Universal ratings-ready with ‘Throat’

'Deep' docu dampened by ratings system

This article was corrected on December 20, 2004.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Universal has given the docu “Inside Deep Throat” a date for limited release. For the Feb. 11 bow, the studio has agreed to an NC-17 rating, creating a raft of marketing, distribution and homevid challenges.

The film, from U’s producer Brian Grazer and co-directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, looks unflinchingly at what may be the most profitable film of all time, the 1972 Linda Lovelace starrer “Deep Throat.”

Understandably, the docu is shaping up to be NC-17. Marc Shmuger, Universal Pictures vice chairman, says the studio won’t compromise the doc-makers’ vision just to exploit grosses.

But that also means many theatrical exhibitors won’t run the pic, and most mega-retail chains, like Walmart and Blockbuster, won’t stock the DVD.

But U is willing to deal with that “Deep” impact. Says Shmuger, “It would be hypocritical of us to censor a movie that deals primarily with censorship and freedom of expression.”

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