The Prefect's Lesson
The Prefect’s Lesson is a British spanking film directed by George Harrison Marks and released by Janus on Super 8 mm (0.31 ″) colour sound film in the spring of 1981. Priced at £34.50, it was the first British spanking film to be made with sound. Its duration is 7½ minutes.
The film opens outside Arnold House School as the bell rings. The hockey captain Jane Taylor, and one of her teammates, prefect Lucy Fields, are lying in wait for a third team member, Jackie Parsons, whom they blame for the loss of a match. ‘Honestly, laziness on the hockey pitch is something we prefects just cannot tolerate,’ explains Lucy, who provides an articulate voice-over. They push Jackie onto the grass and begin to wrestle with her, but a teacher, Miss Cleganthorpe, promptly appears and accuses them of bullying. She leads the girls indoors and makes them sit in a row outside the door of the headmaster’s office. ‘It was there that the full implications of what we had done began to sink it,’ observes the prefect. Miss Cleganthorpe informs the headmaster, a bearded Scotsman called Mr Granger, of the incident. Lucy and Jane have been warned before about bullying. Jackie smirks with satisfaction when her assailants are called into the office.
Granger tells the girls that they should really be expelled, but, on this occasion, in view of their impending examinations, he will offer them the alternative of corporal punishment, a spanking for Lucy and a caning for Jane. They reluctantly accept his terms. Lucy is shocked to be told by Mr Granger to lower her knickers. ‘Suddenly I was draped over his fat repulsive knees,’ she says. ‘Was this a dream?’ After thirty-seven spanks, she is allowed to rise and rub her slightly pink buttocks.
As Jane bends over the antique desk, Mr Granger removes his jacket. He then gives her forty-four swift light strokes on the bare bottom with the middle of a thin black cane. ‘Oh, it stings!’ she exclaims, writhing exaggeratedly. Jackie spies through the keyhole at the scene. Viewers are given a close-up of Jane rubbing her cheeks and raising her panties. Mr Granger orders the girls to leave and lights himself a cigarette.
Due to a temporary break in the publication of Janus, the film was publicised with a feature in The New Derriere, Vol.1 No.3. Twelve colour stills, showing all five members of the cast, were printed alongside an enthusiastic review by John Donnelly, who judged the caning of Jane Taylor ‘unquestionably the best that I have ever seen on film’. He explained: ‘The punishment sequence has been made far more erotic by the added facility of sound, in fact it was mentioned many times after the preview that this type of film requires sound as much if not more than ordinary straight sex films and it was felt that it was really high time that this milestone was passed.’
As usual with British films of this type, none of the spanking actors was named. The actress playing Jackie, not spanked in the film, was subsequently seen as a spanking model in New Janus No.1, wearing the same costume. The actress playing Lucy similarly featured in New Janus No.5 and also appeared as a dancer in the mainstream sex comedy Emmanuelle in Soho (1981).
The Prefect’s Lesson is the fifth entry in a series of ‘Lesson’ films made by Harrison Marks for Janus over the preceding three years, earlier releases being The Riding Lesson (1978),The Gym Lesson (1979), The School Lesson (1979), and The Nurse’s Lesson (1980). These four are silent, but The Prefect’s Lesson has sound dubbed on three tracks. The retrospective narrative delivered by Lucy is laid over fragmentary dialogue, poorly synchronised in the main, although the noise of the smacks is better timed than the speeches. Classical piano music accompanies the scene where the girls wait outside the headmaster’s office. The use of Wagner’s The Ride of the Valkyries during the caning is a comedic touch typical of the director. Despite the dialogue, much of the acting exhibits the bold gestures and expressions associated with silent cinema, reflecting the fact that many of the original purchasers would not have had access to a sound projector.
Although brief, The Prefect’s Lesson displays many of the classic features of English spanking cinema. The three girls wear dark-blue gym-slips, medium-grey blazers, white blouses, white socks, striped ties, and straw hats. Lucy and Jane are later seen to be wearing white panties; Jane also wears light-grey stockings with a white suspender-belt. ‘Mr Granger was very methodical about the way he beat girls,’ remarks Lucy. ‘We had to follow the same ritualistic orders as the many who had gone before us.’
At the end of the film, the viewer hears the pleasing and re-assuring news that Lucy is herself an incipient spanking fetishist. She admits, ‘Somehow later in the day a rosy glow seemed to emanate from my hot pink bum and I realised to my complete surprise that I was secretly hoping that my ordeal might take place again’.
Four months after its release on film, The Prefect’s Lesson was made available on video cassette, priced at £46. Its commercial success inaugurated a busy era for British spanking cinema.