THE BOOTLEG FILES: THE ALLEGED BARBRA STREISAND PORN FILM

BOOTLEG FILES 388: “The Alleged Barbra Streisand Porn Film” (1960s one-reel sex film starring someone who is not Barbra Streisand).

LAST SEEN: The entire 10-minute silent film is online.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: It was included in a 2006 DVD anthology of vintage blue movies.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Hello, gorgeous!

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: It has already been in retail distribution, but no one is begging for a reprise.

Last week, this column paid attention to a vintage porn film starring an unidentified woman that some people claim to be Marilyn Monroe. I wasn’t expecting to pursue the genre of dubious old-time porn flicks further, but Film Threat reader Vincent Basilicato responded to that column by asking if I would pursue the matter of another curious bit of erotica: a mysterious porn film starring an unidentified woman that some people claim to be Barbra Streisand.

Barbra Streisand in a porn film? Yes, some critics claimed that she was miscast in “Hello, Dolly!” – but this seems like an extreme example of unlikely casting. However, the alleged Streisand skin flick shares identical territory with the alleged Monroe offering: one glimpse at the tawdry footage and it is obvious that no celebrities were involved.

The alleged Streisand porn film first surfaced in the early 1970s, when the star was at the peak of her movie and recording careers. Streisand had flirted with the concept of nudity in her 1970 comedy “The Owl and the Pussycat,” but footage capturing too much of her fine flesh was not incorporated into the release.

However, a fly-by-night company advertising in adult magazine promised Streisand fans something they had never seen before: an 8mm film advertised as “Barbra Streisand in Hardcore!” The untitled film was presented as being in “SepiaTone” – or, in non-marketing English, it was a black-and-white film with a brownish tint.

This unlikely offering began to create a good deal of buzz in the home porn market. The film managed to generate a large number of curious viewers – including, of all people, Streisand herself. In a 1977 interview with Playboy magazine, a fully clothed Streisand amusingly recalled her impression of watching her naked doppelganger.

“I couldn’t resist the temptation to see what the actress looked like – and also to check out her performance – so we got a copy,” Streisand recalled. “The film, naturally, is very blurred. The girl has long hair, like I did back in the Sixties, although she was chubby, while I was very skinny. But the dead giveaway came when the camera zoomed in on her hands around the guy’s you-know-what. There they were: short, stubby fingers! Definitely not mine. So all you would-be buyers, don’t waste your money.”

Well, at least one person decided to waste his money: Al Goldstein, publisher of the notorious Screw magazine, obtained a copy and broadcast it on his “Midnight Blue” program on New York’s public access cable television during the 1980s. To his credit, Goldstein prefixed the broadcast with a debate regarding whether Streisand was in the film. Goldstein included the film on a 2006 DVD anthology of the “Midnight Blue” series.

Over the years, the film has popped up in unlikely places: a 2003 feature article on celebrity sex tapes mentioned the alleged Streisand reel, while the appearance of an original 8mm reel in an eBay auction generated some online media chatter.

As for the film itself: viewing it is something of a challenge, since the copies that are freely available look like fifth-generation dupes (which circles back to Streisand’s comments from the 1970s that it was a blurry film). But when you squint and look carefully, there is not very much worth watching.

Quite frankly, it is a lot less interesting than the alleged Monroe porn film. For starters, most of the film consists of extreme close-ups of the film’s male star – or, to be more specific, a certain anatomical feature of the male star that repeatedly disappears into the female star’s mouth and between her legs. The male star certainly receives a vigorous workout – though in the very few shots of the man’s face, he appears to be indifferent to the transaction.

Ah, but what about the woman in the film? Yes, she has the Cleopatra-style eye make-up and beehive hairdo that Streisand wore in the early 1960s. And in a fleeting profile shot, one could imagine a faint resemblance to the “Funny Girl.” But at the end of the film, the woman is presented in a full-frontal close-up and it becomes ridiculously obvious that this is not Streisand.

Also, this is a silent film. One might imagine that an enterprising bootlegger would sync up some Streisand tunes to the flick, but that never happened.

There are a number of alleged porn films and sex tapes with A-list stars that are floating about cyberspace and the X-rated film avenues, but I don’t believe that I will pursue this genre further. Watching pornography, in my opinion, is a dismal distraction. Watching badly made pornography is even more depressing. And watching crummy old stag reels that are falsely promoted as starring famous women is a new low in time wasting.

Though, on the other hand, it could be worse: did you ever try to sit through “The Mirror Has Two Faces”?

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The unauthorized duplication and distribution of copyright-protected material, either for crass commercial purposes or profit-free shits and giggles, is not something that the entertainment industry appreciates. On occasion, law enforcement personnel boost their arrest quotas by collaring cheery cinephiles engaged in such activities. So if you are going to copy and distribute bootleg material, a word to the wise: don’t get caught. Oddly, the purchase and ownership of bootleg DVDs is perfectly legal. Go figure!




Posted on August 12, 2011 in Bootleg Files, Features by
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2 Comments on "THE BOOTLEG FILES: THE ALLEGED BARBRA STREISAND PORN FILM"

  1. anonymous on Sat, 13th Aug 2011 12:14 pm 

    ….or perhaps this is an wonderful opportunity to start a new column….
    about fake celeb porn…..what about Joan Crawford?

    “Ancient Hollywood gossip has it that Joan Crawford acted in several early stag films, including some with lesbian scenes.”

    http://www.villagevoice.com/2003-12-02/news/secrets-and-thighs/1/

    Remember seeing this same claim in this TV-series.

    http://akas.imdb.com/title/tt0290854/


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  2. Vincent Basilicato on Sun, 14th Aug 2011 11:49 pm 

    Jeez… I din’t think my comment would end up in an elaborate search into such a waste of celluloid. But thanks for taking my comment seriously. You are a brillant writer and a film buff for the ages. My copy of this 8mm Streisand ripoff was packaged in a Blackhwk-style box with a picture of Barbara in afro mode. “Hardcore” screamed the title. I reviewed this in my old zine THE GRINDHOUSE JOURNAL. I’ll see if I can find a copy of the original 8mm cover.


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