Imagine, formed in 1986 by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard and known mostly for its family friendly menu of nutty professors, hat-wearing cats, musclebound kindergarten teachers, and Jim Carrey, is branching into a radical new direction with this sexually graphic doc. The very entertaining Inside Deep Throat , directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, shows how a 1972 porn flick made on the cheap starring Linda Lovelace became the chic water-cooler movie to see by just about everyone capable of buying a ticket – and reveals how anti-porn crusaders ended up enriching the Mafia. The movie, which was partly financed by HBO, is liberally peppered with comments from the likes of Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty, Deep Throat director Gerard Damiano, literati Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer, Gloria Steinem, and Carl Bernstein, Lovelace’s daughter, and a slew of others.
Like other top producers, Grazer is keenly interested in the ways in which movies and ideas develop mass appeal — or fail to. But, unlike the others, he’s also interested in talking about the social paradigms that shape them. How “Deep Throat” became a mass phenomenon is one of the questions at the center of his new doc. “There were 50 years, at least, of pornography that preceded ‘Deep Throat.’ ‘Deep Throat’ had a great title and it celebrated the right iconic act — it celebrated a blowjob,” Grazer said. “Because of the title and what it successfully celebrated, it became the most litigated, most profitable movie ever.”
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