The Devil’s in the Details: “The Devil in Miss Jones” (1973)


The solemnity of the opening suggests a dramatic shift toward genuine human drama in “adult” cinema, yet the incompatibility of mainstream movies and explicit sex remains an intractable evolutionary path in Gerard Damiano’s “The Devil in Miss Jones”.

    After the release of “Deep Throat” there were a number of graphic, sexual films that met with both unexpected public enthusiam and excited media attention, that would form the basis of the temporarily fashionable trend known as “porno chic”. This designation, by New York Times writer Ralph Blumenthal (predating the sadly optimistic labeling of this period as “The Golden Age of Porn” as if the addition of coordinated decor and fashionable wardrobe- soon shed -were enough to elevate a sow’s ear into a silk purse), was in acknowledgement of the new permissiveness of the American cinema which within a period of less than a decade went from the depiction of married couples in separate beds to the out-of-the-peep-show-booths-and-on-to-the-widescreen gynecological “tunnel shots”, culminating in a number of films of commercial interest to “average” audiences and critical consideration by mainstream media watchdogs.

     With this tremendous leap (not necessarily forward) in the visual insertion of the explicit sexual act in motion picture features, it was presumptively credited that the progression toward a form of commercially “legitimate” sexually explicit film was underway- a filmic strain separated from the traditional stag reels of the “raincoat” crowd -one that evolved up the “sexploitation” ladder through trends in nudies, roughies and Euro-erotica to the mainstream, though there was insufficient indication that mainstream American film, in any way shape or form, had  developed the capacity to accommodate such a proverbial meeting of the minds, nor had the American cinema reached maturity in its newly found sexual freedoms in an artistically contextual sense: using human sexuality as an elevating component in the service of adult stories rather than as anything more than for decorative, snickering nudity.

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About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in 1970's cinema, cinema, Culture, Film Reviews, Films, grindhouse, movie reviews, Movies, Porno Chic, Reviews, sex, Sex in Cinema, women and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Devil’s in the Details: “The Devil in Miss Jones” (1973)

  1. Teepee12 says:

    Wow. Memories. In the early 1970s, our group of friends used to have an annual huge Halloween house party in a friend’s parent’s summer house in the Berkshires every year. It was before DVDs or even videotape, so we used to rent a projector, screen and a movie … some kind of horror movie … to watch. The year the guys rented “The Devil in Miss Jones” because they thought it was a new horror movie had absolutely hilarious results. Our Halloween parties were always a big event … but that year was definitely different. And memorable. Actually, it was the best party we ever had.

  2. beetleypete says:

    Thanks for the like of my post Your blog is huge, and very well constructed. It has so much going on, I don’t know where to look first! Great site, puts my efforts to shame. Regards from England. Pete.

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