Inside Deep Throat


Robin Clifford of Reeling Reviews
Robin Clifford 
Inside Deep Throat

   
Laura Clifford of Reeling Reviews Laura Clifford 
Shot in six days on the shoestring budget of $25,000, it went on to earn almost $600 million and became the most profitable film ever made. It was banned in 23 states. It came under the scrutiny and prosecution of the Federal government and spawned and legitimized a multi-billion dollar porno industry. Documentary filmmakers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato tell the story of the history and the making of the most famous porn film of them all in “Inside Deep Throat.”

Robin:
Considering the controversial nature of the subject matter of “Inside Deep Throat,” documakers Bailey and Barbato give an even-handed look at the movie that represents the point in time in our world when the 70’s Sexual Revolution began. They use a plethora of talking head interviews, footage from “Deep Throat’ – including the deed that made the film a cultural icon – and documentary footage from the time to show the rise of the porno industry and its subsequent mob takeover.

The subject of the film may not be as shocking to a society that sat through such erotic media scandals as the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinski escapades that have inured the public to such Americana as “Deep Throat.” The filmmakers provide an even-handed collection of pro and con opinions from both conservatives and liberals as they discuss the film and its long-term affect on society. They also tell, in detail, how the low-budget film ruined the lives of the players involved.

Such luminaries as Norman Mailer, Charles Keating, Larry Flynt, Dick Cavett, Bill Maher, Hugh Hefner, Erica Jong, Alan Dershowitz and many more are called upon to discuss the cultural impact of the film on American society. Some laud “Deep Throat” as revolutionary while others castigate it for the ruination of the country. This high level discussion is contrasted with the interview material with the film’s stars, Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems, and its maker, Gerard Damiano, and how the enormously successful film ruined their lives. Reems, in particular, bore the brunt of the movie’s legal battles when he was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for being merely an actor in the banned film. (The ludicrous nature of his conviction was overturned, but not before Reems finished a year in prison and had any chance for a legit movie career ruined.

Linda Lovelace comes across as a real victim of the powers that be as we watch her career and life degenerate into a penniless existence that ends in her death in a car accident in 2001. Her “talent” turned into her downfall and the heart of “Inside Deep Throat” is sympathetic to the former porno star who, for a time, was a household name. “Throat” maker Damiano also makes for an interesting interview subject with his insights on the time and his acceptance that he lost control of his little film to the mob, the principle beneficiary of the vast sums earned from the porno classic.

Shrift is also given to the phenomenon of the film and its legitimacy as relatively mainstream entertainment – middle aged women are shown queued in line to see the film on the streets of 70‘s Manhattan – and the industry that it spawned with such follow on hardcore films as “The Devil in Miss Jones” and “Behind the Green Door.” Porno film notables, such as stars Georgian Spelvin and Andrea True, give their two-cents on the industry.

Inside Deep Throat,” with its vivid, graphic depictions of the sex act in its various forms, will be a major turn off for some but if you are an adventurous filmgoer and can stand the challenge of the controversy, you’ll get an eye opener. I give it a B+.

Laura:
Laura also gives "Inside Deep Throat" a B+.


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