Written by: Cliff Wood on March 27th, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: USA, August 1977
Director: Henry Paris (Radley Metzger)
Writer: Jake Barnes
Cast:Annette Haven, C.J. Laing, Constance Money, Susan McBain, Jamie Gillis, Sharon Mitchell, Bobby Astyr, Zebedy Colt, Wade NicholsDVD released: February 2nd, 2001
Approximate running time: 77 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
DVD Release: VCA
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Roberta (C.J. Laing) is a reporter who is interviewing Barbara Broadcast (Annette Haven) a world famous sex expert who has just published a book about all of her Sexcapades. The interview is being conducted at a luxurious New York restaurant in which sex in the main course on the menu. The interview is constantly being interrupted by fans and friends of Barbara Broadcast. Later that evening Roberta and Barbara Broadcast continue their interview at a swinging disco and before the night is through they will know each other inside out.
Barbara Broadcast Henry Paris’ delirious follow up to his masterpiece The Opening of Misty Beethoven is a surreal vignette of sex adventures that is perfectly offset with some wonderfully witty dialog. The restaurant in which Roberta interviews Barbara Broadcast is a bizarre place in which it is customary for you to give or get head from your waiter or waitress. The films use of classical music especially Johann Strauss’ “An der schönen, blauen Donau” adds a sort of class to the films beautifully composed images. The cast for Barbra Broadcast is one of the stronger you will ever come across with the films two leads Annette Haven and C.J. Laing giving standout performances that burn up the screen. C.J. Laing as Roberta is by far and away gives the most interesting performance and as usual Mrs. Laing shows that she is down to do just about anything.
This film like many of Henry Paris’ adult films were shot on super 16 MM and then blow up to 35 MM which frames the compositions at about a 1.66:1 aspect ratio. The opening credits for this release are letterboxed and some information gets cropped off screen. The main film is presented in a full frame aspect ratio that looks like the films original aspect ratio as all the action remains in frame and never looks cramped. Colors look strong with only a few instances in which they look muted. There are some minor instances of print damage still nothing that really becomes distracting while watching the film. The source material used for this transfer while not flawless is in reasonably good shape for adult cinema from this era.
This release comes with only one audio source an English language track which is presented in a Dolby Digital mono. The track has some minor instances of hiss and outside of this it is fairly clean and easy to follow the dialog which never sounds muffled.
Extras for this release include original box art, production stills and gallery of stills of adult cinema’s hall of fame performers in which Jim Holliday narrates. There is also the feature in which the viewer can jump to the starlets’ sex scene they enjoy with just the push of a button. Other extras include a three minute interview with Jim Holliday who gives a capsule review of Barbara Broadcast. The main extra for this release is an audio commentary with Jamie Gillis and Gloria Leonard. Neither of these performer’s technically appear in this film and even though Jamie Gillis makes an appearance his scene is an outtake from the movie The Opening of Misty Beethoven. Both are very candid in their remarks about the adult industry and they also both speak very fondly of the films director Henry Paris. Overall they make a great duo as they keeps things lively through out the whole track and the information they reveal in many cases is first rate.
For this release VCA has restored some footage that had been previous censored like a scene where C.J. Laing pees in the kitchen. This scene is reinstated if only slightly different with all shots of her relieving herself have been replaced with new shots. The films final scene which is actually an outtake from The Opening of Misty Beethoven features Constance Money and Jamie Gillis in a hardcore bondage sequence. This scene while some of the footage has been restored all shots of actual sex have been removed since it has since become illegal to show any hardcore sex while any of the participants are in restraints.
Overall while Barbara Broadcast falls short of recreating the magic Henry Paris created with The Opening of Misty Beethoven it is still one of the twenty best films to come out of the golden age of adult cinema.