Inside Deep Throat

November 1st, 2005 Film, Film Reviews, Filmink

As their little-seen story on the life of New York club kids (2003’s Party Monster) showed, directors Bailey and Barbato are great at presenting the snapshot of a culture, and Inside Deep Throat captures the heart and soul of the 70s’ political landscape.

America was recovering from Vietnam and Watergate, disco and free love were grabbing the zeitgeist. A nation just wanted to have fun, and like small time film director Gerry Damiano — now an unassuming Florida retiree — they wanted to stick it to The Man.

Damiano did so by making a shonky porno that just happened to become one of the most successful and famous pieces of cinema in history, and The Man didn’t like it one bit. In the ensuring battle, everyone from the media, the women’s movement, the filmmakers, Hollywood personalities and academia joined the fray — and all the while, bagmen from the Mob quietly crisscrossed America collecting $600m in cash profits that didn’t end up on any accounts sheet.

Narrated by one of entertainment’s original rebels, Dennis Hopper, Inside Deep Throat is a fascinating look at the story behind the movie and the turf war it unleashed between the government-sponsored religious right and the free speech zealots, but mostly the lines of people queued around the block to see it, from VIPs to suburban grandparents.

In an era where America was deciding how grown up it wanted to be, Deep Throat was one the first tests of its maturity in the mass media age, and Inside Deep Throat transports you back there in a heartbeat. Few movies plumb political depths with such cheeky vitality.


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