There are relatively few moments in American history that you could correctly refer to as a turning point for the culture, but one of them was almost definitely the moment in 1972 when the Manhattan elite flocked in droves to see the hardcore porn film Deep Throat at a seedy Times Square theater. Cultural upheaval on the scale caused by this eruption of pornography into the mainstream is of course catnip for documentarians and Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato. Their Inside Deep Throat has good fun with its subject, even if it ultimately raises more questions than it answers.

The object at the center of the controversy that would rage through the '70s and into the '80s was a porno shot on the cheap in Florida for less than $25,000. It starred a 19-year-old Linda Lovelace, an actress of sorts who had a talent for fellatio which impressed the filmmakers to no end, and Harry Reems, who was originally just the production assistant, but filled in when the male star turned out not to be up to the challenge. An almost unbelievably silly piece of work (even its director, the affable Gerard Damiano, later admits it wasn't a very good film), Deep Throat achieved notoriety both for the famous act by Lovelace (included uncut in the documentary, the sole reason for its NC-17 rating) and for the fact that it was the rare porno at the time which didn't pretend to be showing sex for "educational" purposes but as an end in and of itself.

Continue reading: Inside Deep Throat Review