If you are planning to see the seventies porno biopic Lovelace because it looks great, but don’t know a ton of facts about the true story upon which it is based, you’re not alone. But you should probably read up on Linda Lovelace‘s life a bit before going to see it. because as you know, movies that are “based on a true story” aren’t always 100% faithful to their source material, and sometimes the things they leave out are pretty important.
When The Cut caught up with her at the MoMA’s Lovelace screening two nights ago, Gloria Steinem (who, in addition to being an important feminist thinker, is a fairly snappy dresser) took the chance to set the record straight about what really went on in Linda’s marriage to Chuck Traynor:
“In real life, it was much more violent. I don’t think people could have watched. For instance, there’s a gang-rape scene, in which [Lovelace’s husband] Chuck Traynor takes her into a room and she’s gang-raped. It’s portrayed as if this happened to her later. That was the first thing that happened to her. They really didn’t have a relationship. She always called him Mr. Traynor. She was terrified of him.”
However, she was fairly understanding of the film’s decision to tone down the brutality of Lovelace’s life:
“I’m not sure anybody would have been able to sit in a theater and watch what really happened. I think [the filmmakers] did the best they could.”
She may very well be right about this, but something about it still bothers me. Isn’t it kind of disrespectful to Linda Lovelace’s story—and her subsequent anti-pornography activism—to omit key details of the violence she experienced while in the industry? I mean, watch the trailer and tell me whether or not you think it jives with the rehabilitated Linda Boreman‘s statement that “When you see the movie Deep Throat, you are watching me being raped. It is a crime that movie is still showing; there was a gun to my head the entire time.”
Then again, the movie’s not out yet, so I guess I should withhold judgment for now. If Gloria Steinem liked the film, I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.
(Via The Cut)
Lovelace movie poster via Shockya