“Video Gallery: Sex” featured a NSFW version of Duran Duran’s “Girls On Film,” merging fashion and fetish

By on May 13, 2016

“Welcome to Night Flight’s Video Gallery,” Pat Prescott says at the beginning of this 25-minute special which originally aired on March 22, 1983, and is now streaming on our Night Flight Plus channel.

She continues: “Tonight we look at sex in music videos, its use of blatant images, and sexual symbols. We will see the censored as well as the uncensored versions of David Bowie’s ‘China Girl’, and the hot Duran Duran’s ‘Girls On Film’. Due to the nature of this particular segment, parental discretion is advised.”

(Obviously if you haven’t figured it out yet, this one’s NSFW).

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Later in the episode, having already been teased by Ms. Prescott about its existence, viewers are indeed able to watch the uncensored “night” version of Duran Duran’s “Girls On Film,” the band’s first video, which was subsequently banned by the BBC, rarely seen on cable TV in America, and never shown on MTV.

“Girls On Film” — the third single released off their debut album — had been largely written by the band’s original lead singer, Andy Wickett (we expect he may have later regretted selling his share of the songwriting credits to the band for just £600).

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Duran Duran’s management team, Paul and Michael Berrow, told the directors, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme — who were also record producers and members of the band 10cc — that they could do whatever they wanted, but suggested that the concept for the video had to be overtly sexual, filled with 80s porno-chic images, which was somewhat ironic since the lyrics are purported to be about the exploitation of the female form by both the fashion and pornography industries.

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The Berrows had recently discovered that trendy discos and night clubs in the United States were playing music videos on video screens, and struck upon the idea of filming a raunchy video that horny drunk clubgoers would talk about later, which would then help sell the band’s single.

The more mainstream, censored version would be music video shows like “Friday Night Videos,” while a second, longer and uncensored version would be for the clubs, and the more adult cable networks, like the Playboy Channel, played on shows that weren’t afraid of showing a little nudity, like the USA channel’s “Night Flight.”

Godley — who had recently traveled to the south of France to attend some fashion shows — then met with Creme, who had recently returned from Los Angeles, where he’d actually seen women mud wrestling in some of the strip clubs.

They began comparing notes and discussing the idea of making a video that essentially had no plot but resembled a mash-up of both ideas, merging fashion and fetish.

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The video — shot on a soundstage at Shepperton Studios in Surrey, England — actually begins with footage of the building of the set, where construction workers hammer up a platform for the band, who are seen periodically during the video (usually in the background), as well as some kind of boxing ring with a long catwalk attached. We see other workers loading cameras, positioning lights and generally setting up for what seems to be a soft-core porn shoot.

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Then we see the first of several scenarios, in which two women in see-through black teddies prowl down the catwalk and end up straddling a horizontal candy-striped pole covered in shaving cream. Before long they’re having a pillow fight, which ends with the girls kissing amid a snowy flurry of feathers from the ripped-up pillowcases.

Then, in a flash, we’re backstage, and the girls are now pouring champagne over their tits in celebration.

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In the next scenario, we’re suddenly at a sumo wrestling match between a male wrestler and a girl who struts around in a see-through mesh top and a combo belt and buttcheek-flossing loincloth ( a mawashi).

She flips the sumo dude using some kind of faked-up judo move, which then spins us into a new scenario, wherein a woman in a sexy nurse outfit enters the ring and begins oiling up the sumo dude, now lying on a massage table, while she straddles him (the women come out “on top” in these sexy vignettes, of course).

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In the next part of the video, a sexy cowgirl in a white Stetson rides around the ring on a muscular black dude dressed up in some kind of horse fetish costume. She sponges him down and then cameras bulbs flash as he’s led away, rode hard and put up wet.

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The next vignette features a sexy gal in a one-piece swimsuit who tumbles backwards into a kiddie pool. She’s then given mouth-to-mouth by a lifeguard, which then turns into a full-on makeout session.

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Then, a naked model’s perky nipple is ice-cubed (Godley had heard this is what they did on porn shoots to get nipples erect), before a foxy girl takes off her fur coat and now suddenly we’re in the middle of a mud-wrestling scenario, where two gals (one topless) get very, very dirty.

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Godley and Crème asked the Berrows to keep the band away from the closed set, worried they might be a distraction (they managed to sneak onset anyway, John Taylor reportedly flirting with a blonde girl, while Simon Le Bon was smitten with a brunette).

As expected, MTV — who in 1981 were just about to launch their 24-hour programming, before anyone knew the huge impact they would have on the music business — declined to air Duran Duran’s uncensored video and eventually aired an edited version with the mud wrestling (and the accompanying partial nudity) removed.

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A third edited version of the video was also made, with a shorter mud wrestling scene and at the very end the band hold up a banner that reads: “Some People Will Do Anything To Sell Records.”

Night Flight’s Video Galley: Sex also features censored and uncensored videos from David Bowie (“China Girl”), Mary Jane Girls (“Candy Man”), Miquel Brown (“So Many Men, So Little Time”), Rod Stewart, Vanity 6, Randy Newman, ZZ Top, INXS and Berlin.

About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, assistant editor for the When You Awake blog, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.