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Inside Deep Throat (2005)

An examination of the infamous pornographic film Deep Throat (1972), covering aspects from the film's creation to its cultural impact.
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis Hopper ... Narrator (voice)
Gerard Damiano ... Self - Director, Deep Throat
John Waters ... Self - Filmmaker
Larry Flynt ... Self - Publisher, Hustler Magazine
Erica Jong Erica Jong ... Self - Author, Fear of Flying
Ruth Westheimer ... Self (as Dr. Ruth Westheimer)
Dick Cavett ... Self
Camille Paglia Camille Paglia ... Self - Author, Sexual Personae
Linda Lovelace ... Self - Linda Lovelace (archive footage)
Harry Reems ... Self / Dr. Young / Dr. Schmock
Hugh Hefner ... Self
Bill Maher ... Self
Norman Mailer ... Self
Charles Keating Charles Keating ... Self
Alan Dershowitz ... Self - Harvard Law Professor
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Storyline

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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Go deeper inside the movie the government didn't want you to see. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for explicit sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Arrow Productions has edited the original, pornographic version of Deep Throat (1972) to get an "R" rating, and also has submitted the original for reclassification. Both versions will be released theatrically in 2005 in a double-bill with this documentary. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, an unseen projectionist starts the film and we can see the projected image through the projection room window. He carelessly allows the leader to show on the screen. A frame marked "FOOT" is shown. Unless he is running the film backwards, this is wrong. The beginning of a film is marked "HEAD". See more »

Quotes

Norman Mailer: [On why middle class people watched "Deep Throat"] It was a mid-world between crime and art.
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Crazy Credits

1987 Video Rental Income Surpasses Movie Theatre Ticket Sales See more »

Connections

Features NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah!)
Performed by Gary Glitter
Written by Gary Glitter and Mike Leander
Courtesy of Snapper Music PLC/Rhino Entertainment Company
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing
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User Reviews

Interesting footage, but dishonest
26 February 2005 | by dj_bassettSee all my reviews

To get the obvious out of the way, yes, the movie's rated NC-17. Yes, it earns it's rating, in part by graphically showing us how DEEP THROAT got it's name.

I have real misgivings about this movie, although ultimately I'll recommend it to those interested in the period or artistic subcultures more generally. It is very well made, with a lot of interesting archival footage. (I especially liked an interview on what sounded like "60 Minutes" with Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, and Harry Reems stuck there right between them.) This is a fascinating story, assuming you like the subject generally. And the filmmakers have dug out all sorts of interesting people, including Gerald Damiano himself (improbably whiling away his twilight years in what looks like Florida) and Harry Reems (who I think comes across really well.) My misgivings basically stem from this: the filmmakers want to simultaneously idealize a moment in time and, at the same time, draw political conclusions from the story. I don't think you can do that; I think that's a contradiction in terms. As such, the movie often comes across as very dishonest. Some of the dishonesty seems unconscious: if you're going to idealize the early Seventies adult film scene as brave busters of restrictive social mores, it seems strange to at the same time castigate those who would uphold them, since it's this very act of upholding them which gives your guys their ennobling quality, no? It's as if the filmmakers want to re-fight the DEEP THROAT wars again, without any sense of perspective.

But more seriously, I think the movie shows a lot of bad faith. It's one thing to properly make fun of a ridiculous evangelical prosecutor who spearheaded the DEEP THROAT trial; it's another to make fun of an FBI agent, who after all (as the movie reluctantly admits) was investigating the Mob's connections with DEEP THROAT. It's one thing to celebrate Hollywood's defense of the movie and Reems when he was in trial, but the movie makers rather glibly skate over the fact that Reems's descent into alcoholism was kicked off by his realization that Hollywood wouldn't hire him. As for Linda Lovelace, the movie has convinced me (rather unwillingly, frankly, and I'm not sure they intended to do it themselves) that she was at least pressured into performing in the movie. There's a still of her with bruises that's hard to gainsay.

Most importantly, the movie acknowledges that porno is a huge industry nowadays, but doesn't seem to want that realization to clutter up it's thesis that things are more repressive now. One could argue, after all, that the success of the current adult industry means that Damiano and friends have essentially won. The movie seems to want to say just the opposite, that these guys were doing more artful stuff that isn't represented by current fare, but leaving aside the question of whether that's true or not, the movie begins with a clip of Damiano himself admitting that the movie isn't that good. And the merits of DEEP THROAT seem linked to it's more-busting power, not anything intrinsic in the film itself.

I would have preferred either a straightforward idealization of that adult film era, with Waters, Jong et. al. commenting, or a straightforward examination of DEEP THROAT's sociological impact, which would have meant a more unsparing look at the realities, I fear. As it is, the movie makers try to straddle things too much. Still, if you're interested in the era, adult films or more generally "underground art" you'll probably want to check this out. Has a limited release, but I think will eventually play on HBO.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 April 2005 (Russia) See more »

Also Known As:

Inside Deep Throat See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$88,709, 13 February 2005

Gross USA:

$691,880

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$709,832
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Black and White (archive footage: news broadcasts)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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