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Deep Throat

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jerry Gerard
Produced by Louis Peraino
Written by Jerry Gerard
Starring Harry Reems
Linda Lovelace
Dolly Sharp
Carol Connors
Cinematography Harry Flecks
Editing by Gerard Damiano
Distributed by Plymouth Distribution & Bryanston Distribution
Release date(s) June 12, 1972
Running time 61 minutes
Country USA
Language English
Budget $22,500+$25,000 for music
Gross revenue $80,000,000[citation needed]
Followed by Deep Throat II (with a limited theatrical release in 1974)

Deep Throat is a 1972 American pornographic film written and directed by Gerard Damiano (listed in the credits as "Jerry Gerard") and starring Linda Lovelace (the pseudonym of Linda Susan Boreman).

One of the first pornographic films to feature a plot, character development and relatively high production standards, Deep Throat earned mainstream attention and launched the "porn chic" trend despite the film's being banned in some regions and the subject of obscenity trials.

Contents

Plot

A sexually frustrated woman (Linda Lovelace, credited as playing "herself") asks her friend Helen (played by Dolly Sharp) for advice on how to achieve an orgasm. After a sex party provides no help, Helen recommends that Linda visit a doctor (Harry Reems). The doctor discovers that Linda's clitoris is located in her throat. She then goes on to work as a therapist for the doctor and performs a particular technique of oral sex - thereafter known as "deep throat" - on various men, until she finds the one to marry. Meanwhile, the doctor has sex with his blonde nurse (Carol Connors). The movie ends with the line "The End. And Deep Throat to you all."

The 61-minute movie is intended to be humorous with highly tongue-in-cheek dialogue and songs; fireworks going off and bells ringing during orgasm.

Porno chic and pop culture influence

Deep Throat was glowingly reviewed by Al Goldstein in Screw magazine on June 5, 1972. It officially premiered at the World Theater[1] in New York on June 12 and was advertised in The New York Times under the bowdlerized title "Throat".

The film's popularity helped launch a brief period of upper-middle class interest in explicit pornography referred to by Ralph Blumenthal of The New York Times as "porno chic". Several mainstream celebrities admitted to having seen Deep Throat, including Truman Capote, Jack Nicholson and Johnny Carson.[2] Barbara Walters mentions having seen the film in her autobiography, Audition: A Memoir.[3]

The film's title soon became a pop culture reference, most notably when then–Washington Post managing editor Howard Simons chose "Deep Throat" as the pseudonym for a Watergate informant, many years later revealed to be W. Mark Felt.

Production and revenue

The scenes involving Linda Lovelace were shot in Miami over six days in January 1972; the scenes involving Carol Connors were shot in New York City.

The movie was produced by Plymouth Distributing later Arrow Film and Video owner Louis "Butchie" Peraino (listed in the credits as "Lou Perry"), with most of the production cost of $22,500 + $25,000 additional for music, coming from his father Anthony Peraino and his uncle Joe "The Whale" Peraino, both "made" members of the Colombo crime family. Gerard Damiano, who had rights to one-third of the profits, was reportedly paid a lump sum of $25,000 once the film became popular and was forced out of the partnership.[2] The film was then distributed by a network of Mafia-connected associates of the Peraino family.

Estimates of the film's total revenues have varied widely: numbers as high as $600 million have been cited, which would make Deep Throat one of the highest grossing films of all time. With an average ticket price of $5.00, box-office takings of $600 million would have necessitated 120,000,000 admissions, an unrealistic figure.[2] Although subsequent sales of the film on home videotape certainly brought additional revenue, the FBI's estimate that the film produced an income of approximately $100 million may be closer to the truth. Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times also argues for a lower figure in a February 2005 article, pointing out that Deep Throat was banned outright in large parts of the US (as well as many other countries), and only tended to find screenings in a small network of adult theaters in larger urban centers.[4] The directors of Inside Deep Throat responded to the article, suggesting that actual revenues from the film were possibly even higher than the $600 million figure.[5] Hiltzik was unsatisfied with the directors' response, writing that their method was to "construct a seemingly solid box-office figure out of layers and layers of speculation piled upon a foundation of sand."[6]

Roger Ebert, the popular movie critic, noted as well in his review of Inside Deep Throat—a 2005 documentary about the film's cultural legacy—that many theaters that screened the film were mob-connected enterprises which probably also "inflated box office receipts as a way of laundering income from drugs and prostitution" and other illegal mob-connected activities.[7]

In 2006, a censored edition of the film was released on DVD for fans of pop culture and those wishing to own a legitimate copy of the infamous movie.

Deep Throat was the first film to be inducted into the XRCO Hall of Fame.[8]

Linda Boreman's allegations

In her first two biographies, Linda Boreman characterizes making the film as a liberating experience; in her third and fourth biographies (written after making the acquaintance of anti-pornography activist Andrea Dworkin), she charges that she did not consent to many of the depicted sexual acts and that she was coerced to perform by her abusive husband, Chuck Traynor, who received $1,250 for her acting. She also claimed she was hypnotized by Traynor, who brandished handguns and rifles to control her.

In 1986, she testified before the Meese Commission that "Virtually every time someone watches that movie, they're watching me being raped." And in the Toronto Sun on March 20, 1981 she said that, "It is a crime that movie is still showing; there was a gun to my head the entire time." While the other people present on the set did not support the gun charge, both Traynor and Damiano confirmed in interviews that Traynor was extremely controlling towards Boreman and also hit her on occasion. In the documentary Inside Deep Throat (see above) it is claimed that bruises are visible on Boreman's body in the movie.

These allegations were cited in the UK Government's Rapid Evidence Assessment on "The evidence of harm to adults relating to exposure to extreme pornographic material"[9] as part of its plans to criminalise possession of what it terms "extreme pornography".

Obscenity litigation

In various communities in the U.S., the movie was shown to juries to determine whether it was obscene; the outcomes varied widely and the movie was banned in numerous locations. After a jury in New York in 1972 had found the movie not to be obscene, prosecutors decided to charge a corporation with obscenity in order to avoid a jury trial.[2] The movie was eventually found obscene in New York.

In 1976, there was a series of federal cases in Memphis, Tennessee, where over 60 individuals and companies, including the Perainos and actor Harry Reems, were indicted for conspiracy to distribute obscenity across state lines. Damiano and Lovelace were granted immunity in exchange for testimony. The Hon. Harry W. Wellford was the Federal District Court judge who heard the case. The trials ended in convictions.

This was the first time that an actor had been prosecuted by the federal government on obscenity charges. (Lenny Bruce had been prosecuted in the 1960s by local authorities.) Reems became a cause célèbre and received considerable support from Hollywood circles. On appeal, he was represented by Alan Dershowitz, and his conviction was overturned: the Miller test had been applied in his case. The Perainos and some other major players connected to organized crime received short prison sentences.

In 1995, while in Las Vegas for an obscenity trial, Louis Peraino met and befriended Raymond and Treasure Pistol, local adult club owners, and sold the Pistols the rights to his entire library including Deep Throat.

In the UK, the movie was banned upon release, and the ban was upheld by the courts 10 years later. The DVD of the movie was finally given an R18 rating in 2000, which allowed it to be sold in licensed sex shops in the UK.[10]

Dutch television (2008)

On February 23, 2008, the Netherlands Public Broadcasting corporations VPRO and BNN screened Deep Throat on national television as part of a themed night on the history of pornographic films, and the influence of pornography in youth culture in the Netherlands. Although the film aired after 10 PM, following a guideline for adult television, and was embedded in a discussion program, political parties (especially Dutch cabinet member party ChristianUnion) were clamouring for steps to be taken to prevent airing. The Minister of Education and Media, Ronald Plasterk, declared that he could not and did not want to forbid the airing of the film.[11] The movie was seen by 907,000 viewers.[12]

Soundtrack

Deep Throat
Soundtrack by unknown artists
Released 1972
Recorded 1972
Genre Film soundtrack
Length ??:??
Producer Lou Peraino

An original soundtrack album for the film was released in 1972. Few copies exist today and when on the market, they have sold for as much as US$300. The album contains both instrumental and vocals tracks as well as short snippets of dialogue from the film (indicated with quotations in the list below). All artists are unknown. A remixed and remastered CD and LP version is available from Light in the Attic Records (see links). Director Gerard Damiano reportedly cut the sex scenes to conform to different musical cues.[13]

Original track listing

  1. Introducing Linda Lovelace
  2. "Mind if I smoke while you're eating?"
  3. Blowing' Bubbles
  4. "A Lot of little tingles"
  5. Love Is Strange
  6. "A nice joint like you..."
  7. "You have no tinkler!"
  8. Deep Throat
  9. "I wanna be your slave"
  10. "My love is like a big blonde afro (Jah-ron-o-mo)"
  11. Nurse Lovelace
  12. I'd Like To Teach You All To Screw (It's The Real Thing)
  13. Nurse About the House
  14. "I got Blue Cross"
  15. Old Dr. Young
  16. Masked Marvel

Sequels and remakes

The original sequel to Deep Throat - Deep Throat Part II - was written and directed by Joseph W. Sarno and featured the original stars Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems. Shot in New York City in early 1973, it was released in New York in February 1974 with an MPAA "R" rating. Although attributed to Damiano Films, Deep Throat director Gerard Damiano was not involved with its production. The film was produced, however, by Deep Throat producer Louis Peraino, who had in the meantime founded the mainstream distribution company Bryanston Films. The version of Deep Throat Part II currently available on DVD is bowdlerized to the point where the film contains virtually no sexual content of any sort, probably a by-product of its efforts to receive an MPAA R rating at the time of its release. An Italian DVD release of the film, however, contains its original softcore sex scenes. It has long been claimed that Deep Throat Part II was originally shot with the intention of releasing it as a hardcore feature and that hardcore sequences shot for the film were stolen while the film was in post-production. Director Joe Sarno, however, has insisted in interviews that this is not the case.

Vivid Entertainment owner Steven Hirsch told XFANZ reporters at the FAME Awards in June 2008 that the company is producing a remake of Deep Throat starring Sasha Grey.[14] The making of this film was the subject of the Showtime original series Deeper Throat.

Vivid had planned to release its remake but Arrow Productions, the copyright owner did not like the deviation from the original storyline or the manner in which the film was directed and cast. They then withdrew permission to make the remake to "Deep Throat," and forced Steve Hirsch to remarket and edit his movie for copyright purposes.

Hirsch changed the name of the title to Throat: A Cautionary Tale and it was released in March 2009.[15]

  • Deep Throat II (1987, and not related to the earlier film of the same name) and the subsequent DT sequels, have different actors and directors and, despite the title, are not continuations of the story of Deep Throat. Deep Throat 2 won the 1988 AVN award for 'Best Couples Sex Scene - Film'.[16]
  • Deep Throat 3 (1989) starred Peter North.
  • Deep Throat 4 (1990) directed by Ron Jeremy.
  • Deep Throat 5 (1991) directed by Ron Jeremy and starring Victoria Paris, Debi Diamond, Cameo.
  • Deep Throat 6 (1992) directed by Ron Jeremy.

Miscellany

  • The film holds the record for the longest theatrical run of any movie in Portland, Oregon, shown daily at the Aladdin Theatre from 1975 to 1991.[17][18][19]

Footnotes

  1. ^ World Theater at CinemaTreasures.org
  2. ^ a b c d Ralph Blumenthal: Porno chic; "Hard-core" grows fashionable-and very profitable, The New York Times, 21 January 1973
  3. ^ Walters, Barbara (2008). Audition: A Memoir. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 284. ISBN 978-0-307-26646-0. 
  4. ^ Hiltzik, Michael (2005-02-24). "‘Deep Throat’ Numbers Just Don’t Add Up". Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California): p. C-1. http://articles.latimes.com/2005/feb/24/business/fi-golden24. Retrieved 18 February 2009. 
  5. ^ "'Throat' Gets Cut, Directors Perform Surgery". World of Wonder. World of Wonder Productions. 2005-03-05. Archived from the original on 2005-03-12. http://web.archive.org/web/20050312044826/http://worldofwonder.net/insidedeepthroat/archives/2005/Mar/05/cut.wow. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  6. ^ Hiltzik, Michael (2005-03-10). "Bad ‘Deep Throat’ Revenue Numbers Are Multiplying". Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California): p. C-1. http://articles.latimes.com/2005/mar/10/business/fi-golden10. Retrieved 18 February 2009. 
  7. ^ Roger Ebert: Inside Deep Throat, Chicago Sun-Times, 11 February 2005
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/research280907.htm
  10. ^ http://film.guardian.co.uk/News_Story/Exclusive/0,,369949,00.html Deep Throat passed uncut 28 years on, Guardian Unlimited, 18 September 2000
  11. ^ Kievit, Rob (2008-01-29). "Porn movie on Dutch public tv causes row". Radio Netherlands Worldwide: English. http://static.rnw.nl/migratie/www.radionetherlands.nl/currentaffairs/080129-deep-throat-redirected. Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  12. ^ Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau (2008-02-24). "Pornofilm trekt ruim 900.000 kijkers". de Volkskrant. http://www.volkskrant.nl/multimedia/article507124.ece. Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  13. ^ "Archive - Deep Throat". Fused Magazine. http://www.fusedmagazine.com/Past_Issues/Issue_22/Deep_Throat.aspx. Retrieved 2008-01-01. "Gerard Damiano edited the film to its music, so the actions would match and the beat would match…like up and down strokes on the old shaft…it was pretty clever." 
  14. ^ F.A.M.E. Awards WinnersArticle at XFANZ June 9, 2008, retrieved June 11, 2008
  15. ^ http://www.avn.com/movies/78920.html
  16. ^ [2]
  17. ^ Aladdin Theatre, Lokiloka.com
  18. ^ Rachel Dresbeck (2007). "Insiders' Guide to Portland, Oregon". Globe Pequot. p. 108. http://books.google.com/books?id=1SZyPA2siV8C&pg=PA108&lpg=PA108&dq=%22Deep+Throat%22+Portland+Aladdin+theatre&source=bl&ots=gkWrUPwfn5&sig=qt21ClyTzG10iTJOQUGEGMnPhAk&hl=en&ei=Z73RSe7LC6j8tgPs7ZHHAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=6&ct=result. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  19. ^ "1991: 25th Anniversary Issue". Willamette Week. http://wweek.com/html/25-1991.html. Retrieved 2009-03-31. "Portland's longest-running screen engagement, Deep Throat, winds up its final reel..." 

Further reading

  • McNeil, L; Osborne J; Pavia P (2005). The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry. Regan Books. ISBN 0-06-009659-4. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Deep Throat is an American pornographic movie released in the summer of 1972, written and directed by Gerard Damiano and starring Linda Lovelace (the pseudonym of Linda Susan Boreman).

Contents

Wilbur Wang

  • [on the telephone with Dr. Young.] You gotta help me. I'm in love with Linda. We want to get married... thank you. There's only one problem - she needs a nine inch cock.

Helen

  • [while receiving cunnilingus] Mind if I smoke, while you're eating?

Dr. Young

  • No wonder you can't hear any bells! You don't have a tinkler!
    • The doctor is explaining that the reason that Linda does not have orgasms is that she has no clitoris; it is later discovered to be in the back of her throat.

The Closing Sign

  • The End. And Deep Throat to you all.

Dialogue

Linda: How would you like it if you had balls in your ears?
Dr. Young: [pause] I guess I could hear myself coming!

About

  • Virtually every time someone watches that movie, they're watching me being raped.
  • It is a crime that movie is still showing; there was a gun to my head the entire time.
    • Linda Lovelace, interviewed in the Toronto Sun, March 20, 1981.

External Links

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