PAMELA MANN DVD EDITS
After doing a side-by-side, shot-by-shot comparison of the VCA DVD version of Henry Paris’ (Radley Metzger’s) first hardcore porn classic, “The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann,” with an old video that appears to have been made from an original release print of the film, it looks like only one major scene, plus a couple of minor “recaps” including that scene, have been edited and/or shortened for the “Pamela Mann” DVD. However, the edited scene is a major one, as will be detailed later. It appears that the edits are the same ones that were made to the earlier VCA VHS version of the film. The “release print” video of “Pamela Mann” runs 83:20. Although the DVD case shows a running time of 76 minutes, the actual “clock” time of the feature on DVD is 75:05, which means the DVD is shorter by 8:15.
Also, it must be noted that the original film (and the old video) are “widescreen,” with an aspect ratio of about 1.70 to 1. The DVD is not – it is full-screen, with a slightly enlarged, “pan-and-scan” version of the film. This is, I believe, because "Pamela Mann" (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 usually occupied by the soundtrack for additional picture area. This results in an aspect ratio of about 1.66 to 1. 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 1.66 to begin with, not much is missing from the image on the VHS and DVD. That said, the transfer is not truly “pan and scan” – it appears that the image is “locked” in the center of the original (wider) frame. Since Paris/Metzger obviously was composing his original shots for the wider aspect ratio, this results in some rather severe framing from time to time, with people cut off or cut in half at the edges of the frame. Some conversations between two people become conversations between two noses! This problem is especially evident in the scene where Pamela picks up Marc Stevens early in the picture, prior to the “blowjob in the rain” sequence. The two play “cat and mouse” for a while at the extreme edges of the original (wide) frame, as Pamela tries to attract his attention. In some shots, the resulting “pan and scan” treatment results in an empty frame, where neither of them can be seen!
Now, to what’s missing. One major scene, involving oral rape at gunpoint, plus a few shots from a couple of “recap” scenes using clips from the earlier rape scene, have been cut, 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, and major, edit occurs at 28:38 into the film. Until that time, both the “release print” and DVD versions are identical. Pamela (P) sits down on a park bench, where she is asked, and answers, another question by the “Redeeming Social Value Girl”, who then leaves. P looks to her right and notices Jamie Gillis (JG), who comes over and sits down next to her. Cut to Darby Lloyd Rains (DLR), who gets up from another park bench to P’s left, comes over and sits down on P’s other side. Both edge over very close to P and whisper something in her ear. All three then get up, P held by the arms between the other two, and begin walking away.
This is where the major edit occurs, and a scene lasting 7:32 is cut out. At this point, the DVD cuts to Eric Edwards walking in front of a big building. We then see another “Lobster Bib Girl” sequence, at the end of which she says, “Do you know how disgusting that is?” Another, smaller edit occurs here, and a portion of the following scene, lasting 0:29, is cut out. The DVD cuts to Eric Edwards and Mr. Mann watching a film being projected, as Mann asks, “Has she done her social field-work yet?” Eric answers, “No, not yet – but I’ve got it covered,” as we cut to an exterior of Georgina Spelvin’s apartment and zoom in toward it.
HERE’S WHAT’S MISSING: After P, JG and DLR begin walking away from the park bench, we cut to a shot of the inside of a small, one-car, basement garage, as a Mercedes sedan enters. The garage door closes behind it. P leaps from the back of the car, obviously scared, and runs for the stair door. It is locked. JG and DLR corner her, DLR holding a rifle on her. JG grabs P from behind and drags her, kicking and screaming, onto the car’s hood, holding P on top of him, facing up. As P struggles, DLR pulls at P’s clothes, removing them piece by piece. As she does, she taunts P, saying things like, “We’re gonna have some fun!” “I think you really like to struggle!” “You wanna get off, don’t ya?” After removing P’s skirt and panties, DLR begins eating P’s pussy. P screams and writhes in fear and panic. As JG continues to hold her down, and DLR continues licking her pussy, P slowly becomes more and more aroused. JG, still underneath her, massages P’s breasts, and P turns her head to him, to kiss him.
Suddenly, JG forces P up, drags her over to a wall and shoves her down into a prone position, face up, her head propped up against an old tire. Quickly, a handgun is shoved in P’s face. JG, holding the gun, grins at her and says “It’s my turn! Tie her up!” DLR appears with a rope and ties P’s hands behind her back. Meanwhile, JG holds the gun with one hand and fingers P’s pussy with his other. As DLR ties P up, she taunts her again, saying, “You really got off before, didn’t you? You didn’t think you were going to, but you did.” “Can you hold your breath a long time, hmm? Can you breathe underwater? You’re gonna get yours now, ya know!” Pamela looks from one to the other in fear and anxiety.
DLR takes the gun from JG, who then takes off his jacket and drops his pants. As DLR taunts P while holding the gun to P’s head, ordering P to “Open that mouth wider … wider! Suck that cock!” JG proceeds to fuck P’s mouth. P doesn’t enjoy it. Then, DLR takes JG’s cock in her mouth, ordering P to watch. After a bit, JG moves back to P’s mouth, as DLR keeps commanding her to, “Open wider! Suck that cock! Keep your head back and your mouth open!” Finally, JG comes in P’s mouth, as DLR orders her to “Swallow! Swallow! Lick it off – lick every drop off!” P does so, perhaps enjoying things a bit more.
Finally, after P has licked JG clean, he and DLR stand up and slowly walk away, leaving P sprawled naked on the floor, her hands still tied behind her, her panties on the floor next to one of her feet. Total time for the scene: 7:32.
We rejoin the DVD for Eric walking in front of the building and the “Lobster Bib” (“Do you know how disgusting that is?”) scene.
MORE THAT’S MISSING: After the “Lobster Bib” scene, we cut to the inner office, where Eric Edwards and Mr. Mann are watching the film of the preceding “rape” scene, of which we see a few shots as they discuss it. Eric says, “In spite of everything, she enjoyed it – the humiliation – being forced to submit. You notice how she got off on the car? She’s …” Mann answers, “… auto-erotic!” Eric continues, “She wants to be treated like an animal.” Mann answers, “Who doesn’t?” Then, as we watch the film of JG ramming his cock into P’s throat, Mann says, “I think you’re missing something – a much more tender, intimate side of Pamela – almost childlike how she relates to people.” Total time for the partial scene: 0:29.
We rejoin the DVD as Mann asks, “Has she done her social field-work yet?” From that point, both versions are identical until the final scene, as P and her husband screw while watching the various films. A number of short clips have been removed. The first edit occurs at 70:26 into the DVD. Just preceding it, P is astride her husband, cowgirl. As she watches the film, we see a quick cut of P and the Politician screwing, followed by a full shot of P atop her husband, followed by a quick close-up of P with the Politician, as she rises in ecstasy. This is followed by a wider shot of P and her husband, the projector facing us and glaring a bit into the lens. This is where the first of the small edits occurs. After this shot, the DVD cuts to a shot of DLR (who we now know is really P’s maid), wearing a dark cap, her face buried in Ps pussy. This is actually a shot from the rape scene, not previously seen on the DVD, although DLR does give P head later in the film, during the threesome with Eric Edwards.
As the scene plays out, the “back and forth” cutting between P and her husband and the projected “flashbacks” continues on the DVD, with some (but not all!) of the rape scene shots edited out. The quick shots from the rape scene that remain on the DVD are: The initial shot of DLR eating P’s pussy; another similar shot, viewed from the other side; a shot of JG kneeling down; a shot of JG jerking off into P’s mouth as DLR watches; a shot of JG moving his cock into and out of P’s mouth as DLR watches, and a close-up of DLR.
The quick shots that have been cut are: A shot of DLR grabbing P’s face and pushing her down; a shot of JG pulling P down on top of the car’s hood; a shot of P and her husband rolling over, so that P’s husband is now on top (on the DVD they appear to have magically switched positions!); a shot of someone (Edwards? – all you see is his cock) entering P from behind, doggy-style, and a close-up shot of the handgun.
From the time of the first “glaring projector” shot to the moment when P says, “Happy Anniversary, dear!” the “release print” version runs 3:10, while the DVD runs 2:53. A total of 0:17 has been cut out.
A few other comments – Some have argued that the “rape” scene should never have been cut, since it is later revealed that the “rapists” are actually P’s maid and chauffeur, and the whole thing has obviously been prearranged, so it’s not a real rape. While I most definitely deplore any editing of these classics from their original versions, I can still see why the edits in “Pamela Mann” are consistent with VCA’s current self-protection policy. When the scene originally takes place, just under 30 minutes into the film, it appears to be an actual rape. We do not know who JG and DLR are, and P’s initial reactions are those of a frightened, panicked victim. It is only later that we discover the truth. So, to the average viewer, who has not seen the film before and who does not know anything about it, the scene appears to be a real rape, and the audience (and, of course, a Prosecutor and/or jury!) has no reason to think otherwise.
Credit where it’s due – VCA has noted, on the bottom of the rear artwork of the case, that the DVD is “Revised from original.” At least they’re letting us know! However, also on the rear artwork of the case, (and, it’s true, they’re only repeating their original VHS box design), the top photo comes from the rape scene that was edited out!
Finally, none – repeat – NONE of the “Production Stills” on the DVD are from this production!! Any idiot who watches this film can easily see that, while they might be Production Stills, they’re sure-as-hell from some other production! Shame on you, VCA! You’re doing such a great job on most, if not all, of the other aspects of these classics on DVD, don’t pull a “Vivid” on us with this Not-So-“Special Feature!”