likable. She talks about her similar early days in New York working on Broadway and even getting a acting gig on Hello Dolly. Metzger and Gerard Damiano are also brought as is her memorable performance in Police Academy.

The extras don't stop there as we're also treated to some juicy deleted scenes, two featurettes : Metzger's Manhattan and The Locations of Pamela Mann, and excellent 44 page booklet written by smut historian Benson Hurst (who also moderates the commentary) and one of the biggest surprises, the soft-core version of The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann. This is a surprisingly fun watch as Barbara Bourbon pops up in a box on any offending images on the screen with some usually very witty banter. It's not always the most effective censor since it misses nearly every load that's dropped in the film, but who cares. Now you can watch it with grandma.

The film was transfered from original 35mm elements to Hi-Def and really looks quite stunning. The color is sharp, skin-tones are spot on and there really is just minor wear. The score is audibly pleasing, as is the unforgettable dialogue  It's top-notch work all around.

There really is so much here, from packaging, extra features to the film itself. Distripix has out done themselves yet again with this superb release of one of Radley Metzger's crown jewels. Highly Recommended!  Be sure to check out Heather Drain's article on this very release: More Pamela Mann!

Head on over to and grab a copy to see for yourself.

                          (All screencaps courtesy of Rock! Shock! Pop!)

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