Throttling Throat

By JANET MASLIN  |  May 12, 2008

Crowley is Explicit
John Crowley was probably the most interesting part of the whole Deep Throat affair, and certainly the most honest. By midway through the trial he’d gotten to be terribly depressed, bogged down in the feeling that however good a case he could put together, Throat just wasn’t going to play in Boston, especially after having been closed down in New York. A relative specialist in the dirty-picture field, Crowley had been with the Throat case for quite a while by the time of the trial, and he had some fascinating stories — mostly unprintable — about the case’s early history. He had originally been hired by a prospective local exhibitor for the film but was now working for Gerard Damiano Film Production, Inc., the New York distributor of such groundbreakers as this and The Devil in Miss Jones, which at press time had been prevented from opening in Boston by representatives of D.A Garrett Byrne. As for why he wasn’t working for that local exhibitor any more, Crowley explained that the exhibitor, fearing some kind of personal hot water, had wanted Crowley to get him off the book by admitting Throat to be obscene, and had gotten to be furious when Crowley refused. “I got 40 million dollars, I got you in my hip pocket,” Crowley reports the exhibitor as having boasted. “So,” says Crowley, “I just told him—in very explicit language—what he could do with his forty million dollars. He looked shocked, and told me that no one ever spoke to him that way. So I just repeated it, in case he hadn’t heard me the first time.”

Crowley’s practice is certainly varied — after Throat he takes on several gun cases and a girl accused of dealing cocaine out in Framingham — but one of the seemingly few things he won’t take on is gay pornography. “I dunno, I just can’t watch that stuff,” he said amiably over a mid-trial lunch the other day. “One of my witnesses told me that was a sign of latent homosexuality, and who knows” — he shrugged —“maybe he’s right.”

Meanwhile, Crowley makes no bones about the fact that his line of work hasn’t helped his heterosexual sidelines any. At the end of our most recent phone conversation — during which he explained that the case was approaching the deliberation stage, and there probably wouldn’t be a verdict for a while — he began to groan about the previous evening’s adventures, saying he was swearing off stewardesses for good. “They’re so selfish, they just don’t understand how much time it takes,” he began. “I’m not married to the law, y’understand, and maybe some day I’ll meet a girl who can keep me from spending so much time on it, the crazy hours, the ….”

Maybe, I suggested, he might even get to meet Linda Lovelace one day, and she could solve his problems.

“Oh, that’s vicious,” he said, ringing off. “That’s just cruel.”

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