Entertainment

‘Deep Throat’ still hard to swallow at 50th anniversary

In the country that devours the most pornography on the planet, “Deep Throat” was still making waves as it looked to return to theaters for its 50th anniversary this year.

Banned, protested and facing numerous court cases for obscenity after its debut in 1972, this week’s global premiere for the 4K restoration of the seminal work The Golden Age of Porn initially had a difficult time booking US cinemas.

“Europe is much more receptive to us. We couldn’t find a suitable venue to show the film and we even had a few cancellations at the last minute. It was bulls-t,” Gerard Damiano Jr., son of writer-director Gerard Sr., told The Post.

For Robin Leonardi, daughter of porn star and industry activist Gloria Leonard, history repeated itself: “Fifty years later, it’s us quiet having this conversation about free speech and censorship – the same issues our parents fought for.”

The film stars Linda Lovelace as a sexually unfulfilled woman who only wants “bombs to go off” in bed. She visits an eccentric therapist, played by Harry Reems, who discovers that her clitoris is actually in her throat.

Deep Throat Movie Poster 1972
“Deep Throat” has reportedly grossed more than $600 million since its debut in 1972. Celebs like Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Truman Capote and Frank Sinatra joined the “raincoat crowd” to see the “porn chic” sensation, which was produced in six days for just $25,000.
Courtesy of the Everett Collection

“‘Deep Throat’ is very mundane, almost sane and naïve compared to the kinky things you can find under the covers at night with two clicks on an iPhone,” said Leonard, who eventually found cinemas willing to accept him demonstrate.

The Roxy Cinema in Tribeca will host a 16mm screening and preview of the restoration on Friday 10th June. The 4K “Deep Throat” will have its world premiere at The Slipper Room on the Lower East Side on Sunday, June 12, with burlesque dancers, a Q&A and three shows including a midnight performance that “harks back to the grindhouse days of 42nd Street.” going back,” Damiano said. Further dates in the USA and Europe will take place in the fall.

“For the past 22 years, our purpose has been to delve into the uptight, puritanical nature of the American scene and to provide artists with a place where they can feel free to express their passions in the ways that work best for them.” suits them,” Slipper Room artistic director James Habacker told The Post. “As such, we are proud to play a role in introducing a new generation to ‘Deep Throat,’ a film that did so much to push the boundaries of American taste towards a more open and free expression of our sexual nature .”

An “obscene” hit

Although Deep Throat debuted in the midst of a revolutionary and turbulent time in US history, the country’s mindset remained very puritanical, particularly in entertainment.

“Even though you may have just been on a love meeting in San Francisco, Lucy and Ricky are still sleeping in separate beds when you turn on the TV. You couldn’t even show a couple in the same bed together,” Damiano recalled. But then came Deep Throat and suddenly the media started catching up with people’s realities. You’ve had hardcore sex in your life, so now you can see it in a movie.”

And see America did, with celebs like Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Truman Capote and Frank Sinatra joining the ‘raincoat crowd’ to see the ‘porn chic’ sensation broadcast over six days for just US$25,000 -dollar was produced.

**Adds location of photo in caption** FILE - In this May 31, 1980 file photo, protesters demonstrate the theater where the film was filmed "deepthroat" is shown near Times Square in New York.  FBI filings released in June 2009 to Associated Press agents nationwide and at the highest level of the agency under investigation "deepthroat" _ the 1972 porn film, not the shadowy Watergate character _ in a vain attempt to thwart a cultural shift towards more libertine entertainment.  (AP Photo/Dave Pickoff)
Demonstrators in front of the Frisco Theater in Times Square on May 31, 1980.
AP Photo/David Pickoff

The Post’s film critic Archer Winsten, who wrote that he was “forced” to see the film five months after it premiered out of “public curiosity,” said he was “frankly surprised by the people who treated him with such a… rapt attention, think they were facing hooded cobras about to strike.”

“Deep Throat” was equally hard to swallow for others, and it was followed by conservative and feminist protests, as well as high-profile trials in local and state courts.

Manhattan Judge Joel Tyler ruled that “Deep Throat” was obscene in 1973 and fined the company that owned the theater on 49th Street, where it has continued to draw crowds since its premiere seven months earlier. However, Tyler repeatedly admitted that he “learned something” over the course of the three-month process, The Post reported in December 1972.

50th Anniversary of Deep Throat
Manhattan Judge Joel Tyler repeatedly said he “learned something” during the three-month obscenity trial, reported The Post in December 1972.
New York Post

Lovelace (aka Boreman) later joined the anti-porn movement and renounced her adult roles, saying she was coerced into it by her abusive first husband, Chuck Traynor. In her 1980 memoir, Ordeal, she detailed his alleged abuse, which included beatings, espionage, death threats, and a gang rape.

“Everyone who sees ‘Deep Throat’ is watching me get raped,” she wrote.

Traynor later admitted to hitting Lovelace, and while several co-stars and crew substantiated their claims about his domestic violence and control, many cast doubt on her claims of having been coerced into making adult films.

“Yes, she had an abusive husband, but she was not coerced into anything. She was really into what she was doing,” two-time costar Reems told The Post in 2005.

Despite its controversies, Deep Throat reportedly earned more than $600 million, making it one of the highest-grossing films of all time.

“My father was always very proud to say that Nixon tried to take down ‘Deep Throat,’ but in the end it was Deep Throat that brought Nixon down.”

Gerard Damiano Jr.

His place in history was further cemented when the Washington Post adopted its title as a nickname for Mark Felt, who decades later would be identified as the Watergate whistleblower whose tips led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974.

Ironically, according to Entertainment Weekly, Nixon’s own disgraced Vice President Spiro Agnew saw “Deep Throat” in theaters, but that didn’t stop the FBI under the administration — with Felt as the FBI’s deputy — from attempting to nip the film’s release .

“My father fought Nixon as his nemesis. Nixon swore he would bring him down,” said Damiano Jr. “My dad was always very proud to say that Nixon tried to bring Deep Throat down, but in the end it was Deep Throat who took Nixon down case brought.”

Front page of the New York Post, August 8, 1974. Nixon resigns.  Keywords: Watergate Deep Throat
The front page of the August 8, 1974 Post.

Growing Up With Deep Throat

Gerard Damiano’s children, Gerard Jr. and Christar, were 7 and 8 years old when “Deep Throat” debuted, and both fondly remember the time they spent with him on the sets, where the cast and crew “family.” ” were.

“He never kept it a secret from us, and certainly we were never exposed to hardcore pornography or force-fed sex when we were young,” Gerard Jr. said, and Christar added, “We were taught that sex is a beautiful thing, the.” human body was a work of art, and there should be no shame in that.”

That lesson is at the heart of “Deep Throat,” where “the woman was the star,” Christar said. “That’s why we think it became such an overnight success, because suddenly there’s a new language about women and what they want.”

Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems are there "deepthroat"
Harry Reems makes an unusual discovery about Linda Lovelace’s anatomy in Deep Throat.
Damiano films
Linda Lovelace deep throat
Linda Lovelace later gave up her adult film roles and joined the anti-porn movement.
Damiano films

With her father being a fast celebrity and the film making headlines and making money, “people thought we were rich — but he was taken advantage of,” said Gerard Jr. “He found out too late that his business partners in the film had ties to the Mafia had.”

The elder Domanio saw no profits from the film and “was lucky enough to escape with his life,” his son said.

Since those mafia ties have long put a star on Deep Throat’s box office, his kids want to set the record straight with a documentary “so people can get the real story of what happened,” Christar said.

“There are so many stories out there that aren’t true. We want to tell our story.”

https://nypost.com/2022/06/10/deep-throat-still-hard-to-swallow-on-50th-anniversary/ ‘Deep Throat’ still hard to swallow at 50th anniversary

Emma Bowman

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