Skip to comments.'Deep Throat' Doc Bares All at Sundance
Posted on 01/23/2005 5:44:19 PM PST by wagglebee
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) - "Inside Deep Throat," a documentary that premiered this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival, examines the legacy of the 1972 flick, a forerunner of today's hardcore adult-entertainment industry and a touchstone for obscenity laws.
"Deep Throat" was shot for $25,000 in just six days. Its male star was a film-crew member shoved in front of the camera as a last-minute replacement. Its director readily conceded it was not even a good movie. Yet it was a cultural phenomenon whose theatrical grosses are estimated at $600 million, and it became an emblem of decadence for anti-pornography crusaders and the namesake for an informer who helped bring down a president.
"Inside Deep Throat" - produced by Brian Grazer, whose films include "Apollo 13" and "A Beautiful Mind" - opens theatrically in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and five other cities Feb. 11.
Grazer had been contemplating a film about "Deep Throat" star Linda Lovelace, who died in a 2002 car crash, but found the focus too narrow.
"I was less interested in the story of Linda Lovelace and more on the movie's effect on popular culture," Grazer said.
Porn movies previously had been made under the thin guise of sober sex-education films, but "Deep Throat" had an irreverent attitude.
Co-star Harry Reems, the lighting director on the film who stepped in after the original male lead did not work out, played a doctor helping a patient played by Lovelace cope with an unusual "condition" - a sexually sensitive area at the back of her throat.
"It was the first porn film to drop any pretense that it had educational value," said Reems, now a real-estate broker in Park City. "There was no socially redeeming value, and so the word of mouth went out from people who saw it saying 'This is just a comedy. It's great. You've got to see this.'"
Its director, Jerry Damiano, said he did not think "Deep Throat" was a good movie, yet it overcame its preposterous story and cheesy production values.
After "Deep Throat" opened in Times Square, attention from media critics and outraged conservatives turned it into a must-see movie. Arriving amid the women's liberation movement, "Deep Throat" was also heralded as a celebration of female sexual fulfillment.
"It was the first time respectable middle-class women went to porn theaters," social critic Camille Paglia says in an interview in "Inside Deep Throat." Other cultural commentators appearing in the documentary include Norman Mailer, Ruth Westheimer, Gore Vidal, Erica Jong and Hugh Hefner.
Incorporating explicit oral-sex footage from the 1972 original, "Inside Deep Throat" has drawn an NC-17 rating, prohibiting people younger than 17 from seeing it.
Showing the notorious sex act was necessary for the documentary, said "Inside Deep Throat" directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, the filmmakers behind such acclaimed documentaries as "Party Monster" and "The Eyes of Tammy Faye."
"There was no way we were going to make a film called 'Inside Deep Throat' without including the act," Barbato said. "Our film is not salacious or gratuitous. That scene needed to be in there."
The movie was so ingrained in popular culture that "Deep Throat" became the nickname of the source who helped Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein investigate the Watergate scandal that led to President Nixon's resignation.
"Deep Throat" was the object of repeated legal assaults by anti-smut forces. The most notable case was aimed at Reems, who was convicted of obscenity in 1976 and faced a potential five-year prison term. Celebrities including Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty came to Reems' defense, and the conviction was overturned.
What happened to its supposed $600 million in theatrical revenues is a mystery. Lovelace, Reems and director Damiano never got any of it.
Normal film-distribution channels were closed to "Deep Throat" because of its subject matter, so much of the distribution was handled by outfits linked to organized crime.
Theaters were visited daily by bagmen who collected the receipts in cash. There was no formal accounting and everyone involved skimmed off a piece of the action, Bailey and Barbato said.
"I suppose it's kind of Hollywood-like," Bailey said. "The money just disappears."
So now Hollywierd will celebrate their efforts to destroy societ.
Rinse and spit.
"Porn movies previously had been made under the thin guise of sober sex-education films..."
Well...I wonder where he was during the 60's!
One of my college roomates worked as an usher at the adult theater in Hooterville, Maine where it was screened so I heard about it from him.
The most intriguing and salacious aspect had nothing to do with Linda Lovelace, but instead was the appearance of our Sophmore biology prof, a prominent Bible thumper, at the theater.
We were all amused and delighted.
I'm open to being corrected, but didn't Lovelace convert to Christianity, recant the "Deep Throat" movie, and begin to expose the brutality of the sex industry?
She found wisdom, if that is so.
Sundance does itself proud again. Redford will certainly go down in history as a great....somethig. Glad to see they didn't spend too much time on something of any worth. Thanks Hollywierd.
You are correct.
I Choked Linda Lovelace
Was there anything mysterious about her death....I mean, since she had just started exposing the industry?
"Arriving amid the women's liberation movement, "Deep Throat" was also heralded as a celebration of female sexual fulfillment."
This is art of the lie told to our women today. Lovelace was raped, held at gun point in many if not most of the scenes. The movie's eroticism was drawn from the degradation of the female actor, even so far as to choke her with a sexual act. These types of oral sex movies are common now along with other degradations that the female 'stars' are supposed to enjoy.
So women are today encouraged to disdain being the honored wife and mother and to debase themsleves as purely sexual objects in some twisted fiction of 'fulfillment' as though prostitution and sexual abuse were things every woman should aspire to.
The introduction of pornagraphy and a sexual culture obsessed with sexual gratification is decimating our birthrates, depriving us of our security as a society, and the primary cause of the worlds loathing of our culture.
We would do well to take evey copy of these porn films and destroy them.
You wanna be careful with the phrase "go down in history" when you're talking about THIS film.
Car crash... well the porn indsutry used to be dominated by a lot of seedy people so you never know.
See #12. If she was prepared to bring rape charges, then who knows.......about that car crash.
Linda Lovelace ended up getting married and settling down. I think she also had a liver transplant and was not particularly healthy.
We laughed our A$$ off!
Hard living will kill a liver.
So will hepatitis, won't it?
It still is, as I understand it.
The $600 mill likely went to the Mob.
Linda Lovelace claimed she was forced to play the lead in this movie. An obvious lie to anyone who saw the movie as no one could be forced to do what she did without having practiced it for a long while. Lovelace made a lot of claims and tried to clean up her reputation as she grew older. I suupose that is normal as a lot of mistakes are made when we are young we all wish we could deny or correct,unfortunately hers are on film.
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