Monday, April 11, 2011

The Devil Made Me Do It by Georgina Spelvin

Georgina Spelvin. The Devil Made Me Do It. Los Angeles, Ca.: Little Red Hen Books, 2006.

The author was a star in pornographic movies. She write “Yeah, the first time was pretty awful. What was the guy’s name?” She had previously been acting and editing film when she responded to an ad for film editing at a pornography film production. She was 35 years old and had trouble paying her rent. She impressed them with her knowledge of the production end of film, such as sound, loading film, boom handling, cable, wardrobe, film location scouting, etc. She was a member of SAG, AFTRA, and Equity. The film company if she could play some of their older roles, such as a madam or high priestess, in their films. She agreed.

Prior, she had been in a Broadway play for six months in a leading role in “The Pajama Game”. She was having an affair with the stage manager who hired her. Bob Fosse was sympathetic to her because the show did not last longer. Fosse helped Spelvin obtain work as Shirley MacLaine’s dancing double in the movie “Sweet Charity.” Splevin married the stage manager and was hired to appear in and to choreograph a touring company of “The Pajama Game” that appeared in South Africa. The marriage didn’t work and they divorced, She then worked in summer stock theater.

Splevin realized her career had stalled. She learned about the porn film industry. They would make arrangements, such as feeding 17 people over three days with a $500 food and wardrobe budget (including obtaining sex devices for $200).

Splevin could act, which helped her in porn for being flat chested. She also cooked for the cast and crew, which earned her an extra $25 a day. Splevin notes it was helpful that she had a director shoe could trust.

Splevin was stunned when she was invited to a premiere of a porn movie she did, “The Devil in Miss Jones”, including TV and press interviews. She was given $500 for wardrobe for the premiere. Judith Crist of the New York Herald Tribune reviewed it, was very critical, but wrote that Splevin “touches the emotions”. The review is considered the start of the “Porn Chic” cinema. Newsweek magazine ran an article on the movie.

Splevin observed many people in the porn film industry also worked in the non-porn film industry. Working in the porn industry, though, was “the kiss of death” in getting work in the non-porn entertainment industry. She did find work directing theater in Maine.

The FBI considered pornography crossing state lines as against Federal law. They issued a nationwide fugitive arrest warrant for her. They offered her immunity for her testimony.

Splevin moved to California and film some soft porn movies. She won an AFA Award for Best Supporting Actress. She also worked as a stripper in conjunction with a showing of “The Devil in Miss Jones”. She even had two nuns asked for an autograph, telling her they agreed with the message in the movie that God would not forgive suicide.

Splevin at first did not wish to return to pornography when offered a cameo in the remake of “The Devil in Miss Jones”. The amount of money offered changed her mind.

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