Inside Deep Throat

Critics Consensus

A documentary on the film that brought smut mainstream, Inside Deep Throat is gaining praise as an entertaining look at a pop culture milestone. However, some critics say the film could have gone a little deeper into the people involved.



Reviews Counted: 120

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Average Rating: 3.4/5

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Movie Info

An examination of the unanticipated lasting cultural impact generated by "Deep Throat", a sexually explicit film first shown in a midtown Manhattan adult theater in June 1972 that quickly became the flashpoint for an unprecedented social and political firestorm.

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Critic Reviews for Inside Deep Throat

All Critics (120) | Top Critics (44)

  • Bailey and Barbato can only scratch the Boogie Nights-influenced surface, but they cover the ABCs of pornography with undeniable zip.

    Sep 26, 2005

    Scott Tobias

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • [A] valuable document of a cultural shift.

    Jul 18, 2005
  • Interviews with the surviving players, including porn stud Harry Reams ... make for entertaining viewing.

    May 25, 2005 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Jamie Russell
    Top Critic
  • Fascinating social criticism and a witty and relevant take on American sexual history.

    Apr 22, 2005 | Rating: 5/5
  • The absorption of Deep Throat into the political melodrama that was Watergate seems to have led to some grandiose statements in Messrs. Bailey and Barbato's documentary.

    Mar 31, 2005 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Top Critic
  • It just doesn't go deep enough.

    Mar 17, 2005 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for Inside Deep Throat

Inside Deep Throat tells the story of one of the most famous Adult films in the genre. Deep Throat was one of the first porn films to cause outrage at the time of its release due to the fact that it showed explicit sexual material, which was unheard of at the time. The documentary takes a look at how the film revolutionized a new movement. The film is interesting and it goes in depth in discussing the success of this notorious film. The subject is interesting and the documentary filmmakers get interviews from many celebrities, filmmakers and people involved in the making of Deep Throat. For those interested in the subject, this is a great documentary to watch, but is not for everyone. The interviews are well conducted and some are humorous, and serious. Deep Throat was one of the most notorious Adult films ever made, as in 1972 it broke new ground in good taste. This film shows the story of the making of the film along with its legacy. The film also shows how some people that seek to ban the film were hypocritical because they went and saw the film multiple times. This is an interesting film, and I really enjoyed the interviews, especially the ones where director John Waters, Hugh Hefner and Bill Maher tell how the film became a phenomenon. Not only does the documentary look at the film's impact, but it looks at censorship and freedom of speech, which is also quite interesting. Inside Deep Throat is a great documentary that is worth seeing.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer


This is a very well-edited and amusing documentary that investigates the cultural influence of one of the most polemic films ever made, as well as its impact on politics, the sexual revolution and the porn industry. An enlightening account that is fascinating and surprising.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Great documentaries come around once in a long time. And one of those is certainly Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato's homage to the most successful pornographic film ever made. Inside Deep Throat not only provides an interesting history to the blockbuster hardcore film, but also provides the gravity of its impact and the influence of pornography on the culture. And as the film progresses, we see the increased stranglehold of censorship on artistic freedom and the devolution of the pornography from a rebellious art form coinciding hand-in-hand with the sexual revolution and the earliest stages of the feminist movement to a sleazy cash machine devoid of practically any value or effort. Though I wouldn't say Deep Throat was an artistic masterpiece, but its impression on American media history is impossible to ignore. This is one documentary that puts the current battles of censorship and freedom of artistic expression through sex in mainstream media used more than simply smut for the sake of smut to set under the microscope, and dissects it very well from the people who lived the lives of those who were involved in such an important bit of history. This film almost couples in time with Kirby Dick's amazing documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated which emerged the year after Inside Deep Throat.

Matthew Roe
Matthew Roe

Super Reviewer


someone tries to dispute with me over whether cinema is an ideological apparatus. there're great many historical facts to prove this, if cinema is not an ideological apparatus, why a self-publicized democratic nation like united states would make laws like 1930s hays code or 1950s maccarthyist blacklist to take total control of this medium. even when these laws are already made obsolete in present stage, why there was still great moral crusade from various religious groups which cooperated with some of the inland state government against an insignificant joke like DEEP THROAT? and it's just sex, a private matter you perform in the bedroom, and it's supposedly a freedom you're entitled to have without lawful interference! why all the fuss over it? ideological apparatus??? ok, it's not an argument about what cinema should be but what cinema is often prsented to idea of cinema is CAMP! even i'm a complicated woman by mind, but i do like put my complexity into oblivion sometimes when i watch a movie. my notion of pure entertainment, and what cinema should be, is CAMP, a sheer celebration of apolitical aesthetics. let's face it, no matter how sharp my viewpoints can be, i cannot change the world. all the power i have is to avoid buying food from macdonald. (petite individual). i cannot change anything but pray for survival, free from disfranchisement, malicious discrimination and unjust condemnation. firstly, i wish to say, fellatio was not invented by linda lovelace even the publicity of deep throat in 70s seemed to favor giving people impressions that she was the first woman who could do that with her magical "verbal gift." there's always a thing called stag films way back to 1920s, even 1910s. okay, even in victorian age, there were naughty postcards with such illustrations. BUT i do wanna say, linda lovelace was indeed the one who popularized fellatio into the course of mainstream sex-culture (seriously, i think every male should be grateful to her! everyone who benefits from it in america should donate five-dollars to her..haha.) secondly, the changes of linda lovelace's public image as the ultimate miss fellatio also reflect the evolved process of second and third wave of feminism. she was originally a symbol of woman being free to pursue her own pleasure of sex. by the end of 70s, lovelace started to unite with the spectacled, serious prim second-wave feminists to protest that her performing fellatio was a open exploitaion against woman and watching her doing that is like being an accomplice of a rape scene. then lovelace retired as she aged. later by the end of 80s, penniless linda got paid again to exploit herself by flashing her body for some man's magzine. so she betrays again to everything she's said. in a brief, the public image of linda lovelace was being made over, over and over again in accrodance of the demands of feminist ideolgoies. thirdly, as for what linda lovelace's sexual revolution turns out to be...she just opens the gate of female-fetishizations with a justified name of sexual freedom. there could be a whole debate on approving porns or disappproving porns. porn is exploiting woman or liberating woman, blah blah blah. ok, i suppose it could be both, and it all depends on how you views it with or without a discerning eye. i attended a conference about gender studies on porn, and there were a two-people team doing surveys over the internet porns. their result is, the popular trend within the internet porn industries is still quite misogynistic, and those clips which receive most viewings still favor to gaze at woman as dimensionless object, and fellatio is still the most popular one. (the details of that reports were really hilarious, and the reactions of various users' responces made me laugh, let's skip that here)...and i did give them a feedback, why it's always sex on the target when it comes to woman's liberation. how about EQUAL PAY? i suppose the reason is simple, because man could also benefit from woman's sexual liberation. those sex workers are people who are stuck in their present conditions without a way out to make a regular living, so they have to declare things like they like to be whores, for the sake of the last petite pride left in them. but state could make welfare laws to help people like that instead of leaving all the responsibilities to them while remaining in a morally, socially condescedning attitude. at last, linda lovelace led a crappy senile days, living in a trailer, seriously ill, disgusted and disrespected by her kids, failed marriage. btw, there was some arguments made upon throat cancer caused oral sex. but some university (forget the name of it) chose to demonstrate that by using a picture of a headless woman receiving male head. what does it suggest? some say, it suggests that cunnilingus is to be condemened and man should watch out his health, while you woman could fellate as much as you want since your health is not in realm of foundamental significance. (ok, i just summarize those discussions made over it in that conference). gee, everything could be ideological, even sex. ok, maybe sometimes.

Veronique Kwak
Veronique Kwak

Super Reviewer

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