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The Dirk Diggler Story (1988)

Not Rated | | Short, Biography, Drama
The rise and fall of Dirk Diggler.


Paul Thomas Anderson (as Paul Anderson)


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Cast overview:
Michael Stein ... Dirk Diggler
Robert Ridgely ... Jack Horner (as Bob Ridgely)
Eddie Delcore Eddie Delcore ... Reed Rothchild
Rusty Schwimmer ... Candy Kane (as Rusty Schwimer)


PTA's rough draft of his masterpiece Boogie Nights. This film tells the story of Dirk Diggler. A famous porn star from America who makes it big amongst the industry and amongst the mainstream in the late 1970s. However, Dirk Diggler soon will meet his unfortunate downfall.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Biography | Drama


Not Rated






Also Known As:

The Dirk Diggler Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The model for this mockumentary was Exhausted: John C. Holmes, the Real Story (1981), an adoring documentary about porn actor John Holmes. It includes a number of scenes that would appear almost verbatim in Boogie Nights (1997) later. See more »


Dirk Diggler supposedly records the song "The Touch" before his death in 1981. The song was actually written for The Transformers: The Movie in 1986. See more »


Referenced in Dog Eat Dog (2002) See more »


The Way We Were
Written by Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman and Marvin Hamlisch
Performed by Barbra Streisand
See more »

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User Reviews

Amazing look into the world of the other Dirk Diggler.
26 April 2001 | by alx.kddSee all my reviews

This was PT Anderson's first film, made when he was just 17, it's shot on video and was edited together on two VCRs. This is just an amazing film, shot as a documentary on the rise and fall of porn star Dirk Diggler, covering his career through the late 70s and into the 80s, featuring excellent deadpan narration. All of which was later re-written and expanded on for his second full-length film, Boogie Nights. The film features lots of on set footage as we watch Dirk in action during filming; this is interspersed with interview footage with his friends and fellow porn stars. Some of the major characters that would feature in Boogie Nights are already here, including Reed Rothchild, Dirks best friend and sidekick in their films, here played by a huge bodybuilder, with an amazing mullet haircut. Also present is director Jack Horner, here played by Robert Ridgley, who was in Boogie Nights playing the Colonel, he turns in a great world weary performance as Dirk's mentor, never once taking off his massive shades, his performance is excellent and he's easily the best in the film. Dirk himself is played by Mike Stein, a good friend of Andersons, who plays Dirk perfectly, with long flowing dark hair and a slim muscular physique. His performance is great as he goes from top of the world star to bottom of the ladder gay porn films, one of the differences in this film is that here Dirk is bi-sexual and Reed is his lover as well as friend. Anderson manages to cover lots of ground in the short 30 minute running time, covering Dirks porn career and then his successful album, which we get to see being recorded. Here we get to see him singing exactly the same song Mark Wahlberg sings, `The Touch'; the mixing of the album even features the discussion about the bass line drowning out the vocals. After this we get to see Dirk's attempt to get into the world of TV, through his own show `Angels Live In My Town'. The opening credits sequence is fantastic, easily the equal of the same scene in Boogie Nights, with Dirk running up and down alleyways, jumping over fences and doing karate kicks, all the while decked out in flares, waistcoat and cool shades. After this its all down hill for Dirk as the drugs begin to take over his life. The main thing that comes through from this short film is that Anderson is very assured about what he wanted to do, the film runs along very quickly and he gets amazing performances out of the actors. There is a great attention to detail and he manages to create a great sense of authenticity on the sets of the different films we see getting made. Anderson uses his limitations very well and creates a rawness and reality with the video footage looking very realistic in capturing the mood of the characters as they reminisce about Dirk. The dialogue is also spot on and features some classic lines and some very funny moments. The final of the film plays out in slow motion as we see Dirk and Reed hanging out while the Carpenters `Memories' plays over the top. The film is a great insight into what was to come for Anderson as well as showing how talented he must have been at 17 to be able to make something as realistic and entertaining as this. It's a must see if your into Boogie Nights or if you just want to see a very entertaining film.

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