Barbara Broadcast (VCA)

Studio: VCA
Category:  Classic , Feature film , Couples
Director: Henry Paris
Starring: Jamie Gillis, Bobby Astyr, Annette Haven, Camilla Farrell, Sybil Kingmaner, C.J. Laing
Release Date: 11/28/2000
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Movie Reviews

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NOTE: This is not your typical review. Others have done an excellent job reviewing the content, scenes, performances, etc. of this porn classic. This "review" concerns itself with how the DVD's contents compare with the complete, uncut original release version of the film or an early (before prior self-censorship) VHS version. The Ratings given refer either to the "original" version of the film (Performers, Plot, Sex, etc.) or to the DVD version (Extras, Value, etc.) and are relatively arbitrary. The important info is that which follows. BARBARA BROADCAST DVD EDITS After doing a side-by-side, shot-by-shot comparison of the new DVD version of the Henry Paris (Radley Metzger) classic with an old video that appears to have been made from an original release print of the film, it looks like only two scenes have been edited and/or shortened for the Barbara Broadcast DVD. However, these are major edits, as will be detailed later.
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Running Time: 77 min. Production Date: 1977 Director: Henry Paris (aka Randy Metzger) Cast: Annette Haven, Sharon Mitchell, Loren Michaels, Constance Money, Suzanne McBain, Camilla Farrell, Sybil Kingmaner, C. J. Laing, Shirley Peters, Helen Wolf, Barbara Woodward, Jamie Gillis, Bobby Astyr, Alan Marlow, and Wade Nichols Initial Expectations: How could I not go into this DVD with high expectations? Initial Reaction: I waited way too long to watch this DVD. Who Should Watch It : Couples, fans of classic porn, and anybody wanting something different from the typical porn of today Who Should Avoid It: Anybody wanting an overabundance of a plot or nasty sex Audio /Video Quality: Despite Barbara Broadcast being over twenty five years old, the technical aspects are great throughout the feature. It looks and sounds every bit as good as many television shows and movies Ive seen from the same time period on TV. Although it was shot on film, theres very little grain and very few remnants that come across.
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Director: Henry Paris Writer: Jake Barnes Videographer: Chico Carter Running length: 1 hr. 15 min. D.O.P. 1977 Female cast: Annette Haven, C.J. Laing, Sharon Mitchell, Jennifer, Suzanne McBain, Constance Money, Shirley Peters Male cast Alan Marlow, Wade Nichols, Jamie Gillis, Bobby Astyr, Michael Gaunt Audio/Video: For a 25 year old film, it was surprisingly good. Noticable artifacts and pixelation got worse toward the end, but not bad enough to be distracting. The porn music was laid on with a heavy hand, but I was surprised to hear actual singing in one pleasant tune. Extras: Commentary by Gloria Leonard and Jamie Gillis, Photo gallery, box cover artwork, and an interesting Hall of Fame commentary by Jim Holliday who gives us a rundown on some of the great performers. Condoms: None The Movie: I decided to start checking out some of 'The Classics' in porn to see how they compare. I didn't realize when renting this one just how old it was, but I can't say I was disappointed, really.
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While BARBARA BROADCAST is a true classic in the annals (or is that "anals?")of adult movies, I must admit that this film has never been, and probably would never will be, a favorite of mine despite this superb DVD presentation by VCA Classics. As it so happens, my ardent interest in porn coincided with a time where videotape reigned supreme, and where any incompetent with a video camera, a flood light, and a hotel room could easily make their own pornographic masterpiece. Suffice to say, I completely missed the era of true blue movie classics of the seventies and early eighties (which included titles like DEEP THROAT, INSATIABLE, ROOMMATES, and BEHIND THE GREEN DOOR) for which porn historians like Jim Holliday sing their praises. Still, though I lack the cultural background to appreciate fully the golden age of adult movies, their overall erotic effect is not lost upon me, nor should it be lost upon anyone who enjoys watching carnally raw, hot sex.
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Barbara Broadcast is a Radley Metzger classic from 1977, starring Annette Haven and C.J. Laing. For more on Metzger, see my review of "The Opening of Misty Beethoven." The plot, to the extent there is one, involves C.J. Laing as a reporter interviewing Annette Haven, as "Barbara Broadcast", a sort of "Happy Hooker"/Xaviera Hollander type character. This is my least favorite of the Metzger hardcore pieces, but is still an excellent example of golden age adult film making. My favorite scene is a simple oral scene with under-celebrated seventies star Suzanne McBain. There is also the famous kitchen scene in which C.J. Laing does an anal scene with Wade Nichols. Nichols went on to star on a daytime soap opera for about 7 years, later succumbing to AIDS. There is a scene with Constance Money that was an unused leftover from "Misty Beethoven." In accordance with current law, because Constance was securely chained in the scene, no sex is shown, which is a darn shame.
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