Movies Way Back When: An X-rated film named Purity

Movies Way Back When: An X-rated film named Purity title=
Image: Motography, July 22, 1916
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By Betsy J. Green

Visitors were not allowed on the set while this movie was being filmed.

This “Flying A” movie was released on July 23, 1916. It was filmed at several estates in Montecito. Audrey Munson, the star of this movie, was famous for posing au naturel for sculptors, so you can guess what happens in this film. To give the appearance that this is an “art” film and not porn, the movie begins with a scene from Greek mythology showing Pandora opening a box and letting evil escape into the world. This is also an excuse for actresses to traipse around in flimsy costumes that you know their mothers would disapprove of.

One reviewer warned theaters: “Let it be said at the start, that Miss Munson appears several times in the picture unhampered by garments of any sort whatsoever, and there is scene upon scene in which she walks about thinly and diaphanously clad . . . however beautiful and non-salacious such scenes run, their chief spectators will be curiosity seekers.” – Motion Picture News, August 5, 1916

Betsy's Way Back When book -- 1919 -- is now available in local bookstores and at This is the sixth book in her series of the history of Santa Barbara, one year at a time. Learn more at​.
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RHS Jul 25, 2021 08:34 AM
Movies Way Back When: An X-rated film named Purity

The actress in this movie was considered the most famous model in the world at the time. She was the model for the "Walking Liberty" silver dollar. Not really fair to imply that she was making dirty movies.

Luvaduck Jul 25, 2021 12:00 PM
Movies Way Back When: An X-rated film named Purity

Being a famous model and being an exhibitionist aren't exclusive categories. For the times, it was pretty racy. No doubt a lot of tut-tutting by the church ladies and a lot of sneaking in to view for their sons and husbands. <G> Personally, I find this article amusing. Thanks.

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