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Deep Throat


Studio: High Def Home Entertainment » Review by The Mooninite » Review Date: 2/19/06


XCritic's Advice: Highly Recommended

The Movie:

The film that dared to answer the question of 'How far does a girl have to go to untangle her tingle?' Gerard Damiano's Deep Throat stands as one of, if not the, the highest grossing film of all time finally gets a respectable DVD release, even if its far from definitive. The real reason to celebrate this release is the new transfer that the film got from the original negative, which was found in a garage intentionally mislabeled as 'Hidden Treasure' in hopes that if it were found by the F.B.I. they wouldn't bother with it, thinking it were something else all together.

The film has a deceptively simple premise - Linda Lovelace (born Linda Boreman), playing 'Linda Lovelace' is a girl with an all too common problem: she can't come. No matter who does what to her where, she just can't get off during sex. Eventually this spurs her to head off to see one Dr. Reems (played by Harry Reems, born Herbert Streicher) who figures out that her problems stems from the fact that her clitoris is actually in her throat. At first she's devastated, until Dr. Reems takes off his pants and has her gobble his wiener, taking him into her mouth all the way down to the short and curlies. Thus was born, 'Deep Throat' and at this point, Lovelace sees 'bombs bursting in air' and finally achieves an orgasm, much to Reems delight. Delighted with her newfound ability, Lovelace sets out on a path to sexual freedom and copious amounts of cocksucking.

Though the film is a brisk sixty-two minutes in length, it does manage to pack in eight sex scenes in between the dialogue and character developments bits, most of which are pretty short. Here's a brief 'play by play' of how it all happens:

SCENE ONE - Dolly Sharp And Some Guy: The first sex scene in the film is a brief one, and quite simply it's Dolly sitting on the kitchen counter with her legs spread being eaten out by some unrecognizable male performer.

SCENE TWO - Linda Lovelace And Ted Street: Linda's first scene finds her in the middle of having sex with Ted. He does her vaginally, and then anally, before Linda finishes him off with her mouth. As this scene plays out it switches back and fourth between...

SCENE THREE - Dolly Sharp, John Byron And Michael Powers: ...here we see Dolly blowing Michael while John pumps away at here. John eats her out a bit and then does her in the rump while Michael goes to town on her box with his mouth.

SCENE FOUR - Linda Lovelace And Harry Reems: History was made in this scene, as Linda and Harry demonstrate what Deep Throat is really all about. Harry drops his pants and Linda gets down to showing off her sword swallowing techniques, taking him as far as humanly possible into her mouth which shortly thereafter causes Reems to erupt all over her face.

SCENE FIVE - Linda Lovelace And Bob Phillips: Linda continues to hone her skills, though this time she doesn't go at it quite as long as she sucks Bob off in her own inimitable way. From there Bob spreads her legs, humps her a bit, then pours some tasty Coca Cola into her beaver at which point the two of them suck it out of her using a tube. All this while 'I'd Like To Teach The World To SCREW' is playing in the background.

SCENE SIX - Harry Reems And Carol Connors: Harry continues playing doctor, this time with some help from his sexy nurse. Carol goes down on Harry, and then he fucks her missionary style. Harry goes back and fourth between her box and her mouth until he opts to eat her out and end the scene.

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SCENE SEVEN - Linda Lovelace And Harry Reems: Back for another appointment, Linda shows Harry how much she's learned by giving him head. Harry does her vaginally for a minute, and then he eats her out while she sucks him off. He goes back to mounting her, uses his fingers on her a bit, and Linda finishes him off with her hands and her mouth, smiling all the while.

SCENE EIGHT - Linda Lovelace And William Love: There's a whole lot of love to share in this final scene! Linda starts this one off solo by shaving herself bald between the legs and playing with herself. William comes into the frame and she goes down on him, while William uses his fingers on him. She brings him to a climax with her mouth, ending the scene and solidifying her place in history whether she liked it or not.

Say what you will about Lovelace and the direction her life took and the subsequent contradictions that occurred because of it, but she's absolutely on fire in this film. Though she wasn't the most attractive woman to get naked and fuck on film, she certainly had 'skills' where it mattered in terms of what she could do on screen and how she could do it. The film went on to become less a movie and more a phenomena thanks to it's genuinely erotic sex scenes and good natured sense of humor. Director Gerard Damiano didn't turn in anything worthy of an Oscar but he did make a well-paced and enjoyable 'couples friendly' adult film that took porn out of the peep show booths and into theaters around the world so he obviously did something right. Most of the credit needs to go to Lovelace and, to a lesser extent, Reems, as they've got a great chemistry on screen and seem to be really enjoying one another in the film. Neither are really 'good' in the movie but they do fine where they need to and the film just wouldn't have been the same without them (and that's saying something, seeing how completely interchangeable most modern day adult movie performers are. They had character, and they looked like real people rather than silicon inflated clones. This gave the film a bit of believability that worked quite well for it, and the whole 'girl next door' thing that Lovelace had going on in the film probably taped into some sort of subconscious aspect of the psyche of the typical American male which, when coupled with the fact that the movie is primarily about blowjobs, something all men seem to enjoy, ensured it had a built in audience even if the filmmaker's weren't aware of it at the time.

The movie went on to break records and cause no small amount of controversy. The F.B.I. became involved because of the mafia aspect of the production and some of the problems that arose out of that gray area of the film's history. The religious right threw a fit when the movie was a hit and women's rights groups still protest the film claiming that Lovelace was forced at gunpoint to perform in the movie (based on her own claims, though they changed a few times before her untimely death). Despite all of that, Deep Throat remains fun, charming, and sexy - something that a lot of modern porn is not. It's not the greatest erotic film ever made but it hit at the right place and in the right time and as such there's really no arguing that it is the most important one and its impact is still felt today, even outside of the XXX industry.

The DVD

Video:

First things first - this disc contains a Windows Media High Definition version of the movie that will play on compatible players (of which there are very few) and compatible PCS, as well as a standard definition version that will play on all normal DVD players.

There's good news and bad news in relation to the new 'high def' transfer that Deep Throat has received on this release. First, the good news - the film is presented in a very nice 1.85.1 widescreen transfer with only minimal print damage and very nice color reproduction, strong back levels and accurate looking flesh tones transferred from the long lost original negative. The bad news? Despite all this, the standard widescreen presentation has not been enhanced for anamorphic displays. Why the release has been authored like this is anyone's guess but it seems rather odd that Arrow would go to the effort of creating a high definition transfer of the film and not make it an anamorphic release. Aside from that issue, however, Deep Throat does look really good on this release. There's a lot of fine detail present in both the foreground and the background of the image and it's a huge improvement over the previous DVD release of the film in pretty much every way possible however, when compared to the fullframe release there is picture information missing from the top and the bottom of the image. This cropping doesn't really harm the compositions and to be quite honest, this reviewer doesn't know if the movie was composed for fullframe or widescreen presentation, it could just be that previous fullframe home video presentations were open matte, or maybe not. If I can figure this out, I'll update the review accordingly. This is a rather strange transfer despite the decent image quality.

Sound:

The English language Dolby Digital Mono track is quite nice when you take into account the fact that the movie has never sounded all that great in the first place. One or two scenes have a little bit of hiss in the background but the dialogue is clean and clear and the instantly recognizable theme song sounds as good and as goofy as it ever has before.

Extras:

Well, aside from the standards like chapter selection and an interactive menu, Arrow/High Def Entertainment have dug up a couple of other interesting supplements to accommodate the re-mastered feature presentation.

First up is the original theatrical trailer for the film. So what? It's a trailer. Big deal, right? Wrong! The trailer has, according to the packaging, been missing for the better part of three decades and was only unearthed when the original negative for the film was found. The packaging states that it hasn't been seen since the early 70s (which isn't true, as it also appears on the Alpha Blue Archives Linda Lovelace Collection, albeit in a much more tattered and beaten up form), and it's a pretty interesting little bit of marketing that feels very seventies in its execution in the way that it monkeys around with a few different clever animated versions of the film's title (words swallow words in the same way that Lovelace swallows Reems, if you know what I mean).

After that is the biggest and best of the extra features which is a new fifteen-minute long documentary on the film and its starlet entitled The Days Of Deep Throat And Linda Lovelace. While we don't learn anything here that we haven't already heard about in more recent fare like the feature Inside Deep Throat or Legs McNeil's book, The Other Hollywood, it's still interesting to watch if for no other reason that it's told primarily through the perspective of Mr. Eric Edwards, who really had nothing to do with the movie (though he did work with Linda on an 8mm loop) but seems to know a lot about it just because of the fact that he was working a lot in the industry at the time that the film broke. Spiced up with some great footage of various grindhouse and porno cinema environments of the early seventies, as well as some clips of various movies including Bella, Edwards' first film appearance and of course from Deep Throat itself. One of the more interesting clips in here is some actual behind the scenes footage of an 8mm stag loop being filmed, and it's from here that we kind of get a really basic crash course in the history of pornographic films in America. Edwards talks about his own industry experiences before schooling us on Linda's career and her arrival in the industry, which inevitably lead up to her appearance in Deep Throat, the rest of which is history. There are a few interesting rare stills of Lovelace that appear in here as well.

Final Thoughts:

Despite the glaring omission of an anamorphically enhanced transfer, this high-def DVD release of Deep Throat comes up with pretty high marks all around. The movie looks and sound very nice and the extras, while not mind-blowingly revelatory, are a nice touch. The feature itself? It holds up really well, thirty plus years after the fact, and it remains a fun and sexy hours worth of fun XXX entertainment.



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