In June of 1972 pornographic movies in the United States changed forever. The 61 minute long Deep Throat, starring Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems became an instant hit. It would run in some theaters for many years afterward. Lovelace is a bio-pic about the star of Deep Throat and her relationship with the man who took her from innocent girl to become the Queen of Porno.
The majority of the actors in the film are portraying the real-life people involved in the story and their real names are used. Amanda Seyfriend stars at the title character while Peter Sarsgaard is Chuck Traynor, the man who introduced her to the world of adult films.
Linda Susan Boreman had moved from her New York home to a Florida suburb along with her father John (Robert Patrick) and mother Dorothy (Sharon Stone) after her father retired from his job as a police officer in New York City.
Raised by a strict mother, Linda is a very strait-laced young woman with a wild side yearning to be freed. One night she and her best friend “Patsy” (Juno Temple) are at a roller disco when Linda meets Chuck Traynor. He’s good looking, has a nice car and is interested in her. Soon they were headed to New York where Chuck felt he could succeed at something.
That something turned out to be making a pornographic movie called Deep Throat, produced by Louis ‘Butchie’ Peraino (Bobby Cannavale) with money provided by “Anthony Romany (Chris Noth, playing a fictional character used to represent the real-life Anthony Peraino who was a made member of a ‘Mafia’ crime family). Gerald Damiano (Hank Azaria) was the director of the film and Harry Reems (Adam Brody) was the man on whom Linda Lovelace performed the act of fellatio that inspired the title of that film.
The reception received by Deep Throat was unprecedented. People who wouldn’t ordinarily go anywhere near an adult theater stood in line to watch this 61 minute porno. It was the first such film to have plot and decent production values. Linda Lovelace became the toast of the nation. No less than Hugh Hefner (James Franco) took notice of her and he wanted to put her in his magazine and in his bed.
But behind the scenes the glamour and celebrity was a very dark existence indeed. Chuck Traynor was the kind of man who didn’t just beat his wife, he wanted to terrorize and intimidate her in order to exert total control over her. He forced her to engage in prostitution and saw her as nothing more than a cash cow. He had her future in pornographic movies all laid out in his mind.
There’s more to her story in the post-Traynor era and it is well-documented here. Very little dramatic license is taken in this excellent film adaptation of someone’s true story. The backgrounds, wardrobe and the sound capture the early 1970s very well. Seyfried is outstanding in capturing the difficult struggle that Linda Lovelace underwent to survive her relationship with Traynor, while Sarsgaard does a pretty good job of capturing the malevolence of this truly evil man. The casting was done quite well, and Adam Brody completely captures the essence of the late Harry Reems.
But it is Sharon Stone who steals every moment that she is on screen. Ms Stone is still a gorgeous woman at age 55, yet she IS the essence of a frumpy housewife who can’t, or more properly refuses, to understand how her daughter turned out the way she did. It is an outstanding performance, worth of being remembered next awards season.
This is movie-making of the highest order when it comes to bringing a true-life tale to the big screen.