|Debbie Does Dallas|
|Directed by||Jim Clark|
|Written by||Maria Minestra|
|Starring||Bambi Woods |
|Music by||Gerald Sampler|
|Edited by||Hals Liptus|
School Day Films
|Distributed by||VCX, Cabaret Video|
Debbie Does Dallas is a 1978 pornographic film starring Bambi Woods. The plot of the film focuses on a team of cheerleaders attempting to earn enough money to send the title character to Dallas, Texas, to try out for the famous "Texas Cowgirls" cheerleading squad. The fictional name "Texas Cowgirls" was seen as an allusion to the real-life Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Woods had previously tried out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders in real life, but was cut during auditions.
The film was highly successful, selling 50,000 copies when it made it to videotape, making it the most successful video release of a porn film in its time. It is regarded as one of the most important releases during the so-called "Golden Age of Porn" (1969-1984), and remains one of the best-known pornographic films. The film is in the public domain following a US court ruling in 1987 that declared its copyright to be lost.
The movie spawned a number of sequels and spin-offs including Debbie Does New Orleans, Debbie Does Wall Street, Debbie Does Dallas Again and the unrelated Debbie Duz Dishes franchise. It also spawned a 2002 Off Broadway musical, Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical.
Debbie Benton (Bambi Woods), captain of her high school cheerleading squad, has been accepted to try out for the Texas Cowgirls. Her parents disapprove and refuse to pay her fare to Texas. In a bid to help Debbie, her cheerleader friends Lisa (Georgette Sanders), Roberta (Misty Winter), Tammy (Arcadia Lake), Pat (Kasey Rodgers), and Annie (Jenny Cole) decide to accompany her to Texas. With two weeks to raise the money, they swear off sexual activity with their boyfriends and form a company, called Teen Services.
Tammy takes a job in the local record store run by Tony (Tony Mansfield). Debbie gets a job at a sports store run by Mr. Greenfield (Richard Bolla). Roberta convinces Mr. Hardwick (Eric Edwards) to give her a job at the candle store with Mrs. Hardwick (Robyn Bird). Rikki (Sherri Tart) and Annie agree to wash Mr. Bradly's car.
The football team is annoyed by a lack of sex. Roberta's boyfriend Rick (David Morris) and his teammates join Roberta and Pat in the showers, where they have group sex. While working for Mr. Greenfield at the sports store, Debbie is talked into allowing Mr. Greenfield to see her breasts for $10 and fondle her breasts for another $10. Then, he sucks them for an additional $20.
Realizing they will not be able to raise enough money by legitimate means, Debbie convinces the other girls to engage in sexual activities for more money. They agree, but only if it is on their terms. From this point onward, the film abandons the central plot (leaving it unresolved whether Debbie ever makes it to Dallas).
After Roberta is caught masturbating around Mrs. Hardwick, Roberta engages in sexual activity with Mr. and Mrs. Hardwick, earning extra money. Rikki and Annie go to see Mr. Bradly (David Suton), to wash his car. Mr. Bradly is not home, but they wash his car anyway. When Mr. Bradly returns home, he asks them in to dry off their wet clothes. They undress for him for $10 each. He performs cunnilingus on them, and then has anal sex with Annie.
At the library, Donna (Merril Townsend) flirts with Mr. Biddle, the librarian. Visiting her, her boyfriend Tim (Bill Barry) tries to have sex with her. She fellates him but is caught by Mr. Biddle (Jack Teague). Donna allows him to spank her to prevent him from telling her parents. Hamilton (Peter Lerman) and his friend Ashly (Ben Pierce) are in the tennis club sauna after a tennis game, and Hamilton convinces Lisa to fellate him while Ashly penetrates her.
At the record store, Tammy has been avoiding Tony's advances; she calls Lisa, who joins them at the record store. Lisa offers Tony "anything" and she begins to fellate him, and then Tammy joins in, and he ejaculates on Tammy's breasts.
In the final scene, Debbie arrives at Mr. Greenfield's store after hours, in a Texas Cowgirls uniform as he requested. Greenfield, dressed as Joe Namath, reveals his dream of being the quarterback who made love to the head cheerleader, and she obliges. She fellates him, and he penetrates her vagina with his finger and performs cunnilingus on her. Then they engage in vaginal sex, first in the missionary position, then doggy style, and then with Debbie on top. They finish in the missionary position with Mr. Greenfield pulling out right before ejaculating. The film ends with Debbie passed out and the word "NEXT..." displayed on the screen.
The movie was produced and directed by Jim Clark. Some scenes were shot at the Brooklyn College athletic field, and the Pratt Institute library in Brooklyn, New York, without the administration's knowledge or approval. There is an unfounded internet rumor that certain scenes were shot at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, including the library scene. However, that was found to be unlikely after an investigation with alumni, and the president of the Debbie Does Dallas production company said such a claim "was purely inconclusive".
In New York, an adult theater showing the films was successfully enjoined from showing the film by the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders under the Lanham Act (trademark). The case was The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders v. Pussycat Cinema. In affirming the district court's decision in favor of the Cheerleaders, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit described the movie as "a gross and revolting sex film". The Cheerleaders successfully argued that their uniforms were mimicked by the film's producers and used in advertising. The theater argued that uniforms are strictly functional items, but the Second Circuit explained that "[i]t is well established that, if the design of an item is nonfunctional and has acquired secondary meaning, the design may become a trademark even if the item itself is functional." The decision has been criticized on free speech grounds, but the Seventh Circuit has cited it for the proposition that "confusion about sponsorship or approval, even when the mark does not mislead consumers about the source of the goods," may be sufficient to state a claim under Lanham Act 43(a).
The 1986 publication of the Meese Report contained graphic descriptions of the film's sex scenes and uncensored excerpts of dialogue, which may have contributed to the report becoming a best-seller.
Debbie Does Dallas opened at New York's Pussycat Theater in 1978 and was exhibited without a copyright notice. In 1979, the rights-holder M & A Associates entered into an exclusive worldwide video distribution deal with VCX, whereby VCX agreed to pay M & A an advance and make royalty payments on each sale. Upon receiving a print of the film, VCX president Norman Arno contacted M & A president Arthur Weisberg to request copyright protection. Arno also retained the services of attorneys John Lappen and Peter Berger to combat unauthorized copying of the film. Before litigation could commence VCX was required to add copyright notices to all copies of the film and file registration with the United States Copyright Office; however, VCX could not protect the rights by just adding a notice to the video cassette, since one also needed to be added to the theatrical prints. In 1981, Berger informed Weisberg of the need to add a copyright notice to the prints that had been sent to various theaters but Weisberg refused. Because of Weisberg's refusal to address the problem, both Lappen and Berger concluded the copyright had been lost. In 1982, VCX terminated their contract with M & A and ceased making royalty payments, but continued to distribute the film. In 1987 M & A brought a case against VCX in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan for breach of contract. VCX argued that the contract was void due to M & A's failure to comply with the Copyright Act of 1976. The court found in favor of VCX, and the judge ruled that "Weisberg's actions had thrust the film irretrievably into the [United States] public domain."
The film has had numerous sequels and remakes across several decades. The Internet Adult Film Database lists twelve separate films as part of the film franchise spanning from 1979 until 2007. In the 2013 book Pornography and Seriality: The Culture of Producing Pleasure, journalist David Slayden was quoted as saying, "No other pornographic film has been remade more often than Debbie Does Dallas." The filmography list includes:
In 2001, Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical was created by Susan L. Schwartz for the New York International Fringe Festival. In 2002 it was made into an Off-Broadway musical comedy of the same name. Unlike the original movie, the musical did not contain any actual sex or nudity, which caused some disappointment among people, as false hype had been made and the musical's producers did nothing to dismiss it. Since then, the show has been performed around the world, often with racier direction and more explicit choreography. The story, dialogue and characters are fairly faithful to the original film, with musical numbers standing in for sex scenes or added for comic effect. As recent as 2015, the musical version continues to be performed.
In 2005 a documentary called Debbie Does Dallas Uncovered was produced and shown on British television.
On April 11, 2007, Vivid Entertainment Group began including the original Debbie Does Dallas with a new release titled Debbie Does Dallas ... Again in DVD, Blu-ray, and HD DVD formats. It has also been remade with contemporary porn stars.