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. (Since I have never seen a later VHS transfer of the film, I can’t comment on what may have been cut or kept for these versions, although I do know that the “peeing” scene has been edited for some time.) The “release print” video of “Barbara” runs just over 82 minutes. Although the DVD case puts the running time at 75 minutes, the actual “clock” time of the feature on DVD is 76:55, which means the DVD is shorter by a little more than five minutes.
Also, it must be noted that the original film (and the old video) are “widescreen,” with an aspect ratio of about 1.66 or 1.70 to 1. The DVD is not – although the opening titles are shown in the original “widescreen” aspect ratio, the rest of the film is full-screen, with a slightly enlarged, “pan-and-scan” version of the film. This is, I believe, because "Barbara" (as well as most of Metzger's other porn films) was shot in Super 16. This process uses the space on the 16mm camera negative that otherwise would eventually be occupied by the soundtrack for additional picture area. This results in an aspect ratio of about 1.66 or something like that. So you get a "widescreen" image, which is then blown up to 35mm (matted) or slightly reduced to 16mm (matted) release prints.
Of course, all video transfers since the original ones have been "pan and scan" full-screen. This might help explain some increased grain and noise, as well as a slight “softening” of the image on some scenes. Since the original image was only 1.70 or less to begin with, not much is missing from the image on the VHS and DVD, even though some of the framing does look even more severe than in the original. Since the main titles are in the original "widescreen" format, you can see and compare the widescreen and full-screen aspect ratios.
Now, to what’s missing. Two scenes, one involving on-camera peeing, the other involving some bondage, have been shortened and edited, obviously to avoid potential legal hassles in the current judicial (prior restraint) environment. What follows are detailed descriptions of what happens (or doesn’t) and what’s seen (or cut out).
The first scene is the one in the restaurant’s kitchen, where CJ Laing first teases a dishwasher (Wade Nichols) by pulling up her skirt and peeing into a large bowl on the floor, then joins him for some regular and anal sex. Until CJ actually squats down to begin peeing, the original and DVD versions match shot for shot from the beginning of the film. The editing begins in Chapter 18 at 38:51 into the film. The initial edit occurs just after CJ squats way down, and there is a closeup of her crotch, her hand blocking it from view.
WHAT HAPPENS ON THE DVD: Cut to a shot of Wade as he mops his face and watches her, while sounds of peeing begin off-screen. Cut to a shot of CJ that tilts up from just above her crotch to her face. She begins to laugh, silently. Cut to a shot of Wade, watching and smiling. The peeing sounds are continuing. Cut to CJ’s face, laughing – a continuation of the previous shot, and we hear her this time. As the peeing sounds stop, the camera tilts down to CJ’s crotch and she lowers her skirt back down. Cut back to Wade, watching appreciatively. Cut back to a shot of the partially filled bowl on the floor as CJ slides it away with her foot. Total Time – 44 seconds.
WHAT HAPPENED ORIGINALLY: The closeup of CJ’s crotch, her hand blocking it from view, continues as she begins to pee. Her hand moves away and we can see the stream clearly. Cut to a shot of Wade, looking at her in amazement. Cut back to CJ’s crotch as she pees. The shot continues as the camera quickly tilts up to her face, and she looks down at the bowl, then continues as the camera tilts back down, past her crotch, down the continuing stream of pee to the bowl. As the shot continues, the camera tilts back up to her face, she gives Wade a lewd look, then the camera tilts back down to the bowl as she continues to pee into it. Cut to Wade as he watches her and mops his face. Cut back to the bowl and the camera slowly tilts up the stream to CJ’s face as she finishes peeing. She laughs. Cut to Wade, watching her appreciatively. Cut back to CJ as she finishes laughing, then the camera tilts down to her crotch and she lowers her skirt back down. Cut to Wade, watching her. Cut back to a shot of the partially filled bowl on the floor as CJ slides it away with her foot, then the camera tilts up to her face as she looks at Wade lewdly. Total Time – 1:21.
The other edited scene is the last major one in the film. It features Jamie Gillis and Constance Money, and was originally shot for, but not used in, “The Opening of Misty Beethoven.” It involves Jamie performing various sex acts on a nude Constance while she is chained in various positions in a sort of “dungeon” room. Except for the last part of the sequence, which has been cut completely, various shots from more “revealing” angles have been cut and/or replaced by repeated shots from more neutral, “softcore” angles, in order more to imply than to actually show the various activities. That being the case, instead of describing first the DVD, then the original version, I’ll “walk through” the sequence once, describing the differences as they occur.
The scene opens as Jamie lights a cigarette from a hot curling iron, then places the hot iron on a plate next to Constance. She is reclining, wearing nothing but panties, her arms and legs spread and chained to the wall, her nipples in nipple clamps. Her butt is resting on a mirror of some size, in which is reflected the entire area between her legs. (Interesting note – Jamie never uses the curling iron again in the sequence.) After a shot or two of Constance in her chains, Jamie picks up a pair of scissors, moves down her body and begins cutting off her panties. This is where the first edit begins, in Chapter 30 at 70:56 into the film.
At this point, the DVD cuts short a closeup of her panties being pulled off, revealing her “equipment” both directly and as reflected in the mirror. The DVD replaces this with an additional closeup of Constance’s face. In both versions, Jamie then slowly reaches out and touches her clit area. Cut to a closeup of her as she flinches. At this point, the DVD edits out two fairly lengthy shots, from a low angle over Jamie’s shoulder, clearly showing Constance’s pussy as Jamie proceeds to eat her for a while. The action is also clearly reflected in the mirror below. These are intercut with various shots of Constance’s face, body, and chained wrists and arms. Meanwhile, all the DVD version shows are some short shots of Jamie from the side and slightly above – we cannot see his tongue or her pussy, just the top of his head between her legs.
Then, the original and DVD are identical as Jamie gets up, adjusts Constance’s chains to widen her legs, and removes her nipple clamps. After we see a few slow pans of her chained, stretched limbs, Jamie begins to go down on her again. At this point, the DVD edits out another two shots of Jamie eating her, both from angles that show more of her pussy – one from over Jamie’s shoulder and one extreme closeup from the side. The DVD shows only his head and her body, not actually showing any tongue-to-pussy contact.
Once again, the original and DVD are identical as Jamie looks up, then gets up, touching her nipples as he rises. Both then dissolve to a shot of Constance chained in a new position, doggie style, with her head to the floor. Jamie prepares to enter her from behind. From this point on, the DVD re-edits the rest of the sequence into a series of closeups on each of their faces – Jamie’s as he pumps away and Constance’s moving rhythmically as he does. After a few pairs of these shots, the scene cuts abruptly away to “The Club,” and the sequence is over. Total Sequence Time on the DVD – 6:09.
The original, however, still has much more to “come.” After the shot of Jamie preparing to enter Constance, there are four lengthy, hardcore closeups, shot from the mirror, of Jamie’s cock entering her and then pumping away in her. These are intercut with the face closeups used in the DVD.
Next comes some action that has been totally removed from the DVD. The scene cuts to Constance against the wall in a sitting position, arms chained to the wall, her feet stretched out and chained on the floor. Jamie proceeds to make her give him a “no-hands” blow job, which the camera shows in closeup. Essentially, he fucks her mouth, except that she seems to “help” by alternately opening and then tightening her lips as he moves in and out of her mouth. She sucks him, licks the length of his cock, etc., all with her arms and hands chained to the wall and her feet stretched out and chained on the floor. These shots are intercut with closeups of her chained hands and wrists, feet kicking, etc.
Finally, Jamie comes on her lips and cheek, rubbing the head of his cock around her face and lips. She smiles, moving her head around as his cock rubs against her face. Then, as the music changes to a tender theme, Jamie lightly kisses her a few times and both smile at each other. Only now does the original cut back to “The Club.” Once back there, the original and DVD are identical through the end of the film. The missing “oral scene” runs 3:19. Total Sequence Time on the original – 10:43.
While not related to the actual content of the film, there are a few other notes regarding the DVD release. First, the back cover of the DVD package features four photos, only one of which is from “Barbara Broadcast” – the photo of the bearded diner (Zebedy Colt?) eating his dark-haired waitress! Two others are shots of Annette Haven, but in costumes and scenes from some other film(s). The fourth is a shot of an unidentifiable actress giving head to John Leslie on a couch – neither Leslie nor the scene appear anywhere in “Barbara Broadcast!”
Among the Special Features on the DVD is a Production Stills section, a photo montage set to music. Of the 19 “Production Stills” shown in this section, only two have anything to do with “Barbara Broadcast!” One is the “box cover” closeup of Annette Haven smelling the flower, the other is the “diner/waitress” shot from the back of the case. The rest appear to come from one or two totally unrelated photo sessions or film shoots. Most of these photos involve Annette Haven in various stages of dress or undress in the living room or bathroom of some home somewhere. Neither the location nor any of the costumes appear anywhere in the film. Wait – it gets better! Most of these photos show Annette Haven’s bare beautiful, natural breasts. This is exceptionally noteworthy, because it’s a well-known fact (you can prove it by watching the film) that, during the entire length of “Barbara Broadcast,” in spite of her incredible body, Annette Haven’s magnificent breasts are never shown!
Oh, well, you can’t have everything. In spite of all of the above, it’s great to have this classic available on a well-produced DVD. VCA has also released more of Metzger’s work, including “Misty Beethoven,” “The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann” and “Naked Came the Stranger.” As is detailed in my similar examinations of these titles, the current political climate has forced these to be edited as well (especially a certain scene in “Pamela Mann”) but they still rate the kind of high-class DVD treatment VCA has given them!