Movie Review: Scraping goodness inside of Deep Throat

Sex sells. It always has and always will. The industry nets $57 billion worldwide every year. Inside Deep Throat takes a long, hard look at the history of pornography by examining one of its most infamous and financially successful films.


Deep Throat was released in 1972 starring Linda Lovelace. The pornographic film hit mainstream cinema in a way no other porn ever had. It challenged the government’s anti-pornography laws and caused censorship to become the buzz topic. With a production cost of $25,000 and grossing over $600 million, it claims to be the most profitable film ever produced.


Big name celebrities, high society and middle class women showed up to see the “dirty picture.” The media went crazy. Never before in America had smut been so close to home. News crews set up outside theatres to film people buying tickets. The police held large raids on theatre houses to confiscate the film and posters. All of the media attention simply forced ticket sales higher.


Inside Deep Throat delves into the phenomenon with precision. The cast and crew interviews are hilarious. Watching 50-year-old men try to explain Lovelace’s special talent while dressed in the same clothes they wore during filming is priceless. The cast of interviewees is formidable, including ex-FBI, actors, senators, feminists, journalists and doctors. Even director Wes Craven admits to having directed a number of naughty flicks. The movie flirts around Lovelace’s flip-flop attitude on the pornographic industry with old footage of her defending, rebutting and then defending it again. Throughout, Bailey and Barbato don’t cast judgment, which is refreshing.


For those born 10 years later, it is almost unfathomable the United States government would ban a movie because it gave women the impression that clitoral orgasms are acceptable. Feminists picketed on both sides of the movie, some claiming it marginalized women, while others wanting female sexuality to be understood. Inside Deep Throat captures an interesting time in history perfectly through the perplexed looks of the Deep Throat director Gerard Damiano trying to recount what it was like.


The movie does lose a bit of its perspective near the end when it tries to relate itself to the current trends in the sex industry. The footage of recent sex trade shows and adult movie awards clash with the rest of the picture and don’t feel particularly relevant. It earns its 18A rating as footage of Lovelace doing her thing is included. But audiences should not find it detracts from the film in any way.


Even for someone who has never sat through more than five minutes of a porno, anyone can enjoy taking it all in. Yes, the documentary is biased, so if you really do think oral sex is a mortal sin, this movie will offend you. For everyone else, the Republican senators and religious fanatics are highly entertaining.

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