March 27, 2012

The complicated story of Linda Lovelace — soon to be 2 motion pictures.

The star of "Deep Throat" — which is the most profitable movie ever made – led a fascinating life that tracked so many of the cultural trends we lived through. Of course, she got none of the $600 million the $30,000, hour-long movie made. That had to be annoying. But she was the face (and neck) of the porn that suddenly everyone felt they could actually go see. The Nixon administration prosecuted the filmmakers for obscenity. You've got bad old Nixon coming after you. What a strange combination of glamor and squalor!

Her follow-up films flopped, and she became a heavy cocaine user in the mid-1970s, then she made the God move: "God had changed her life." When the 80s came around, she threw in her lot with the feminists:
In 1980, with feminists increasingly attacking pornography as demeaning to women, Lovelace found a new opportunity to grab the limelight.

In an autobiography entitled Ordeal, she claimed that [Chuck] Traynor had physically and mentally abused her throughout their marriage, forcing her into pornography literally at gunpoint.

Her husband had had her gang-raped by five men, she said, and kept her a prisoner ‘just as much as if I was in Alcatraz’. He would never let her out of his sight, spying through the keyhole when she was in the bathroom and listening to her telephone calls with a .45 automatic pistol pointed at her.

Traynor would use his gun again when she was filming porn scenes, she added. ‘Chuck kept a gun in his pocket and would click the trigger, letting me know what would happen if I did not look convincing,’ she said.
Pushed onward by Gloria Steinem and Andrea Dworkin, who, at the time, had the agenda of merging pornography and rape, Lovelace spoke on college campuses and at government hearings, saying things like: "When you see the movie Deep Throat, you are watching me being raped... It is a crime that movie is still showing. There was a gun to my head the entire time."

Still later, she claimed the feminists had exploited her. (Was she not the victim of the century?) She was especially outraged that she didn't get an invitation to Gloria Steinem's wedding. Then her breasts turned on her:
During a double mastectomy brought on by botched silicone injections years earlier, doctors discovered her liver was collapsing from hepatitis, which she had in turn contracted from a blood transfusion after a 1970 car crash.
A victim of medical treatments then too. She got in another car crash on the way to kidney dialysis in 2002 and died 2 weeks later.

What an awful story. Clearly, there are at least 2 ways to tell this tale. In one of the movies, Sarah Jessica Parker plays the role of Gloria Steinem. This film "has the backing of Lovelace’s grown-up children, Dominic and Lindsay — and of Catharine MacKinnon, a feminist lawyer who campaigned with Lovelace to ban porn films. Prof MacKinnon describes her old comrade as 'sweet, strong, smart and real.'" The other film is supposedly "darker," and it has Matt Dillon as Chuck Traynor.

We'll see what comes of all this. Meanwhile, click through to the article, which has some photos of Linda Lovelace through the years. Lovelace had a sad life, so maybe it's wrong to laugh, but you might have to laugh at the feminist makeover they did on her for her "Ordeal" book tour. Not that there's anything wrong with looking like that, but it's just so impossible that she came to that look on her own. So stereotypical! Quick! Deploy the aviator spectacles!


edutcher said...

If as she claimed, porn was all mobbed up back then (easy to believe), then the rest of her story is quite plausible.

And we need look no farther than Ms Fluck to see how cold-blooded the Lefties can be in trying to exploit things to their advantage. Gloria Steinbrenner is still a good little niece of Uncle Saul.

chickelit said...

You've got bad old Nixon coming after you.

"Deep Throat" gagged Nixon's career.

Chip S. said...

I'd go see a version that cast Jenna Jameson as Steinem.

No fair getting the feminist take on porn without a porn star's take on feminism.

edutcher said...

That would be worth the $15 to see.

KCFleming said...

Lovelace "led a fascinating life that tracked so many of the cultural trends we lived through"

Forrest Gump, with money shots.

Revenant said...

If as she claimed, porn was all mobbed up back then

I don't know about 70s porn in general, but Deep Throat was financed by the Columbo family. It is an outstanding question how much of that $600 million was legit and how much of it was money laundered through mob-owned porn theaters.

traditionalguy said...

Sounds like Pornography may not be a victim less crime after all. The actresses are being used for sinful purposes. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Her analogy to being held a prisoner applies to many people who are used by others for such purposes.

So she hit pretty close to the mark with a call out to feminists to help her.

It is goal of freeing women from bondage to bad men that is behind the feminist gals rather bizarre methods.

The actual remedy women need is finding safe men who love them. Linda seems to have been lovable enough.

I wonder what kept her from seeking a good life for herself? Was it guilt from the forced adoption at age 15?

Oops. That's another reason for birth control being better than Russian Roulette for teen girls who like men at age 14.

Robert Cook said...

Porn was definitely a primarily mob-financed business back in the day...and probably still so, today, but at least now there are others who have got into the business to reap some of the rewards.

I saw DEEP THROAT when it first came out. I was 16 and used an ID borrowed from a friend's older brother. My friend also got a fake I.D. We went to a late-afternoon show and walked in at around the halfway point. At the end, we sat through the waiting period between shows and then watched it to the point where we had entered and then left. When we had entered, the theater had been largely empty, but for two or three others. When we got up and turned around to leave, we were shocked to see that the entire back half of the theater had, in the interim, silently filled up. From appearances, (and time of day), we figured they were businessmen getting off from work and stopping in to see the already infamous film before heading home to their families!

(The theater where we saw the film was in an old part of downtown Jacksonville, FL on--for realz--"Beaver Street!")

Even as a randy 16-year old with no experience with girls, I found the film quickly palled and was mostly dull.

Years later in New York, I saw the real, live Linda Lovelace at an opening for show of R. Crumb's drawings (where Crumb was present) at a downtown Chelsea gallery. She was the guest of a writer for SCREW (for whom a friend of mine was a regular illustrator), who was hoping to write her biography. I don't believe his book--if he ever completed it--has been published.

How odd it felt to see a flesh and blood human being who had seemed--25 or 30 years before--a creature from another universe, a figment of dirty movie make-believe.

William said...

Trad guy makes a shrewd observation when he points out that her whole screwed up life may have been a cascade of guilt and bad decisions after that forced adoption at fifteen. Rosebud......Paranoics have enemies and manipulative women get manipulated. And women actively seek the "brute boot of the fascist". There's no way Hollywood will ever make a movie that makes Gloria Steinem look bad.

n.n said...

Pornography, prostitution, etc. degrade both men and women, as individuals, and others through collateral damage. It reduces them to the sum of their body parts, which is representative of a perverted embrace of the natural order devoid of a moderating enlightened order (which offers justification for individual dignity).


It's pronounced "Fluck," but spelled "Fluke". Apparently, her emergence as the women's "savior" was as much a fluke as Lovelace's participation in pornography. They were both set up and exploited by their presumed benefactors. I wonder if Fluke's engagement was also involuntary or processed through deception.

DADvocate said...

The actual remedy women need is finding safe men who love them.

Don't put those women off on men. Men don't need the burden. Maybe women could go with being truly free and equal and quit trying to create a Daddy government or some other kind of Daddy to take care of them.

Richard Nixon saw Deep Throat 7 times. It took that many times to get it doown Pat.

Jim S. said...

You should probably take a look at Pink Cross, a Christian group founded by former porn stars to help others get out of the industry. The testimonies of some of them are truly disturbing.

Known Unknown said...

In related news, Jane Fonda will be playing Nancy Reagan.

Robert Cook said...

"Richard Nixon saw Deep Throat 7 times. It took that many times to get it doown Pat."

What makes you think he was interested in Pat? I've heard suggestions that his "close friendship" with Bebe Rebozo was more than just a friendship.

KCFleming said...

"I've heard suggestions..."

Lefties are always insinuating about latent/closeted homosexuality.

Why do you do that?

Robert Cook said...

Robert Cook said...

Oh, as to why it might be, in certain cases--important, or at least interesting--to know about possible closeted gays in government, such (usually) men, in trying so hard to hide their real nature from the public, or even from themselves, can assume public personas of rigid and harshly judgmental rectitude, to the point where they become merciless in their persecution of others. Witness J. Edgar Hoover or "Tailgunner" Joe McCarthy or his lawyer Roy Cohn...or the rather more forgettable members of Congress of recent years who have been apparent exemplars of "family values" but who have led secret gay lives.

Saint Croix said...

Here's the man she's alleging raped her. He's not the only rapist, apparently. She's alleging the director, the producer, the entire cast and crew are all rapists. It's a conspiracy of rapists.

When a woman makes a rape allegation, in my opinion there should be an arrest.

Is there a reason to believe the man is a rapist? Then arrest him.

Or, in the alternative, is there a reason to believe that this is a false and malicious allegation of rape? Then arrest her.

Feminists have made a horrible practice of throwing around the "rape" word whenever they want to advance women's rights.

Jane Roe made a false allegation of rape, in order to appear more sympathetic. She and her feminist lawyers were using our sympathy for actual rape victims for their own political gain.

It's obscene.

You do realize that every false allegation of rape means that we're a little less likely to believe an actual rape victim?

Do feminists want us to start saying, "she's playing the rape card"?

RonF said...

When a woman makes a rape allegation, in my opinion there should be an arrest. Is there a reason to believe the man is a rapist? Then arrest him. Or, in the alternative, is there a reason to believe that this is a false and malicious allegation of rape? Then arrest her.

Or - the woman was in fact raped (so she's not making a false accusation), but there's insufficient proof to charge the man. If I haven't wasted hours and hours watching Law and Order it's a waste of time arresting someone if you don't have sufficient evidence against them to make charges stick (a fact lost on the people demanding that George Zimmerman be arrested).

eddie willers said...

I read her book "Ordeal".

Whether true or not, you'll never look at Sammy Davis Jr. the same way again.

Saint Croix said...

Or - the woman was in fact raped (so she's not making a false accusation), but there's insufficient proof to charge the man.

Of course you're right. In fact that may be true in a great number of cases.

Still, there is this sort of politicized rape claim, where you don't go to the police, but you do go to the media. You write a book about it. Or sue a corporation and say it's their fault.

As far as I know, there was no police investigation of her rape claims. None.

That's bullshit. Take women seriously! If she charges rape, investigate. Find out the truth.

If she's lying, throw her in prison.

But you're right, obviously you need probable cause before you arrest anyone!

And rape (or a false claim of rape) can be a notoriously difficult case to prosecute, as it's often one person's word against another person.

But this Lovelace story bothers me. We're so glib about her rape charge. From the story:

Quite how much Lovelace had to be coerced into the sex industry remains a moot point, with fellow porn stars insisting she was a willing collaborator.

Moot point? She's dead so we're not worried about truth anymore?

It should be a crime to charge innocent men with rape.

cassandra lite said...

Define profitable. If you subtract 30 grand from 600 million, it may be considered among the most profitable. But there are other considerations well beyond such a simple calculation (for instance, percent split with the exhibitors, which I suspect got a higher percent from week one than major studio releases do). It's a safe bet that, despite what Fox reports, Titanic was far more profitable; same with Avatar and probably a number of other films.

F-18 said...

It is a crime to charge innocent men with rape. It's a crime to falsely accuse anyone of any crime.

The problem with so many rape cases is that they often come down to "he said/she said" scenarios. Toss in a lot of stereotypes (she's a hooker, he's her husband, she's a porn star, she was dressed like a hooker, she let him take her home, she went home with him, therefore how can it be rape?), and it's really tough to make a case.

For eons, the man was given the benefit of the doubt in these situations. The pendulum has swung the other way. I'm not saying that's a good thing, but it's only to be expected.

If men and women would treat each other with respect, would treat themselves with respect, there'd be fewer of these sketchy situations.

Now men have to abide by the same unspoken rules women did -- don't be alone with her, don't take her home, don't get drunk around her, don't pick up strange women in bars, don't act like you're all over her and are trying to get into her pants in public, etc.

As for Linda Lovelace, it's a sad, depressing story. Hopefully she's found her peace in the next life.

William said...

Some perversions are more perverse than others. Nowadays, if you chose to purchase silicone breasts, receive hormone injections, and have your penis lopped off in order to fulfill your destiny as a woman, this is considered an honorable and brave manifestation of free will.....A lot of women chose freely to enter into abusive relationships with men. The abuse isn't the bug but the feature of the relationship. It happens not just among hookers but among all classes of women. There are any number of successful chanteuses who have had such relationships with their managers and/or husbands......Linda claims to have been victimized by everyone she knew, and perhaps she was. The guess here is that masochism was a big part of her nature. If you go to bed with that many dogs, you should consider the possibility that you're a flea.

Anonymous said...
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Revenant said...

Or - the woman was in fact raped (so she's not making a false accusation), but there's insufficient proof to charge the man.

The reality is that this is the "sex the woman later regretted having had" kind of "rape".

It is obvious from the film that the sex was consensual. Or, rather, it is obvious from the film that she can't act her way out of a paper bag, and thus it is implausible that she was disguising the horror a real rape victim would be feeling at that moment.

And honestly, what incentive would the crew have had to go along with a rape? Even then there was no shortage of consenting actresses. If the film itself was supposedly about rape I can see mobbed-up producers trying a stunt like that -- but the idea that they passed over consenting actresses just so they could film a rape victim pretending to have consensual sex? That's nuts.

Here's a more rational belief: like many drug addicts who made a lot of bad life choices, Lovelace blamed everybody but herself for her problems. There's no doubt she was around a lot of people who used her -- but there's no doubt she herself was a user, of drugs and of other people. "Christians" and "feminists" were just two more groups of co-dependents.

MisterBuddwing said...

Never seen this obviously fine film. I think it's funny that Pauline Kael wanted to review it for The New Yorker, but that her editor, William Shawn, wouldn't let her.

TomB said...

The "Deep Throat" story was the subject of an episode of "Nothing Personal" on Investigation Discovery channel recently and they replay it frequently.

"Deep Throat" pretty much opened the eyes of the mafia to porn as they tended to look down upon it before then. The 2 guys from the Columbo family who financed it were working independently and the director/creator of the film had to have Ms Lovelace personally convince them that this film was going to be something special. Specifics of what Revenant asked about mob-owned theaters is addressed and they even had guys at the theaters with hand-clickers to get an exact count of moviegoers to make sure they theaters were reporting accurate numbers.

After it exploded, not only did Ms Lovelace not receive anything, the creator/director was "bought out" for about $25K.