A forthcoming documentary produced by Brian Grazer further illuminates this phenomenon. Grazer’s film skillfully delineates the events surrounding the opening of an obscure, ineptly made porn movie that triggered the righteous indignation of anti-porn crusaders across the nation. Their crusade transformed “Deep Throat” into a “must-see” pop-culture experience; you just weren’t cool until you had witnessed Linda Lovelace’s arcane skills. In city after city, “Deep Throat” opened to tepid business until the local crusaders closed in. Even in liberal New York, the city fathers were intent on shutting it down, thus prompting lines around the block.
Back, for a moment, to that Peter Bart story in today’s Variety. He says that movies like The Passion of the Christ and Fahrenheit 9/11 owe their popularity to their protesters, the very people who would like to see the films run out of town. Instead of shutting the films down, the hubbub only heightens interest in them. It’s not news. It’s exactly what happened way back in 1972 when the X-rated Deep Throat was released. In Inside Deep Throat, the fierce new documentary from Imagine Films in association with World of Wonder Productions that both Bart and I have had the dirty pleasure of previewing, the dynamics of that process are shown in, um, graphic detail.