OR Historical Society finds only known copy of 1962 anti-porn fi - KPTV - FOX 12

OR Historical Society finds only known copy of 1962 anti-porn film 'Pages of Death'

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"Pages of Death" image from Oregon Historical Society "Pages of Death" image from Oregon Historical Society
"Pages of Death" image from Oregon Historical Society "Pages of Death" image from Oregon Historical Society
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A film thought to have no known copies in existence was discovered in the collection of the Oregon Historical Society.

"Pages of Death" is a 27-minute film that was produced by a group called the Citizens for Decent Literature in 1962.

It is narrated by 1940 Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon and warns viewers of the potential dangers of looking at illicit reading materials.

According to Jim Linderman of "Vintage Sleaze," "Pages of Death" tells the story of a fellow named Paul Halliday, who "hung out reading pornography at Baker's Variety Store until he couldn't stand it any longer and murdered a girl in a whipped up frenzy of smut inspired rage."

Told in a "Dragnet" type storyline – bookended by Harmon's narration – "Pages of Death" was a direct response to the growing accessibility of questionable material in local "five and dime" shops in the early 1960s, according to the Oregon Historical Society.

In the film, the proprietor of the drug store is held in contempt by the detectives as a peddler of filth for wayward youths.

"A stylized and over the top storyline, 'Pages of Death' stands in stark contrast to the ease by which similar material is available on the Internet today," an Oregon Historical Society release states.

The film was ranked 14th in Gambit Magazine's list of 15 films lost to time.

Oregon Historical Society archivists hope to learn more about the film, including whether it is in fact the only surviving 16 mm print. Archivists are also planning to appropriately preserve the film, which has been put on YouTube by the Oregon Historical Society. 

If organizations are interested in scheduling a screening of the film, assisting more broadly with its preservation, or have information regarding the existence of any elements of this film in other collections, please contact Archivist Matthew Cowan at matthew.cowan@ohs.org.

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