136 episodes

The Rialto Report podcast is dedicated to the golden age of adult film in New York. It features interviews, profiles and features of the actors, directors, distributors, cinema owners, crew members and anyone else who was a part of making it happen… from the great and the good, to the notorious and the obscure, you'll find them all covered here.

The Rialto Report Ashley West

    • TV & Film
    • 4.8 • 320 Ratings

The Rialto Report podcast is dedicated to the golden age of adult film in New York. It features interviews, profiles and features of the actors, directors, distributors, cinema owners, crew members and anyone else who was a part of making it happen… from the great and the good, to the notorious and the obscure, you'll find them all covered here.

    F.M. Bradley: Hiding in Plain Sight - Podcast 113

    F.M. Bradley: Hiding in Plain Sight - Podcast 113

    Let’s admit something: as much as the so-called golden age of adult film was a glamorous era, where sex movies competed with Hollywood blockbusters in theaters across the country, it wasn’t the most racially diverse workplace for a male performer.

    There was Johnnie Keyes, the African American star of Behind the Green Door in the early 1970s. There was Billy Dee, an accomplished mixed-race actor, who became a well-known face in the late 1970s.

    And then… that’s about it. Which is striking for a new industry that employed hundreds of people and made millions of dollars.

    In the 1980s, this trend continued. Which made someone like Field Marshall Bradley stand out.

    The Field Marshall, who went by the name F.M., was a towering presence. He looked like a black superman. A striking figure of strength. He displayed a muscular, cut body that always seemed shiny. He was the number one star of color, when that should have meant a lot more.

    Over the years, I’d heard stories about F.M. Bradley. He was the eternal bad boy, living out a wild life. He’d occasionally turned up at conventions saying he was about to make a comeback in the business. He didn’t seem to have a permanent address, and no one had his contact details. Many doubted he was still alive.

    And then I heard he’d been spotted – in a convalescent home in Vegas. Struggling with ill-health. He wasn’t even well enough do an interview. But we kept talking over several years, and eventually recorded an interview. 

    Now this particular convalescent home wasn’t well-equipped for interviews with stars of the X-rated film industry, and so our conversation took place with the TV in the background, and people coming and going. We’d get interrupted constantly – such as when it was time to for F.M. to give his dinner order.

    I wanted to know what it had been like to be one of the few male performers of color in the 1980s. Where had he come from, and what was he doing now? And why was this one-time Superman now in a home?

    This is April Hall – and this is The Rialto Report. It’s not every day I get to interview a Field Marshall.

    The episode running time is 88 minutes.

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    F.M Bradley

    High school graduation

     



     



     



     



     



     



     



     



     



     



     



     

    • 1 hr 27 min
    Wakefield Poole: Theater, Dance and Porn - Podcast 14 (reprise)

    Wakefield Poole: Theater, Dance and Porn - Podcast 14 (reprise)

    The film director, Wakefield Poole, passed away this week. He was 85.

    I remember a girlfriend once catching me sat behind a pile of men’s magazines. Playboy, Mandate, Cheri magazine…

    I was engrossed in them, oblivious to her or anything else taking place around me.

    After looking at me for a while, she commented: “It’s really true. You do read sex magazines for the articles.”

    That’s also true for my interest in a film like Wakefield Poole’s Boys in the Sand.

    On the one hand, the film was a pioneering American gay pornographic film. It was the first gay adult film to include credits and to be reviewed by the movie industry journal Variety. Everyone remembers Deep Throat as being the pioneering sex film, but Boys in the Sand premiered at the 55th Street Playhouse in Manhattan over six months before. And it was an immediate critical and commercial success. Long lines of people queued to see it every night.

    My interest in the film went beyond just the sex. I was fascinated by how it was produced on a budget of just $8,000. I was fascinated with Casey Donovan, the film’s blond Adonis who emerges from the water in the first scene. I was fascinated with Fire Island, a gay Shangri-La where it’s always summer. I was fascinated with the Frank house in which many of the scenes were filmed.

    Sidenote: A few years ago, I noticed the house was on the market for a million and a half. I called the agent and said I was interested in buying. I was semi-serious. I arranged a viewing. It is small but spectacular.

    The ‘Frank House’ was designed by the architect Andrew Geller in Fire Island Pines, NY, in 1958. It was designed after Rudy Frank, an ice cream entrepreneur, and his family had gone on vacation to Mexico and visited the Mayan ruins at Uxmal. They wanted a house inspired by the temples and the great stepped pyramids. The architect, Andrew Geller came up with something thoroughly modern but with ancient undertones in its inward-sloping walls.

    The house hadn’t changed in the five decades since the film was shot there. It was uncanny to look around and expect Casey Donovan to walk up to you at any moment.

    Most of all though, I was fascinated by the film’s director, Wakefield Poole. Wakefield came to adult films after a success career as a dancer, choreographer, and theatrical director. I was keen to talk to him.

    This podcast interview I did with him was one of the first we ever did.

    The episode running time is 100 minutes.

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    Wakefield Poole

    On this episode of The Rialto Report, Wakefield Poole talks with remarkable candor about his life as a independent filmmaker and pioneer of gay rights, and Jim Tushinski talks about his new documentary, I Always Said Yes: The Many Lives of Wakefield Poole. It’s a story of great highs, tragic lows, dance, films, drugs, acclaim, censorship, Fire Island, bath houses, AIDS, the mob, and much more.

    Wakefield Poole had quite a life.

    As a dancer he was a child prodigy, and in the late 1950s, he joined the a title="Ballet Russe" href="http://en.wikipedia.

    • 1 hr 39 min
    The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp, Part 4: Whatever Happened to Helen Wood?

    The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp, Part 4: Whatever Happened to Helen Wood?

    In the first part of the mini-series ‘The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp’, I went in search for the enigmatic Deep Throat actor with the mysterious past, who seemed to disappear from the face of the earth back in 1972. I spoke to Gerry Damiano and Harry Reems who worked with Dolly on ‘Deep Throat’, to actors who appeared in other films with her like Fred Lincoln and Jamie Gillis, even one of the first porn agents, Tallie Cochrane.

    In the second part, I found that Dolly had had a long and successful career on stage and in movies – as Helen Wood – long before she entered the adult film industry.



    In the third part, I went in search of Dolly Sharp, to find out why she had disappeared from New York shortly after she appeared in ‘Deep Throat.’

    In this final episode, I look for Helen Wood.

    This podcast is 43 minutes long.

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    Helen Wood takes New York

     

    Helen in ‘Give A Girl A Break’

     

    Helen Wood in the 1990s

     

    Helen in the 1990s

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    • 42 min
    The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp, Part 3: Whatever Happened to Dolly Sharp? - Podcast 111

    The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp, Part 3: Whatever Happened to Dolly Sharp? - Podcast 111

    In the first part of ‘The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp’, I went in search for the enigmatic Deep Throat actor with the mysterious past, who seemed to disappear from the face of the earth back in 1972.

    I spoke to Gerry Damiano and Harry Reems who worked with Dolly on ‘Deep Throat’, to actors who appeared in other films with her like Fred Lincoln and Jamie Gillis, even one of the first porn agents, Tallie Cochrane.

    In the second part, I found that Dolly had had a long and successful career on stage and in movies long before she entered the adult film industry.



    This is the third part of our mini-series, The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp – Part 3: Whatever Happened to Dolly Sharp?

    This podcast is 30 minutes long.

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    Helen with Kurt Karzner, in Give a Girl a Break (1953)

     

    Helen Wood, in the musical ‘Seventeen’

     

    Helen Wood, in the musical ‘Seventeen’

     

    Helen, in Give a Girl a Break (1953)

     

    Helen at the Frontier in Las Vegas (late 1950s)

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    • 30 min
    The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp - Part 2

    The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp - Part 2

    In the first part of ‘The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp’, I went in search for the enigmatic Deep Throat actor with the mysterious past, who seemed to disappear from the face of the earth back in 1972.

    I spoke to Gerry Damiano and Harry Reems who worked with Dolly on ‘Deep Throat’, to actors who appeared in other films with her like Fred Lincoln and Jamie Gillis, even one of the first porn agents, Tallie Cochrane.

    And what I found about her was surprising and remarkable. It turned out that Dolly had had a long and successful career on stage and in movies long before she entered the adult film industry.



    This is the second part of our mini-series, The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp – Part 2: Who Is Helen Wood?

    This podcast is 31 minutes long.

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    Helen with Kurt Karzner, in Give a Girl a Break (1953)

     

    Helen Wood, in the musical ‘Seventeen’

     

    Helen Wood, in the musical ‘Seventeen’

     

    Helen, in Give a Girl a Break (1953)

     

    Helen at the Frontier in Las Vegas (late 1950s)

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    • 30 min
    The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp, Part 1: Who Is Dolly Sharp?

    The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp, Part 1: Who Is Dolly Sharp?

    Much has been written about the film Deep Throat since it premiered in New York in June 1972.

    You may even know the story by now… how the film was the biggest hit of the ‘porno chic’ phenomenon, how it turned actors like Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems into overnight stars, and how it all broke box office records.

    What’s also true is that the lives of those involved were never the same.

    – Linda Lovelace became America’s first porn star celebrity before turning into porn’s first victim, adopted by feminism as proof of porn’s damaging effect on women.

    – Harry Reems’ dreams of a mainstream acting career died overnight, and to make matters worse he was then put on trial in Memphis with assorted mobsters, accused of conspiracy to transport obscene material across state lines.

    – Gerry Damiano, the film’s director spent the rest of his career making pornography while looking over his shoulder fearing the return of the connected men that had threatened his life.

    The whole film and its cultural impact has been explored, argued and scrutinized. Surely there’s nothing left to see here, no stone unturned, right?

    Actually, yes there is.

    In fact, I think that the most interesting ‘Deep Throat’ story is a different one. Forget Lovelace and Reems, the trials and the mob, and the cultural analysis paralysis by anemic academics.

    I wanted to know about the mysterious actress Dolly Sharp who portrayed Linda’s friend ‘Helen’ in the film. She was an older woman, who looked like she’d stepped off the set of a sitcom like ‘I Love Lucy’. There was something unusual about her. She just didn’t seem to fit in. Who was she? Where did she come from?

    I knew that she’d made a handful of other adult films in a short period of time in the early 1970s, but she never gave an interview, and I found no biographical information about her. Almost everyone else from Deep Throat had been tracked down over the years, but Dolly… she just disappeared.

    For ten years, I searched for answers about Dolly Sharp and her life. I spoke to anyone who knew her. From Gerry Damiano and Harry Reems who worked with Dolly on Deep Throat, to actors who appeared in other films with her like Fred Lincoln and Jamie Gillis, even one of the first porn agents, Tallie Cochrane.

    And what I eventually found about her was surprising and remarkable. It’s another weird and wonderful story from the world of 1970s adult film.

    This is the first part of our new mini-series, The Secret Life of Dolly Sharp – Part 1: Who Is Dolly Sharp?

    This podcast is 34 minutes long.

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    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
320 Ratings

320 Ratings

Jarshush ,

Easily one of the best writtten, researched , and presented pods!

I stumbled across this and came very close to not listening. The researchers must have been very good to this much in-depth historical information. These are compelling stories that just happen to be about the adult entertainment business told by a master narrator. I don’t know what the budget for music royalties is but the background music is incredible and adds to each story.

BTW, I’m a 73 year old woman who was a public school administrator who loves a good story well told. Please continue .

Dudu7770 ,

One of the most underrated podcasts

I listen to a lot of podcasts, and I’m always puzzled as to why the Rialto report isn’t widely known. It’s easily one of the best podcasts out there. Just when you think can they find more interesting stories, they hit you with something even better (like the Dolly Sharp series, WOW). Keep up the amazing work!!

gagamadonnarules ,

Waiting for Dolly Sharp part 3

This is most fascinating episode yet

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