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Jake Van Dorn is a businessman from the American heartland who shares strong Calvinist convictions with most of his countrymen. His teenage daughter is missing from her church youth convention trip to California and Van Dorn hires a private investigator to find her. The result of the investigation is his daughter is spotted in a cheap X-rated movie. Van Dorn decides to bring her back personally and during the quest he becomes familiar with the pornographic underworld. Written by
Dragan Antulov <email@example.com>
The religion that Jake VanDorn (George C. Scott) was was a Calvinist. Director Paul Schrader once studied to be a minister in the Dutch Christian Reform Church. Schrader actually came from a strict Calvinist upbringing in a family that lived in Grand Rapids, MI where part of this film is set. See more »
When Jake has returned to L.A. and fires his detective, he creates a list of establishments to do his own research and that evening and drives around visiting places on his list. The first place he visits has a street number of 739 (visible in frame) but in looking at address detail in the long shot of the list itself, there are no references to a street number of 739 anywhere. See more »
Turn it off! Turn if off! TURN IT OFF!
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This is an extremely sordid movie, but one you never forget. I saw it in the theater almost 20 years ago and it was shocking then, so much so that I've only seen it once since and have no desire to see it again. It just left such a bad taste in my mouth.
This is a frightening picture of the pornography business 20 years ago featuring about everything you can think of in that seedy world. Unfortunately, the story centers around finding a girl from a "religious" family and the father, played by George C. Scott, is painted as something of a fanatic. He's portrayed as a cold and violent figure. (Hey, Hollywood isn't going to portray a Christian father as kind and loving.) Yet, Scott is not all that bad because he still is extremely dedicated father who went to all lengths to get his daughter back.
This movie really shows the sleazy side of the entire porno business and, thankfully, it doesn't glamorize any of it. Peter Boyle is good as the detective and Season Hubley is interesting as the prostitute who gives you her ideas on life in the business. This is a fascinating film in parts but also very tough to view in a number of areas. This may sound naive, but when I saw this in 1979, I was stunned that this type of sick-underbelly of a society existed....at least to this degree. I can't imagine what's out there today.
In summary, a very powerful but brutal movie to watch, especially if you have kids of your own.
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