“Deep Throat” Talks Again

J. Edgar Hoover “privately was a mama’s boy and a homosexual who got his jollies by sitting in the dark with a bottle of bourbon and a tape recorder playing the sounds of a powerful government official’s hotel liaisons.”

That was part of Variety’s review on director-writer-producer Larry Cohen’s 1977 film, “The Private Files of J.Edgar Hoover.” Cohen tells me MGM has loaned an archival print of the film for Joe Dante’s month-long program of film favorites at the New Beverly Cinema, April 13, 14, and 15 at 9:25 p.m. Cohen will be there to do a q.& a. “It is not a hatchet job,” he tells me “it’s honesty on tape.”

Cohen aso claims Hoover “was not a drag queen — not a word of truth that he dressed in women’s clothes.” Meanwhile, he told me “the movie was 25 years ahead of its time, having named the FBI’s Mark Felt as ‘Deep Throat’.” He also claims Hoover was the victim of comedians’ cartoon characterizations. He filmed accurately with Broderick Crawford as Hoover (he died in 1972) — in Hoover’s office and home — telling how Hoover wanted to bring down Nixon and Agnew. Cohen says, “All the studios were afraid of trouble with the FBI, but Sam Arkoff took the million-dollar film on his AIP. I think the FBI liked it — they let me shoot everywhere and never asked to see a script. It did better overseas than in the U.S.”

Cohen hopes it will now get a DVD version — he still owns a piece of it. He’s busy with production of a remake of “It’s Alive” as well as a ghost film, “Tremble” and “Messages Deleted.” He cojuld never repeat the calibre of casting he had on “Private Files of J.Edgar Hoover.” It included Crawford, Dan Dailey, Jose Ferrer, Rip Torn, Michael Parks, Raymond St. Jacques, Ronee Blakley, Celeste Holm, Howard da Silva, June Havoc, John Marley Andrew Duggan, Lloyd Nolan — and real politicians. 

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