Wednesday, December 10, 2014

That time someone made a porno at Collinwood


A funny thing happened at Carey Mansion in 1975: A film crew managed to secure the former DARK SHADOWS location to make a porno. Uglies were bumped. Horizontal mambos were danced. And the residents of the staid Rhode Island community weren't their usual cheery selves, thanks to interloper Gerard Damiano.

Damiano had the world by the tail (sorry) in the years following his cross-cultural success with DEEP THROAT and THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES. He had about as much power as anyone in the adult film-making industry and decided to try his hand at making a "legitimate" adult film, originally titled THE ROOM.

Yes. THE ROOM. That title is surely damned.

A promotional photo of DARK SHADOWS cast members Alexandra Moltke and Louis Edmonds outside the mansion.


By the time audiences saw the film, it had been retitled THE STORY OF JOANNA. Here's a boiler plate summary of the film, courtesy of the smut-loving The New York Times:
"Jason is a possessive woman-hater who charms women in order to gain control over them and then abuses them. Joanna becomes interested in Jason and eventually decides to get involved with him, submitting herself to his cruelty and degrading requests."
Seaview's owner quickly issued a few requests of his own and ordered the film crew out, insisting he'd been deceived. I'm not sure if the film had been completed at this point, but Seaview Terrace reportedly plays a prominent role in the final film.

Carey Mansion meets Scooby Doo.
It's worth pointing out that Carey Mansion served as the exterior for Collinwood for the original 1966-1970 DARK SHADOWS series ... which also inspired the opening credits to SCOOBY DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? The mansion can be seen in the cartoon's original opening credits.

Below are a few news articles following the tumultuous film shoot of THE STORY OF JOANNA.



Pornographic movie is filmed at mansion here

From the front page of the Newport Mercury And Weekly News,  March 31, 1975

The director of "Deep Throat" is filming his third hardcore pornographic movie here at Seaview Terrace on Ruggles Avenue. The 62-room French Renaissance-style mansion, formerly the home of the Newport School for Girls and the Burnham-by-the-Sea summer school, was purchased last fall by Martin T. Carey, brother of New York Gov. Hugh Carey. At a Zoning Board hearing in September, Carey said the seven-acre estate would be used as a seminar and conference center for business executives. Carey could not be reached today at his New York home or office for comment on the movie. Gerard Damiano's Strawberry Hills Production Co. is making the film, entitled "The Room," based on his own original screenplay.

Damiano's second film after "Deep Throat" was "The Devil in Miss Jones." The script for "The Room" contains several explicit sex scenes. In one, the main character Jason rips off a woman's clothes and has intercourse with her on a table. The script's production notes give precise instructions on sexual technique and also suggest that the table might have a glass top

("It would be) quite interesting if some of the shots could be taken from under the table, shooting through the glass," it reads. Film production started in the mansion Wednesday and is scheduled to continue through this weekend. At least one local shop-keeper was told by a crew member that the film is a "horror movie." The exterior ot Seaview Terrace was used once in the horror soap opera "Dark Shadows" produced by ABC television. The mansion also formed a backdrop for Alistair Cook in the Newport segment of his television series "America." No filming has been seen outside the mansion, which is full of camera equipment and lights on the first floor.
The novelization (?!) of THE STORY
OF JOANNA, by Justin Collin.

On Friday night spotlights were set up outside the stained glass windows of the entrance way for interior shooting. About 10 days ago, the caretakers at Seaview Terrace were told they had to leave the mansion within three days because it had been rented to a movie company. A workman for Carey reportedly told them he had heard it was to be a pornographic movie and that he was quitting because of it. The crew arrived Wednesday.

Police Chief Jeremiah D. Sullivan said he was not told about the filmmaking, which he said requires no permits from the city. Carey's local attorney, Patrick Hayes, said he knew nothing about it. No crew members were at the house this morning.

Carey is the sixth owner of the estate, finished in 1926 at an estimated cost of $3 million. It was built by Edson Bradley, owner of a liquor company in Kentucky. He filled the Chateau-style mansion with many European art treasures, some of which figure in the film. Carey bought the includes a 16-room stone gatehouse, three tennis courts, and an Olympic-size swimming pool, for in October.

He is president of Carey Resources Inc., a marketer of petroleum products. He is also president or an executive of several family-held corporations in petrochemicals, shipping and general transportation.

His brother Hugh was elected New York governor last November. His other brother, Edward, is president of New England Petroleum Co., a major supplier of fuel oil to the New York metropolitan area with annual sales in the neighborhood of million. He is nicknamed "the oil baron" of New York City, according to the New York Times.

The executive center that the Zoning Board approved in September was supposed to be operating by Christmas. At the hearing, Carey said the seminars at the center would be given by officers-of major universities, who would lecture on their special fields to between 20 and 40 corporate executives. No mention was made of renting the estate.

Carey lives in an 1840 mansion in Lloyd Harbor, Long Island, as well as an East Side townhouse in New York City.




Carey's Brother Kicks Porno-Film Crew Out

Watertown Daily Times, April 2, 1975

Martin T. Carey, brother of New York Gov. Hugh Carey says he-was "highly indignant" when he learned that a 62-room mansion he owns here has been used as the setting for a new skinflick by the director of ,"Deep Throat."

In a statement released through his office Tuesday, Carey said unnamed "intermediaries" had "totally misrepresented" the planned use "of the French Renassiance style mansion. Carey'says he has give orders that the filmmakers be ordered out-of the-mansion.

Gerard Damiano, director of "Deep Throat" and "The Devil in Miss Jones," was "filming his newest creation in Seaview Terrace, a spacious, castle-like mansion on Ruggles Avenue, one of the many fabled mansions in this resort by the sea.

A man outside the French Renaissance style mansion, who said he was a -member, of the film crew, told reporters Tuesday filming was discontinued because of publicity. However, cars with New York license plates and rental vans were still outside the mansion in the  afternoon.

The man also insisted the film was not pornographic and was suitable for a television audience.

UPDATED: A reader sent me some screen captures from THE STORY OF JOANNA. Here are a few (SFW) highlights from the film, which show off some of the location shooting.

4 comments:

Cousin Barnabas said...

I've had a VHS copy of this for many years, but it can be seen online for free here.
http://xhamster.com/movies/996713/the_story_of_joanna_vintage_movie_f70.html

As I recall, I think the exterior of Seaview can been seen prominantly about 25 minutes into the film.

Cousin Barnabas said...

Jamie Gillis striding about the property in his frock coat & cape appears to have been an homage of Barnabas. The Victorian costumes (which they did wear most of the time) was very Dark Shadowsy. However, I would take issue with the comments that very little of it was filmed at Seaview. Aside from the first 10 minutes or so, set in a New York restaurant circa 1920, all the locations looked like Carey Mansion.
The early scene with Gillis and ballerina Terri Hall seen outside in a hedge maze does not look like the Seaview property. But the foyer, staircase, etc. look like all the photos I've seen inside Seaview. There's a nude ballet inside the parquet-floored music room (where Vicki and David and Roger were photographed at the piano in 1966). Also the sunroom where the butler gives Gillis a blowjob looks to me like the sunroom at the far end of the mansion.

Cousin Barnabas said...

I saw the film last year, but I'm not familiar with the mansion enough to have recognized any of the interiors.

Cousin Barnabas said...

Never before heard of some of this, thanks

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