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Susie Bright

Greta, I had this same "HEY! Wait a minute!" epiphany about porn and musicals a few years back, and shared my thoughts with a film historian. She told me, much to my interest, that "Oklahoma" was the first movie musical that tried to integrate plot and character development into the series of musical/dance numbers... and that it was revolutionary at the time!

Laura Deal

Actually that honor probably goes to "Show Boat" which was the first book musical on Broadway and was made as a movie before Oklahoma was. (Showboat was first done as a mostly silent film with a couple of songs in 1929 but even if you don't count that, the 1936 version full on sound and music was well before the 1955 filming of Oklahoma).

Oklahoma was revolutionary for the way it used the dance numbers to further the plot (for example the ballet in Laurie's dream), so I guess it was the first to use dance numbers to further the plot, but Showboat definitely uses songs (which sometimes had dancing with them) that were integrated and could be argued to have furthured the plot or at least character develpment.... Ok I'm done being a geek now.


It's okay, I was having the same geek moment, going "Wait... Oklahoma? But what about Singing in the Rain? What about Meet Me In St. Louis? What about the frikkin Wizard of Oz?

Now aparently the trick is to get Busby Berkeley to direct a porn movie. Or even better - Fosse!

So what _are_ those porn movies that so beautifully integrate hot sex and a functional plot? Is there a porn equivalent to Cabaret? Jeepers! Bob Fosse choregraphing hardcore! Now that would be something to see. I've seen a few movies that were visually spiffy (I confess to a strong visual bias, so plotless stuff like House of Dreams works just fine for me), but none that didn't make me wince once the actors started to talk.


There aren't many. Most of the porn videos that I think of as transcending the genre's limitations do so visually rather than narratively -- Maria Beatty's silent kink movies being the prime example. (Her stuff is great, btw -- a lot like German art films of the '20s, as if Murnau or Fritz Lang had a dirty sideline.)

That being said, there are some pornos with plot where both the plot and the sex are worth watching. None of them are brilliant, IMO -- I don't think the porn "Citizen Kane" has been made yet -- but they're certainly on a level with a decent action movie, or a flawed-but-interesting indie debut effort.

"Dark Angels." A supernatural vampire crime thriller. The writing and acting aren't embarassing (usually), and it actually gets you sucked into the story, which makes you care about the sex more. This one is very high on my list -- the acting and writing are mostly quite decent, and the production values are excellent, with a distinctive visual style. Watching it is very much like watching a "real" movie, and I never wanted to fast-forward through the plot -- I wanted to find out what would happen.

"Revelations." This is one of Candida Royalle's videos (Candida started Femme Productions, the first adult video company to target a female audience). It's a "1984"-ish futuristic dystopia about sexual repression -- a young woman comes across a stash of home-made porn videos in an empty apartment, left behind by someone who's been hauled off by the government. When I worked at Blowfish, people who bought it would sometimes write to complain that it was too "political." Of course, that's exactly why I liked it. And not just for the politics -- I thought it did a good job of conveying the excitement of sex that's forbidden. (Candida's movies generally do a decent job with acting and plot -- the ones that aren't just sex pastiches, anyway -- but this is the one that stood out for me.)

"Conflict." This is cheating, I guess -- it's a series of vignettes, not one full-length story. But each short scenario has a mini-plot, and the plots are integral to the sex, and while the plots aren't earth-shaking, they're pretty interesting. Basically, each vignette is based on some sort of conflict that turns into sex. There's the road-rage people who pull off the road to scream at each other and wind up fucking (still screaming, btw); the woman who catches her fiancee with another woman; an argument in the line for concert tickets; that sort of thing. Instead of just having them fight and then start fucking out of nowhere, in most of the vignettes they expend some effort to make the transition between the two plausible, and to keep up the conflicting energy even during the sex. I guess they're trying to tap into the "hot sex after a fight" vibe. And it works. (It makes you realize that the overwhelming majority of porn videos are set in this blissfully perfect world where everyone is easily aroused, easily satisfied, and game for anything.)

"Edge Play," with Marilyn Chambers (the middle-aged comeback Marilyn Chambers, not the '70s Golden Age Marilyn Chambers). She plays a businesswoman who meets a wealthy couple that devotes their life to making women's sexual fantasies come true. But instead of just being a series of fantasy scenarios, it explores this process unfolding and how the main character feels about it. This is another one where the story makes the sex hotter, and the sex makes the story more interesting. And it's fairly honest about the reality of acting out fantasies in real life -- it shows negotating, safewords, fantasies that are too much and have to be called off in the middle, that sort of thing.

"Enema Bandit Strikes Again." No, just kidding.

Anyone else? What are your favorite pornos with plots?

Oh, if you want to see Bob Fosse's porn movie, you have to see "All That Jazz" (if you haven't already). Just one dance sequence, and it's not explicit (exactly)... but it's one of the hottest movie sex scenes I've seen.

Joe Durbin

Porn plots stink! They are merely a waste of time. Instead of boring me to death with terrible plots and acting, give me more sex without the nonsense.

Urban Viking

"Once More With Feeling" was great! I have the soundtrack and it gets regular play on long car trips :-)

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