Without doubt, Climax Films was Britain’s most prolific roller label and perhaps the most significant 8mm pornography brand in the European business. Started by Evan ‘Big Jeff’ Phillips and Bob Byrne in early 1966, possibly with some assistance from experienced roller maker Ivor Cook, Climax became the first British roller label to use branding, and this could indeed be the first instance of an 8mm porn label adopting a brand. Before this, rollers appeared in either generic packaging or in simple photo card boxes. Phillips’ simple decision to brand his prodcut transformed the roller market. Ivor Cook’s involvement is confirmed by Hebditch and Anning in Porn Gold and is referred to in The People newspapers first failed attempt to expose Climax’s operations in 1970. Given Cook’s reputation as a professional photographer and technician, it seems likely that Phillips, a businessman with no filmmaking experience, would employ Cook’s services to kickstart the label.

The label began as Climax Films, eventually changing names to Climax Original. It is plausible that this change was made to differentiate from the Theander brothers’ growing Color Climax magazine that emerged in 1968. Climax issued at least 200 titles. According to issue 20 of the Dutch magazine Chick , the label issued a total of 225: 175 in black and white, 50 in colour. Italian pornographer claimed to have convinced Phillips to shoot in color, impressing upon him to make better quality content. There appears to be three waves of Climax releases. The first wave is 1966-67, when the films usually had handwritten titles and were mainly produced by Phillips, Byrne and possibly Cook. These were typically printed on Ilford’s stock.1967-69 saw the second wave, when Phillips moved away from making the films, outsourcing production. Some were printed on Kodak stock. Rollers from this period appear to have been shot on 16mm colour film, but mainly printed on black and white; some of these titles were made available in colour. Several second wave films were made on the Continent, for instance No Mercy for Susan was shot in the Netherlands.

Climax became a transnational operation during their third wave – 1970-72 – when the business moved to Denmark, seeking to benefit from Denmark’s newly legalised porn laws. Now known as Climax Original, the label became collaboration between Phillips and infamous porn smuggler Walter Bartkowski, aka Charlie Brown. Films from this period had a higher production standard, mainly shot in Denmark and printed in Phillips’s then state of the art film laboratory; a far cry from the clandestine means originally used to print the first and second wave releases. Back then, Phillips often used North London film labs, paying willing employeesfor an ‘out-of-hours’ service. Phillips and Bartkowski smuggled the third wave releases into Britain, using small planes, Danish bacon lorries and dropping plastic wrapped stock into the North Sea for boats to collect. It’s incredible to think that the practices used today by drug gangs were being used by pornographers back in the 60s and 70s. Third-wave titles were usually printed on 3M stock, but other stock was used. Phillips used disinctive red ‘Climax Films of London’ branded reels during this period to signify original copies, suggesting that pirated copies circulated (more on this shortly).

Phillips evidently put a lot of thought into branding. Orange boxes are the dominant style, usually indicating first and second wave titles. Green boxes are indicative of colour releases, first appearing in 1967 and then increasing during the third wave when they had the means to formally print their own films. Climax experimented with shortened 100ft/30m films under the label Climax Mini. A purple box variant also exists with a $50 price printed on the front, signifying that these were likely intended for the American market. Many of the early first wave titles were exported to America. These titles appear to have been sold unboxed and have a lower print quality than the British releases, indicating that they were likely prints of smuggled-in prints.

The brand seems to have ceased in 1972, following the Sunday People’s exposé of Phillips, identifying him as ‘Britain’s First Blue Millionaire’. However, it reappeared, reissuing titles from other roller labels like International Films and New Private. These are identifiable through their slightly differently printed orange box and possibly the work of British porn distributor John Darby who once associated with Phillips but later feel out after the police arrested Darby. First wave titles reappeared on Amör Films, a possible off-shoot or a bootleg outfit.

Catalogue numbers in the table below are taken from a 1970 Climax mail-order brochure, and also from the leaders of some titles, hence why there is occasional repetition. I was unable to track down every Climax title, an impossible feat given that many of the first wave titles were issued in small numbers – no more than 50 – and don’t appear to have been reprinted. An example of this would be the elusive Tonight at 8 (1967). I am yet to confirm whether Climax released this iconic title, but the performers seem to also appear in Easy Meet, which is confirmed as Climax by a collector.

Climax Original

Colour box variant


Climax Original US releases


The ‘waves of Climax’ label ident cards. Note the increasing professionalism, moving from handwritten cards to title generators

100% Lust1966
44 in Action1966-67
A Cosy Evening1971-72236
A Length for Two1968
A Lovely Game1969-70
A Seasoned Dinner1971-72225
After the Party1967-68
Aladdin's Lamp1971-72223
All Action1968
All in Black1967-68
Ambitious Model1967-6934Also available in colour
Anything Goes1967-68
Apartment Sex1967-69
Auto Sex1968
Baby Doll1966-67
Baby Sitter1967-6933Also available in colour
Bang Bang1966-67
Bathing Time1970-72Possibly a bootleg, also appears on New Private
Beach Girls1969-70214
Beat Girl1967-6938Also available in colour
Beatnik Bedlam 1&21966
Beauty and the Beast1967-68
Bed Geisha1969-70216
Bed Set1968-69111
Big Prick1970-72
Big Surprise1969-70213
Birthday Present1968-69112
Bookworm, The1971-72219
Bright Sparks1967-6936Also available in colour
Car Accident1971-72230
Carnaby Kinks196817Also available in colour
Carry on Sheik1970-72Not an official Climax release, also appears on Look Films
Cat Burglar, The1966
Caught in the Act1967
Club X1969208Available with soundtrack
Cock a Spaniel1967-68
Come on Over1971-72222
Country Cousins1970-72Not an official Climax release, also appears on Look Films
Cum Clean196792
Dill-Dollies1966-674Also available in colour
Doctor in Bed1969201Also available in colour
Dog Friend1969
Dream Lovers1967-68
Eastern Promise1969
Easy Meet1967 Appears to have the same performers as Tonight at 8
End of Term1967-6878
Equal to Mummy1967-6883
Escort Agency1966
Euston Capture1971Not an official Climax release, also appears on International Films, possibly shot by John Lindsay
False Pretences1966-67
Fantasy Morning1971-72239
Filthy Schoolgirls1969-72Possibly a bootleg, also appears on New Private
First Audition1966-6738
First Time1966-6743100ft/30m. Also released in colour.
Fixing to Fuck1969
Forced Entry1969-70209
Free For All1966-6749
Fruit Salad1967-68
Full Recovery1968-6990
Full Treatment1966-67
Fun at Lunch1967-68
Geisha1970-72Not an official Climax release, also appears on International Films, possibly shot by John Lindsay
Gigs and Boys1969-70217
Gigs and Guys
Gin and Lime1971-72237
Girlfriend, The196763
Girls & Boys
Good Deal1968-69114
Good Knight1968-69107100ft/30m
Good Life, The1966-67
Great Love1969
Gruppen Sex1969-70211
Guessing Games1967
Gynaecologist, The
H.P Man1966-67
Happy family1967-68
Hell-Fire Club1969-70203
Hippy Sex1969-70200Available with soundtrack
Hot-line1967-6884Original catalogue number was 24
In Drag1967
Jag Puller1970-72Not an official Climax release, also appears on International Films, possibly shot by John Lindsay
Jealous Sisters1966
Judo Lesson1969-70205Also available in colour
Kinky Lovers1966-68Also released unbranded
Kinky Spender1966-6741100ft/30m. Also released in colour.
Lady Lovers1967-68
Lesbian Girls1971-72232
Lesbian Sister1967-68
Little Girl Lost196631
Live Show1967-68
Living for Kicks1967-68
Love for Sale1967-68
Love Game1969-70300100ft/30m. Also released in colour.
Love In1967-6939Also available in colour
Lucky Draw1967-6899
Lusty Au-Pair196889
Magic Lust1968
Maid to Measure1967-6818Also available in colour
Maid's Delight1966-67
Man Crazy1967
Man Hungry1966
Massage Treatment1966
Medieval Masochist1968-69101
Men1966-6748 Original catalogue number was 16
Miss Conduct1967-68
Mixed Feelings1967-6876
More Arts and Crafts1966-67
More Beatnik Bedlam1966-67
More than he can Handle1968-71
Naughty Girl1967
Nelson's Column1966
No Mercy for Susan1967-6887
Nymph1967-6931Also available in colour
Nympho Nurse1969
O My Pussy1969-70302100ft/30m. Also released in colour.
Orgy Trip1970-72Possibly a bootleg, also appears on New Private
Party Kicks196732
Pawnbroker1967-6937Also available in colour
Pay the Man1968
Phantom, The1966-67
Plateing is an Art1968
Porno Poker1971-72234
Private Patient1969108
Pussy Club1966-67
Pussy Galore1966-6739
Randy Intruder1968-69
Rare Capture196895
Real Lovers1967-68
Rent Collector1966-6741
Ring Up for Love1966-67
Room Service1967-68
Sailor's Delight196998
Satan's Children1967-6882
Schoolgirl Dream1970-72A possible bootleg. Also released by New Private
Schoolgirl NightmareSame title appears on New Private, but is possibly a different film
Secret Weapon1969-70207
Seduction '68196864
Services Rendered1967-68
Sex and Lust1969-70301100ft/30m. Also released in colour.
Sex Bomb1970-72
Sex Campus1969-70215
Sex Holdup1970-72Not an official Climax release, also appears on International Films, possibly shot by John Lindsay
Sex in Colour1970-72Possibly a bootleg, looks similar to International Films titles
Sex Olympics1968100
Sex Orgy, The1966-67
Sex Service1971-72228
Sex Study1968-69109
Short Time1968-69106100ft/30m
Sixty Nine1971-72226
Skin Skin Skin1971-72220
Sleeping Beauty1968-70
Something Special1966-67
Spanish Lust1968
Speedy Love
Speedy Saloon1969-70204
Staff Room1967-68105
Sudden Sex196794
Sunday at Simons1971-72221
Swedish Massage1968-69113
Teen Scene, The1966-67
Three Roses1969-70206
Three Times Animal1969-70218Available with soundtrack
Tonight at 81966-67I have found no evidence to support that this is a Climax title but it is included on other lists
Two Plus One Makes Three1971-72238
Two's Enough1967-68104
Unfortunate Little Sister1967-6940Also available in colour
Up, Up and Away196816Also available in colour
Weed Party1970-72Not an official Climax release, also appears on International Films, possibly shot by John Lindsay
Windowcleaner1970-72Not an official Climax release, also appears on International Films, possibly shot by John Lindsay
Young and Lusty1969-70210