Inside Deep Throat

| February 8, 2005

I saw it. It was 1979 and it was shown in the activity hall of SDSU. They checked ID at the door. My first porno and it was riveting. The sex that is, but I remember thinking the story sucked. I knew none of the controversy surrounding it. All I cared about was seeing sex on the screen to go along with my limited first hand knowledge.
It was made in 1972 for $25,000 and has brought in $600,000,000. But the director barely made a dime.
If the US Government could find a way to make ITS budget perform that well, imagine what a country we would be. But instead, they prosecuted one of the stars, who had NO control of production, story, distribution, or shared in the profits. In fact, he was paid $250.
It was Deep Throat. A movie that kicked the porn industry into gear.
Inside Deep Throat is the story of that movie and those who were involved with its making and the subsequent fall out. And as is befitting of its namesake, it is rated NC-17 for mature themes (you see sex) and language (you HEAR sex). Because of its rating and since it is a documentary, you may have to search a bit to see it. If you live in a red state, don’t plan on finding it at all.
Through archival footage and interviews with the film’s production team the story is told of how the film came into existence, the mood of the country at the time, how it was made, and the splash it made when it was released. The film’s writer/director Gerard Damiano is the main interviewee and the truth of his statements is corroborated with the stories that are told by many of the other members of his crew. The film’s male lead, Harry Reemes is interviewed as well. Linda Lovelace, who died in a car crash in 2002 is represented by archival interviews and family and friends.
There is an amazing list of main stream entertainment industry people who are also interviewed. John Waters, Gore Vidal, Dick Cavett, Norman Mailer, Erica Jong, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, and Hugh Hefner set the scene for the larger stage that the movie played upon. We also get some words from government prosecutors, STILL upset at the release of the movie and its subsequent success and their inability to keep consenting adult America from seeing people having sex. Or maybe they want to keep people from having sex themselves. If only George W. Bush was president.
The production value or the movie is fantastic. Though the interviews were done now, the shooting has the feel of the 1970s so when directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato jump to footage from the time, it blends in well. Since they use a lot of footage from the original film, including a wonderful (and necessary) shot of Linda Lovelace’s fellatio talent, I guess the best place to see this would be on the big screen, but since the porn industry was responsible for VCRs becoming mainstream, you may want to pay homage to it by turning it into a rental. But be sure to rewind so the next person doesn’t know at what part you stopped the tape.

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