Tuesday, October 25, 2005
What is the Most Influential Adult Movie of All Time?
In Boogie Nights -- P.T. Anderson's 1997 fictional account of real-life adult movie star John Holmes -- Jack Horner, the aging adult-movie director, played by Burt Reynolds, in an Oscar-nominated performance, laments the fact that adult films are no longer shot on film, but rather on video. He harkens back to a time when he considered his work art. Of course, much has been written about whether such films merit any recognition as art. Still, there are a handful of titles from the late 60s and 70s -- the period to which Reynolds character is referring -- which caught the attention of the movie-going audience at the time, and somehow, are still remembered to this day. So, I wonder, what is the most influential adult film in cinema history? Is it -- I Am Curious (Yellow), the once notorious 1967 Swedish import that caused such a stir, in its day, copies of the film were held by customs? (It's considered by many today to be a somewhat boring mess of Euro-political babble, and candid sexuality, that is tame by current standards.) Is it -- Behind the Green Door, the 1972 film, directed by the infamous Mitchell brothers, that made Marilyn Chambers -- the wholesome model on Ivory Snow detergent boxes -- into an instant adult star? Is it -- Deep Throat, the 1972 film, so famous in its time, that it attracted a steady stream of celebrity audience members; was joked about on-air by Johnny Carson; used as a nickname by Woodward and Bernstein for their infamous "deep background" informer in the Watergate scandal; and documented 33 years later by Ron Howard's production company, Imagine Entertainment, in the film, Inside Deep Throat? (The film is reported to have made $600 million as of 2002.) Is it -- Debbie Does Dallas, the 1978 film that spawned a successful, mainstream, off-Broadway musical in 2002? Or is it -- Caligula, the 1979 film produced by Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione, and reportedly the most expensive adult film ever made. It was written by Gore Vidal; took four years to complete; starred such A-list actors as Malcolm McDowell, Helen Mirren, Peter O'Toole and John Gielgud -- and played in mainstream theaters throughout the country. So? What's your opinion? Let me know.