The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry

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9780060096595: The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry

As seen in Vanity Fair: A rollicking, funny, raunchy, and moving oral history of the adult film industry–from Deep Throat through today.

As a recent New York Times Magazine cover story pointed out to average Americans, the adult film industry is a $10 billion–per–year business. It has infiltrated the American mainstream, with its stars showing up as mainstream TV hosts, making guest appearances in Hollywood feature films, and gracing the CD covers–and arms–of rock stars and Hollywood actors alike. But what most people don't know is how the porn industry got started–with a $22,000 Mafia investment in a film called Deep Throat–or how it mushroomed over the next quarter–century despite efforts by politicians, the FBI, and others to bring it down.

The Other Hollywood tells that story, through hundreds of interviews by the people who lived through it. In the riveting oral–history format that made his first book, Please Kill Me, one of the most memorable accounts of 1970s underground culture, Legs McNeil now pulls back the grimy satin sheets on one of the most astounding success stories in the history of American business. Careening back and forth between two groups–the actresses, directors, and others who made the films and the shady underworld figures who financed them–The Other Hollywood offers scores of never–before–told stories, all in the voices of those who lived them.

Witty, always compelling, and ultimately moving, The Other Hollywood is a Hollywood Babylon for today.

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Review:

From the nudie cuties of the 1950s to celebrity porn in the late 1990s, The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry offers an insider's view of the adult film industry's transition from a shady, backroom business to a $10-billion-per-year money machine and mainstream acceptance. The story is told through interviews with hundreds of actors, directors, law enforcement officials, and other participants, all edited together with expert skill and pacing.

The industry exploded in the early 1970s with the success of the Mafia-backed Deep Throat, which reportedly grossed $100 million after an initial $22,000 investment. Featured at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973, the film ushered in the rise of "porno chic," making it fashionable, for a time, to take a date to a porn film. One industry insider described Deep Throat as "the Blair Witch Project of its time." Filled with sleazy intrigue, vivid details, and many heartbreaking--and even touching--stories, The Other Hollywood covers the actors, the numerous legal challenges to the industry, FBI sting operations, the Mafia connection, rampant drug use, rock stars, celebrities, the opposition by religious and political groups, the emergence of AIDS (that claimed the lives of porn superstars such as the famously endowed John Holmes), and the explosion of the video market and its overnight fortunes. Even at 600 pages, this is a quick and engrossing read that is hard to put down. --Shawn Carkonen

About the Author:

Legs McNeil is the coauthor of Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, a book widely hailed as a classic of its kind. A founder of the seminal magazine that gave punk its name, he is a former editor at Spin and Nerve, and wrote Marilyn Chambers's comeback film, Still Insatiable. He lives in Pennsylvania.



Jennifer Osborne is a journalist and researcher who lives in Los Angeles.



Peter Pavia is a freelance writer who lives in New York City.

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