Gerard Damiano, 80, died of a stroke last week.
Come, let’s show the man some respect.
If not universally acclaimed, the director was certainly very well known for his magnum opus, the blue movie Deep Throat (1972). Now that you’ve heard, haven’t you? A couple of years back, Deep Throat was revealed to be the aka of FBI honcho Mark Felt who fed Bob Woodward the inside dope during the Watergate scandal.
The Washington Post‘s Woodward went on, with his colleague Carl Bernstein, to unravel in a brilliant series of articles the whole dirty mess of the break-in of the Democratic Headquarters at the Watergate building in D.C. The scandal brought down Richard Nixon who preferred to decamp rather than wait for certain impeachment. The story then came out in the book “All the President’s Men” authored by the two journalists who were in turn portrayed in the superb 1976 film of the same name, by Alan Pakula. Starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, it went on to win four Academy Awards. In the film, the Deep Throat source, appearing only in silhouette in a dark parking garage, was prominently portrayed—and played by Hal Holbrook–as befits someone who would play an anonymous but huge role in contemporary history.
Deep Throat, the actual movie whose name will forever be linked to Watergate, was the brainchild of the above-named and now defunct Damiano whose script imagined a woman with a particular physical problem causing her to seek sexual satisfaction in a particular way. The X-rated movie, with explicit, eye-popping scenes played to packed houses in regular cinemas and brought celebrity to its star, Linda Lovelace (who was paid 1,250 dollars to pay the gal with the throat). All water under the bridge now. Poor Linda had also left us some time ago, but this particular moment in cinema history needed to be remembered and Gerard Damiano recognized.