Caffe Cino Pictures

‘Barbara” (1970)–An Underground Movie Scandal In Its Time

Posted in Uncategorized by Robert on April 2, 1935

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1970:Written by JOSEF BUSH, starring BILL HAISLIP, poster shared by producer Walter J. Burns.

Promotional synopsis: “Teenaged Barbara spends the summer on Fire Island with her parents and brother. She is sexually initiated by a ‘guru,’ and with another couple, she experiments with sex. While on a macrobiotic diet, the young people practice sodomy, homosexuality, and lesbianism, as well as heterosexual relations. Barbara seduces her younger brother, and together they attempt to convert their parents to the new lifestyle.”

Author Bush was no stranger to scandal. As “Angelo D’Arcangelo,” he wrote “The Homosexual Handook,” outing tons of famous people–including J. Edgar Hoover. The book mysteriously disappeared from shops, then reappeared unchanged except that Hoover’s name was missing. The producer of Bush and Bill Haislip’s “De Sade Illustrated” added nudity to the witty satire without consulting them. Bush threw paint all over the stage, necessistating the closing of the show.

21 Responses

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  1. LB said, on May 18, 2021 at 2:59 pm

    I found a 35 mm print of the trailer on a reel of 60’s-70’s trailers.

  2. JFK said, on July 21, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Can anybody help me getting a copy of the film?

  3. Melba LaRose said, on October 19, 2014 at 10:19 am

    When I said it was a hit in Italy and seen by all the famous directors, I was quoting Walter. I ran into him when he was selling stuff in a flea market and a few items were from the film. I had no way to verify what he said. Although, he did reel off Fellini, Visconti, and others, and added that Pier Paolo Pasolini saw it 3 times.

  4. Lynn Beedle said, on October 19, 2014 at 9:37 am

    I have a 35mm copy of the film shown in NYC in 1970

  5. aveline said, on October 13, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    I saw the movie in Rome, Italy about 1974. I would like to watch it again for sentimental reasons. It was not a big hit over here as suggested elsewhere in this thread. It had a very underground distribution. And I don’t know how many great italian directors watched it (I saw no Fellini during the show, but he may have come at a previous or a later show).
    My condolances to the director’s family.

  6. Lynn Beedle said, on August 7, 2014 at 7:06 am

    I was Walter Burns and Maurice Roberson’s next door neighbor for 8 years and am very familiar with “Barbara”. Please contact me at

  7. Melba Larose said, on June 23, 2014 at 9:51 am

    I am so sorry to hear about Walter’s passing. He was a wonderful director and I was his Gemma (Barbara’s mother, Bill Haislip’s wife in the film).
    Melba LaRose

  8. Phil said, on June 22, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    VMT, thank you for your suggestion. I will look up the contact info on Something Weird. The film reels do still exist. But i hope they are not damaged.

  9. Phil said, on June 22, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Robert, I can surely do as you ask. Please e-mail me at Walter and Maurice have been very good friends of mine. Walter taught me alot about antiques. His life story is amazing. I often told him he should write a biography.

  10. Robert said, on June 22, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    For purely sentimental and personal reasons, I should love to talk with Mister Maurice Roberson.

  11. VMT said, on June 22, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Phil. My Condolences. It seems you knew him well. And my condolences to anyone else who frequents this site and knew him too.

    Have you tried getting it released through the Something Weird Video Company? They actually have the trailer of the film on a compilation titled Twisted Sex Trailers Volume Six. I posted a few photos from the trailer on my blog as well as a production credit thingy for Barbara from the American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films 1961-1970 (complete cast, songs used in the film, film cutter, etc.). What about a KickStarter sort of thing or something similar?

  12. Robert said, on June 22, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Deaer Phil, thank you for the news. Walter was a dear friend in the 1960s, as were several of the people involved in “Barbara.” If you are in touch with Maurice Roberson, please give him my codolences, and, if you woudl, suggest that he comunicate with me.

  13. Phil said, on June 22, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Hello All. Walter Burns just passed away at age 77. He was very proud of his film. The film never made it video. The film still exists on film reels. Some years ago I tried to help him get it distributed, but had no luck. The co. wanted him to pay to have it transferred to DVD. Unfortunalety he had no funds to do so at the time. Our loss.

  14. Robert said, on March 16, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    As far as I know, the film did not make it to VHS, and Mister Burns did not direct again.

  15. VMT said, on March 16, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Sorry to be a bother again and I know that Mrs. LaRose said that all copies had disappeared but did Barbara ever make it to VHS? The film must still exist somewhere. Did Mr. Burns ever direct again (IMDB lists Barbara as his only film)?

  16. VMT said, on March 15, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Thank you for the response Mrs. LaRose. I managed to find the trailer via the SomethingWeird Video website (I had to buy and download TWISTED SEX TRAILERS VOL 06 in order to see the trailer). It seems like a very interesting film and a shame that it is no longer available. I don’t know if I’m allowed to place a direct link to the page within the Something Weird Video website.

  17. Melba LaRose said, on March 15, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I don’t think it does either.

  18. Robert said, on March 15, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Hello, Melba LaRose! How good to hear from you. I don’t know if “Barbara” exists any longer.

  19. Melba LaRose said, on March 15, 2014 at 9:23 am

    I believe Walter Burns told me many years ago that all copies had disappeared. This was after it had been viewed by all the famous Italian film directors. It was evidently a big hit in Europe. I played Gemma in the film.

  20. VMT said, on March 15, 2014 at 8:55 am


    I can’t seem to be able to find Barbara ANYWHERE. Not even IMDB has the movie poster up. Would you happen to know if its viewable online?


  21. Melba LaRose said, on June 10, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Love ‘n Kisses from Barbara’s mother, Gemma (Melba LaRose)!

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