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Porn DVD Review: Inside Deep Throat   
by Don One

I started to write the review on Inside Deep Throat then I realized it was getting entirely too long. The reason for that was since this is a documentary, almost every single commentary made in the film - it seemed to me - deserved it's own book of analysis; and I was only too willing to oblige in that respect. But there are a few important points I'd like to bring up concerning the movie, and the rest of the film you'll have to watch for yourself.

To begin with, the actual Inside Deep Throat movie (not counting the DVD extras) is about an hour and a half long. It's a documentary - as you might have guessed - that showcases a wide array of people of certain renown who provide commentary on the movie. People who themselves are very vocal in their social commentary.

This is because, as Inside Deep Throat (and I'll do my best not to be confusing insofar as referencing the original Deep Throat movie versus its documentary) is very adept in pointing out, the mainstream appeal of the original movie among normal everyday people and Hollywood celebs alike remains unparalleled in the history of adult flicks. As a matter of fact, the very people who you would not expect to be an audience to this film were: old ladies, middle-aged middle-class housewives, graduates of prestigious Ivy League schools, etc.

I thought one one old lady in particular summed up the fundamental issue concerning Deep Throat best. In case you didn't know, the original movie set off a firestorm among litigaters and defense attorneys, and also among political conservatives and political liberals alike. In stating her personal opinion, the elderly woman said that what should bother the typical, First-Amendment-savvy American more than anything else is not so much the movie itself but the inherent right to see the movie.

I thought Inside Deep Throat did a good job in pointing out just how conservative the sexual climate in America was in the early 70s, and how it had been like that for as long as people could remember. And it was in this climate that Deep Throat, along with its radical concept of being a film based mainly on oral sex, made its shocking debut.

And sexuality in the country certainly wasn't enhanced by the Nixon administration; far from it. It's funny how the government that was in power at the time of Deep Throat was similar to today's government. Both are/were extremely conservatively Republican (of course) and answer(ed) predominantly to the Christian Right. Both administrations are/were in their second term which [is not going / didn't go] so well. And both are/were supporting a war in which the United States has/had no business being in, and are/were confronting enormous public criticism for being in them. Yet the administrations somehow find/found a way to make the elimination of smut one of their (if not the) top priorities.

However (to throw the Department of Justice a bone here), and as most people would suspect is true even to this day, the criminal underworld did have a dominant hand in the production of adult "stag" films in Deep Throat's era. So as much of a legal target as the movie was for its on-screen content, it certainly didn't help matters that the movie's financial backers attracted the attention of law enforcement all by themselves.

Inside Deep Throat goes on to talk about the lives, trials, tribulations, and experiences of those players at the core of the original film. As you might expect, Linda Lovelace (the star), Harry Reems (the "actor"), and Gerard Damiano (Deep Throat's director) were at the center of their movie's political, social, and legal firestorm in the 70s.

Ms. Lovelace, God rest her soul, struck me as someone who went the way the wind blew her. As the director Damiano points out, he perceived her to be content on the set of the movie. When the time came for her to go to Hollywood to become a star she seemed to be on board with the idea. But then when it became fashionable to be a feminist and protest pornography as degrading to women, she was right there in front of the Meese Commission in 1986. Now, one may say she had a change of heart, except for the fact that she later did a layout for an adult magazine just months before she died.

And trust me when I say that I'm not pooh-poohing her claims that she, figuratively-speaking, had a gun to her head during the entire time that she was making the movie. But, like I said, when Ms. Lovelace did eventually drop the guy that had allegedly gotten her into the lifestyle, she did take up with another - although less threatening - guy in the business of her own volition. The extent to which she was coerced to do Deep Throat I leave to you to decide.

One final note FYI (for your info) or just as a mild warning, the NC-17 version of Inside Deep Throat contains explicit sex (taken from its subject matter of course). But as far as I can tell, the only reason it has this rating is for those one or two specific scenes that made the original film famous (I think you know which scenes I'm talking about). If the Inside Deep Throat producers had left those one or two references out, the documentary would probably have garnered a more youth-friendly rating, thus allowing it to be seen by much more people.

But the makers thought that it was important to show those scenes unedited and uncut, just to show people who hadn't seen the original Deep Throat what all the fuss was about. And they made that decision knowing fully well that that decision would eventually cut into their bottom-line profit, so I have to commend them for it. Because there's a big difference between an R rating and an NC-17 rating.

In summary, if you are a student of the history of porn cinema, you owe it to yourself to see not only Inside Deep Throat but Deep Throat itself. Even Mary Carey would agree to that.

Copyright - 2005

 


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