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In 1972, a seemingly typical shoestring budget pornographic film was made in a Florida hotel, "Deep Throat," starring Linda Lovelace. This film would surpass the wildest expectation of everyone involved to become one of the most successful independent films of all time. It caught the public imagination which met the spirit of the times, even as the self appointed guardians of public morality struggled to suppress it, and created, for a brief moment, a possible future where sexuality in film had a bold artistic potential. This film covers the story of the making of this controversial film, its stunning success, its hysterical opposition along with its dark side of mob influence and allegations of the on set mistreatment of the film's star. In short, the combined events would redefine the popular appeal of pornography, even as more cynical developments would lead it down other paths. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
A slick, brilliantly made, important cultural document.
Review by: Todd David Schwartz, Arts & Entertainment Correspondent for "The Paul Mitchell Show," a newly launched, nationally syndicated talk radio program. INSIDE DEEP THROAT gets Four Stars (highest rating). DEEP THROAT, released in the early 1970's, is considered the first major porn film. It became, to say the least, quite a "cause celeb." This documentary, INSIDE DEEP THROAT, explores the impact of the film on society, and shows how sex, culture, politics, and morality all collided to explosive effect. INSIDE DEEP THROAT is an utterly fascinating cinematic experience, amazingly thorough, ceaselessly entertaining. I grew up during the time depicted in the film (over 30 years ago), but for those of you young 'uns who weren't around then, this will prove particularly eye-opening. The filmmakers were able to gather an impressive group of big-names to throw in their two-cents worth on the subject: Norman Mailer, Camille Paglia, Erica Jong, Dick Cavett -- names, again, that may be unfamiliar to those of you who weren't around during the time of DEEP THROAT's release. My only complaint about the film (an admittedly minor one) is that the filmmakers don't spend more time delving into allegations made by Linda Lovelace (DEEP THROAT's star) in her book ORDEAL, where she essentially claims that she was forced at gunpoint to perform in the film by her husband/manager Chuck Traynor. ORDEAL is quite a juicy read. It was originally released by a major publishing house, but has long been out of print. INSIDE DEEP THROAT certainly mentions the book, and shows how Lovelace did a turn-around and became an unexpected spokeswoman for anti-porn feminists. But the documentary generally leaves unexamined just how accurate ORDEAL's claims may have been. In the documentary, Hugh Hefner pontificates grandly about DEEP THROAT's cultural impact. NOT mentioned in the film is the allegation Lovelace makes in ORDEAL that, at the height of her popularity, she was invited up to the Playboy Mansion where Hef tried to get her to have sex with a dog, while people stood around and watched. Rather exploitive of you, Mr. Hefner, is it not? (Assumimg the allegation is true.) Also in the book and not mentioned in the film, is Lovelace's wild sexual relationship with entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr. Not only did Davis have Lovelace demonstrate her deep throat fellatio technique on him (according to Lovelace), but Davis performed fellatio on Lovelace's hubby Chuck Traynor! I would have personally liked to see the film examine the book's allegations a little more closely. As it is (and as I indicated earlier), the film IS impressively thorough with the information it does provide, and it's presented with tremendous flair. INSIDE DEEP THROAT is rated NC-17 for a reason: The film includes an explicit scene from DEEP THROAT of Lovelace performing the fellatio technique for which the porn film was named and for which she became famous. Including this scene was a smart and important choice on the part of the filmmakers. It would have been a cop-out to have people sitting around talking about one of the primary reasons why DEEP THROAT became a must see, without actually showing it.
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