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Porno Chic

Related: Euro chic - chic - 1970s - mainstream erotic movies - porn film - women in advertising - Wet Dream Film Festival

Titles: Behind the Green Door (1972) - Deep Throat (1972) - The Devil in Miss Jones (1973) - Score (1973) - Emmanuelle (1974) - Story of O (1975) - The Image (1975) - Pussy Talk (1975) - The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1976)

People: Marilyn Chambers - Gerard Damiano - Just Jaeckin - Linda Lovelace - Radley Metzger

In the early seventies, pornographic movies approached acceptance into the mainstream movie industry, with films such as Deep Throat (Damiano, 1972), Behind the Green Door (Mitchell Brothers, ) and The Devil in Miss Jones (Damiano, 1973) being shot on film with high production values, and grossing substantial amounts in movie theaters. [Aug 2006]

The year is 1972. Outside a swank first-run Manhatten cinema, a line of well-heeled sophisticates queue expectantly outside a marquee with three large X’s proudly proclaiming: "Linda Lovelace IS Deep Throat!" A few miles uptown on the infamous 42nd Street strip, the traditional raincoat brigade shuffle into a theater past posters for Terrorized Virgin, Perverted Passion and Girl In A Basket toward their waiting stain-covered seats. Both crowds have three things on their minds, and they ain’t Surf, Sand and Sun. --Andrew Leavold, "Adult Industry Review", published by the Eros Foundation in Canberra.

Marilyn Chambers in Behind the Green Door (1972) - Mitchell brothers


The term "porn chic" was first used in the early 1970s to describe the wave of pornographic movies like Deep Throat, The Devil in Miss Jones, and Score that appeared in mainstream moviehouses for the first time. For a period of two or three years it was fashionable to watch and discuss such films.

More recently the "porn chic" has been used to refer to the use of imagery from pornography in popular culture, such as advertising, music videos, and cable television. Adult models and actresses are routinely interviewed on radio and appear on the Howard Stern show. As a result, such actresses, as well as a few actors such as Ron Jeremy, have received increased exposure. In the 1990s it became common for mainstream Hollywood actors to date adult video stars. In some cases, private videos subsequently made by them were discovered and later sold over the Internet. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porn_chic [Aug 2005]

The porno chic era was followed by a Euro chic era, best represented by such movies as Emmanuelle (1974) and L'Histoire d'O (1975).

The term was also used in the context of fashion advertising in the 1970s and 1980s, referring to the work of Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin [Oct 2005]

Early 1970s

We have surely come a long way from the era of "porno chic," that brief moment in the early 1970s when hard-core films first flourished on the national scene. Perhaps because of the novelty, intellectuals chose to take them seriously, and middle-class couples flocked to Deep Throat (1972) and The Devil in Miss Jones (1973) as if they were pretentious corn like The English Patient. --Bruce Handy, Time, 11/17/97

At that time, pornographic movies even approached acceptance into the mainstream movie industry, with films such as Deep Throat, Behind the Green Door and Gerard Damiano's 1972 film The Devil in Miss Jones being shot on film with high production values, and grossing substantial amounts in movie theaters. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pornographic_movie [Oct 2004]

Helmut Newton [...]

His aesthetic was branded 'porno chic'. to radical feminists, helmut newton was the antichrist - his work outraged many and they protested one of his exhibits by throwing paint on his photos. --http://www.designboom.com/history/helmutnewton.html [Aug 2004]

Euro Chic

Just before Deep Throat and The Devil in Miss Jones become cultural phenomena, creating the term "porno chic," the American culture's knowledge of sexy (though not hard-core films) was limited to very playful features filled with buxom babes and very little, if any, full-frontal nudity. Radley Metzger's Score and Camille 2000 and the oevre of Russ Meyer; from Vixen to Beyond the Valley of the Dolls were only a few of the big screen's sucessful attempts to bring what Neely O'Hara referred to in Valley of the Dolls as "nudies." If American audiences were remotely familiar with "nudies," they were usually the European-produced films that played "The Art House" circuits. With titles like Therese and Isabel and I, a Woman, these films weren't geared for the trenchcoat carrying crowds, but rather to audiences ready to experince a bit of erotica that actually had characters, plots and sumptuous photography. Looking at a few of those films today, one is constantly reminded of shampoo commericals, where gorgeous blonde boy approaches beautiful blonde girl across a saffron sea of wheat in ever so s-l-o-w m-o-t-i-o-n, they may be pretty to look at, but they're actually quite shallow and innocent. Somewhere in between the Euro-chic and the porno chic, The First Nudie Musical was born. Okay, history lesson over, and on to the movie. http://www.dvdlaunch.com/firstnudiemusicalse.html

Deep Throat (1972) - Gerard Damiano [...]

Linda Lovelace, Deep Throat (1972) - Gerard Damiano

  • Deep Throat (1972) - Gerard Damiano [Amazon.co.uk]
    Deep Throat Linda, frustrated that her hugely energetic sex life leaves her unsatisfied, seeks medical help. The doctor informs her that the reason for her problem is that her clitoris is mistakenly located at the back of her throat - but there is a very simple remedy, which the doctor, and various other men, proceed to demonstrate...

    Damiano's Deep Throat (1972) became porn's cross-over hit, as Damiano recognised that, with changes in structure and publicity, its explicit content could be rendered acceptable to a wider audience. Unlike most previous porn films, Deep Throat was feature-length, with a script and a plot, its sex scenes thus being justified by their narrative context. The film played in mainstream cinemas, its success being dubbed 'porno chic'. --Matthew Hunt

    Behind the Green Door (1972) - Mitchell brothers

    Marilyn Chambers in Behind the Green Door (1972) - Mitchell brothers

    Behind the Green Door (1972) was the first pornographic movie widely released in the United States. Directed by the Mitchell brothers and starring Marilyn Chambers as Gloria Saunders, the movie depicts her abduction to a sex theater, where she is forced to perform various sexual acts in front of an audience, with characters including nuns and trapeze artists.

    Prior to the movie's release, Marilyn Chambers had modelled for Procter & Gamble and Ivory Snow detergent. After the release of the movie, P&G recalled all products and advertising materials featuring her, unintentionally adding to the movie's hype. Along with Deep Throat, released later in the same year, the movie launched the "porn chic" boom and started what is now referred to as the "Golden Age of Porn". Made with a budget of $60,000, the movie ended up grossing over $25 million. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behind_the_Green_Door [Oct 2004]

    The Devil in Miss Jones (1973) - Gerard Damiano

    The Devil in Miss Jones (1973) - Gerard Damiano

    The Devil in Miss Jones is a 1973 adult film.

    Justine Jones, a spinsterish woman, commits suicide and ends up in hell, where the Devil himself offers her an opportunity to live her life over again; this time as a sexually adventurous, insatiable libertine. Georgina Spelvin plays Justine Jones. Harry Reems also appears in the film.

    The original film, along with its sequel (Devil in Miss Jones 2), are considered adult film classics, featuring many adult film stars well known in the "Golden Age" of porn (mostly the 1970s and early 1980s). Succeeding "Miss Jones" films extend the title's name into double digits, however most enthusiasts believe they fail to achieve the quality of the original. Although rumors continue to fly about a more modern "re-imagining" of the original film's storyline, as of December 2003, nothing concrete has been announced by any major adult video studio. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Devil_in_Miss_Jones [Oct 2004]

    The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1976) - Radley Metzger

    The Opening of Misty Beethoven is an American hardcore film released in 1975. It is widely considered one of the best pornographic films ever made. Produced with a relatively high budget and filmed on elaborate locations in Italy and New York City, it owes much to its fastidious director Radley Metzger (as Henry Paris). In an era in which pornography was just beginning to be widely released, most movies of that time were expected to have at least minimal plots. Misty's plot was more elaborate than most; it was based directly on the old Pygmalion legend and, more recently, George Bernard Shaw's play of the same name, as well as the Broadway and Hollywood success My Fair Lady.

    The three leads were Constance Money, Gloria Leonard, and Jamie Gillis. It received the first annual Erotic Film Festival Award for Best Movie. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Opening_of_Misty_Beethoven [Mar 2005]

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