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Inside Deep Throat

Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer, Erica Jong, John Waters, Harry Reems

Directed by Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3
Community: star rating
5 3 0
January 27, 2005

Open up and say "ah" to this wickedly probing documentary from Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (Party Monster). It has a lot more on its mind than blow jobs. Before the Internet made it a snap to download porn, dudes in raincoats had to slink off to grimy XXX theaters. Deep Throat, shot for a paltry $25,000 in 1972 by director Gerard Damiano, changed all that by bringing porn into the mainstream. Couples went to see it, the New York Times validated it as porn-chic, and a reported gross of $600 million made it the most profitable film ever. To exploit the inevitable backlash, the Nixon White House cried obscenity and shut it down.

Why the fuss? Deep Throat (available on DVD) Linda Lovelace as a babe who can't have an orgasm. An oral exam by her doctor (Harry Reems) reveals that her clitoris is in her throat. As Damiano intercuts shots of rockets and fireworks, the doc hits her G spot by helpfully using his erect penis to play tonsil hockey.

It's a giggle of a movie that helped forge the sexual revolution and screw up its participants. Lovelace, who died in 2002, says here that her sex scenes were rape, Reems tells of being prosecuted for ring in it and Damiano speaks of mob involvement. The film goes beyond historical anecdotes. Besides fresh and funny insights from the likes of Norman Mailer and John Waters, it shows how little censorship politics have changed from Nixon to Bush. Whether it's Lovelace's nipple or Janet Jackson's, keeping it covered in the name of moral values exposes the hypocrite's path to power.

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