5.6/10
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5 user 1 critic

American Stag (2006)

Am amazing film created from the largest private collection of "stag" films in the United States

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Himself
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Barbara Hammer ...
Herself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bill Gladden ...
Stagman 2
Daniel Gluck ...
Himself
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Dotty Hamilton ...
Herself
Sara Jacobs ...
Herself
Rupert Jee ...
Himself
Lexi Lamour ...
Herself
Tom Mykins ...
The Wanker
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Himself
Vance Reed ...
Himself
David J. Skal ...
Himself
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Storyline

From the birth of cinema through the 1960s in the United States, most pornographic films were brief, black and white, anonymously produced films known as "stag films", "blue movies", or "smokers," so called because of the smoke-filled rooms where men would gather for private screenings. Initially shot on 35mm film, the advent of 16mm and 8mm consumer film stock allowed for production of about 1,000 of these films between 1915 and 1968. This film examines the "stag" film not as much for the subject matter or lack of production value, but as a metaphor and reflection of American popular culture. Featuring film footage from the largest private "stag" film collection in North America, American Stag is an amazing study of a subterranean phenomena of cinema in the western world. Featuring interviews with Adam Carolla, Melvin Van Peebles, Tommy Chong, Barbara Hammer, Linda Williams, Chris Gore, David Skal, and Rupert Jee. Written by J. Smithton

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15 January 2006 (USA)  »

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1.85 : 1
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Many now famous stars are believed to have started their careers as participants in "stag films", although usually these stars were just look-alikes See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Eggless Omelette
17 November 2008 | by (Redondo Beach, CA) – See all my reviews

In bygone days, there were those who swore they read PLAYBOY magazine "only for the articles." This documentary feature would appear to have been made entirely for, and by, those people.

Imagine, if you will, the worst possible movie-going experience: watching really bad old porno movies just for the plots. Then make it even more excruciating by presenting only ancient "stag" films, badly photographed in black-and-white, silent, and so deteriorated that one must surmise rather than see most of what's going on.

And then, just to crown the absurdity with insult, carefully expurgate all the actual sex from these movies. And try to make a documentary with the remainder.

Learned pundits (like, um, Adam Carolla) talk about the first "stag" films they saw, or about the Role of Women In Early Porn, but really there's little to say about these sad fragments. We see a couple riding in a '20s jalopy, and then they get out. CUT! A woman goes to the doctor's office (I think), steps inside and begins to undress. CUT! So we are left with a film ABOUT old sex films, comprised OF old sex films, with all the actual sex removed. It's a bizarre and surreal concept, but unfortunately not one entertaining enough to sustain even a documentary as brief as this one.

In today's world of universally available, explicit sex films, filmed in Super Widescreen Hi-Def Million-Color GynoScope with Gooshy Noises In Six-Channel Sound, it might well have been interesting to look back at the era before PLAYBOY, PLAYGIRL and widely available sex education, to see firsthand what was considered erotic. Certainly these quaint and ancient archives are the last place one would need to go to look for any sort of erotic stimulation, and, unfortunately, this film is also the last place one should go to look for any vestige of either entertainment or enlightenment.


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