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Deep Throat: A Retrospective

By GrandWazoo in Media
Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 01:23:31 PM EST
Tags: media, culture, deep throat, Mark Felt, Linda Lovelace (all tags)

Recently an old friend passed away and since his closest relatives were over 2000 miles away it would take some time for them to arrive in town to attend services and handle the few remaining affairs he left dangling. He knew this and one day before he passed on, told us as we sat around drinking a few beers and smoking cigars; "When I die I want you to come in and get this stuff out of here. Do it before any of my relatives arrive." We gave him our word that we would.

The "stuff" he was referring to was a huge collection of porn video tapes he had collected since the late 70s and early 80s that covered one wall of his apartment. He had told us we could throw it all away or take it and add it to our collections as we saw fit. It wasn't surprising to me that one of the movies I came across were several copies of "Deep Throat".

I forgot about it for a couple of months until one day I decided to digitize a copy of it from video cassette. Dusting off my old VCR I popped in the tape, made some popcorn and darkened the room. I couldn't remember the last time I had viewed the movie so I was looking forward to a trip into nostalgia.

When Deep Throat was originally released it swept through the American culture so quickly that it became a buzzword and has since become a word you can say around polite company (well...almost). "Deep Throat" not only depicts it's original lewd meaning but it has come to be used for a multitude of other meanings. Deep Throat is also a play on the words "deep background" some newspapers use to describe investigative reporting. The phrase has even become a verb as in "I got a deep throating from one of my co-workers today". Besides, who can forget the "Deep Throat" of Watergate fame? If you lived through the Nixon era it also has meaning as someone who is a secret mole that is more common than the original meaning had. It's quite possible too that the phrase is so embedded in our popular culture that most people today no longer realize how the phrase originated or from where. By the way, it turns out that the mole was William Mark Felt, a senior FBI agent.

Nonetheless the phrase comes from the movie in which the word is never spoken and the only time you see or hear it is at the beginning of the movie in the title. Of course it's use since has become quite prolific. Between the opening title, the credits and the end you will see Linda Lovelace, the actress that achieved a considerable amount of fame if not fortune from the movie. She did not receive much for the part (not by today's standards at least). She always claimed that she was forced and coerced into doing the film (not her first or last) and became a spokeswoman against pornography before her untimely death in a 2002 car accident.

Amazing to me was the fact that the movie holds up in many ways even by today's porn standards, where porn is no-holds-barred. For the most part the movie is so poorly acted that you could almost call it a porn comedy and the actors seem to sense this. Most scenes no doubt were done in one take. However, there are some subtle things that even though today it is common place, at the time was quite uncommon. For one thing, Linda Lovelace shaved her beaver. These days it's unusual to see a porn flick were the ladies DON'T shave. I don't know when that change occurred but if you spend any time viewing retro-raunchy porn flicks of the 50s, 60s, 70s and older 8mm stag movies, you'll notice that Linda Lovelace was one of the first to have a shaved muff on the screen.

Of course the other thing you'll notice immediately is the movie is filmed on 16mm film and not tape. VCRs were not a consumer item in the early 70s and this gives a much different feel to the movie than some of the more recent HD porn flicks. The movie's appeal to this day may be for this reason alone. The porn industry was much different in those days and remained so at least until the Internet became the main distribution point of porno flicks and opened the doors for an ocean of porno content being generated that was unheard of decades earlier.

You might do yourself a favor, get a copy and watch it if you never have. After you watch the complete movie then ask yourself why this movie was all the rage 36 years ago when both men and women watched it in sleazy movie houses.


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Deep Throat: A Retrospective | 20 comments (13 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
+2 : Technology AND Culture :o) /nt (2.85 / 7) (#2)
by mirko on Fri Mar 06, 2009 at 02:21:33 AM EST

Finally I managed to make the decision that I would work on it. - MDC
we had to huddle together - trane
Oh, neat! (1.42 / 7) (#5)
by Hiphopopotamus on Fri Mar 06, 2009 at 07:55:32 AM EST

I'm reading Emmanuelle II right now. It's such a head-trip!

I'm In LOVE!

I Actually read this. (2.00 / 2) (#9)
by Strom Thurmond on Fri Mar 06, 2009 at 02:43:45 PM EST


VEGETARIAN: An Indian word meaning "lousy hunter"

NEEDS MORE TORRENTS $ (2.50 / 2) (#11)
by horny smurf on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 12:43:07 PM EST

You can get (none / 1) (#12)
by GrandWazoo on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 01:21:57 PM EST

"Deep Throat" here. It shouldn't take long there's lots of seeding.

[ Parent ]
and also more sex (none / 0) (#17)
by mirko on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 06:58:58 AM EST

I found a VHS rip on thepiratebay.org and I have to say it's typical of what I dislike in pr0n: flacid guys who look like they're not enjoying their female counterparts performances who themselves moan unconvincingly...

I actually expected to see people having fun having sex, not people pretending to (whether because they're bored or because they're forced to)...

Do someone knows of high quality stuff where it seems like the actresses are having the time of their life with guys they'd finish while the camera is off?
Finally I managed to make the decision that I would work on it. - MDC
we had to huddle together - trane
[ Parent ]

Behold the Golden Age of Porn (3.00 / 12) (#13)
by localroger on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 02:20:52 PM EST

Before 1980 or so it took a significant investment to make any kind of movie at all, because you had to use film. You can't erase film and do it over, and you need pretty good lighting and sound equipment to bring it all together in post production. What is remarkable is that movies like Deep throat, The Other Side of Julie, and Behind the Green Door were made at all, when you had to go downtown to some seedy movie theatre to reward their creators by paying to see them at all.

So porn movies from the 1970's hold up in ways hardly anything modern does; the people who made them regarded them as movies, and actually put some thought into things like the script. True most of the actors were better at getting hard and looking soft than they were at delivering the lines, but there was some attempt to do more than just film a fuck scene. It was understood that you're going to buy a ticket and watch the whole thing, so more than just your dick is involved.

Video ruined all of that. The production values dropped to nothing, and even though the market expanded to infinity it was also understood that once you identified your favorite scene you'd just fast-forward to it, so there wasn't any need to make the framing material work all that well.

In those days porn was something special; there was a real risk involved in creating it, so it was worth investing somethign in it other than just pointing the camera at people who are willing to do it in public. As modern times have shown, there really isn't a scarcity of girls who are willing to spread it or guys who can get it up and go to town while the camera is rolling.

One of my favorite flicks from that era was Sexworld, a blatant ripoff of Westworld and Futureworld which in turn were SciFi flicks about vacation resorts where humanoid robots provided the fantasy entertainment. Nearly all of the characters in Sexworld were clearly dysfunctional in some way and the robots not only fulfilled their fantasies, they worked in ways to heal a lot of their customers' deeper flaws. None of that was strictly necessary from a jack-off enabling angle but it added a level to the film that you never see any more. You could watch the rest of it after blowing your load and sympathize with the characters as they confronted what tormented them and triumphed.

After Deep Throat there was a period of a few years when porn flicks were shot on 35mm with relatively decent production values; a lot of people moved into the real movie industry after learning their craft in the more forgiving world of porn. Nowadays, of course, there is little crossover since the skill sets no longer have much in common. It may have taken ten pretty smart people to put together an Insex live feed, but you probably wouldn't need their skills to make the next installment of Star Wars.

And that is what is so great about the internet. It enables pompous blowhards to connect with other pompous blowhards in a vast circle jerk of pomposity. -- Bill Maher

finally (2.50 / 2) (#14)
by AlexUnterhosen on Sat Mar 07, 2009 at 03:38:21 PM EST

an excuse to watch porn
--- The only reasons I can keep coming back to this kind of mind-numbing floor work is my enduring self-hatred and my dream of one day seeing your head on a pike.--BottleRocket
Disgruntled Mark Felt staged a COUP against Nixon (2.50 / 2) (#15)
by redelm on Mon Mar 09, 2009 at 08:40:52 AM EST

Mark Felt wasn't simply "a senior FBI guy", he was _the_ senior FBI honcho who expected to take over from J Edgar Hoover. Nixon passed him over (wanting civilian control over the FBI) so he decided to scr3w Nixon over.

Please see this.

Beyond the FBI routinely bugging POTUS, one of the most disturbing things was the way the WashPost willingly and knowingly let themselves be _used_ in the PUTSCH. Far from the glory highpoint of journalism, this is its' ignominous nadir.

Small wonder the web rulz.

I wonder if journalism schools have changed the... (none / 0) (#16)
by anaesthetica on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 11:44:10 AM EST

...way they present Watergate since the lustration of W. Mark Felt. From, "You can do important investigative work and save the country," to "You can be the willing pawn of people far more powerful than you." And perhaps, "Ethics don't really matter if you're taking down a president from the wrong party."

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven

[ Parent ]
all of your answers contained here: (1.33 / 3) (#18)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 12, 2009 at 01:33:33 AM EST


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Great but short (none / 0) (#19)
by twiga on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 07:48:52 AM EST

I became engrossed in your article after the second paragraph, mostly because I was reliving my youth through what I was reading.

I would love to have relived a little more....

Not exactly. (none / 0) (#20)
by The Real Lord Kano on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 09:41:27 PM EST

    The phrase has even become a verb as in "I got a deep throating from one of my co-workers today".

In this context, "deep throating" is a noun, not a verb. It's what you got as opposed to what someone did.

A verb would be like this, "She was deep throating me when her mom walked in."


Deep Throat: A Retrospective | 20 comments (13 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
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