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Harry 👨 Reems

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When Harry met Kitten, they did just one film together and althoughh they do not have a (sex) scene together in “Ten Little Maidens” (1985), it showcases just why Kitten Natividad and Harry Reems were both such incredible on-screen talents, whether fully clothed or naked. This is why Cultpix devoted its only other two-week retrospective in 2022 to the original male adult super star Harry Reems.

Born Herbert Streicher into a Jewish Bronx family in 1947, Harry Reems pursued stage acting in New York but did stag loops to help pay for the rent. The pimply kid with the big nose had come out of the Marine Corps with a hard body, plus he could act.

“Bucky Beaver's Stags, Loops and Peeps, vol. 31” (1970) is as raw as stag loops get, with its authentic and sweaty humping. You almost expect someone off-camera to throw the performers (hard to call them actors) a towel at the end of it. Plus it is a bit shocking to see Harry without his trademark ‘tash. This is also why we cannot be sure that it is Harry who appears in “Bucky Beaver’s Stags, Loops and Peeps, vol. 141” (1970).

In “Ape Over Love” (1970) Harry goes full gorilla (as in fake suit).Reems and fellow character porn star Mary Stuart are at their most charming and comedic best here. Meanwhile “Mondo Porno” (1971) foreshadows obscenity troubles to come for Harry, though the "judge for yourself" of the erotic "case studies" that are presented. The first one is a mating ritual with Harry Reems. There is even a male gay case study, though not with Harry, who always played it straight even when joking.

Who do you think scored the most poontang between them?

Who do you think scored the most poontang between them?

“Deep Throat” (1972) gave Harry fame and notoriety as he became the only US actor to ever be charged for appearing in a film. It was also this film that gave him his stage name ‘Harry Reems’, which he stuck with. The case(s) dragged on until 1977 and contributed to his alcoholism. He was forever hoping for a mainstream career, but those hopes kept being dashed. Reems was cast as Coach Calhoun in the film musical adaptation of “Grease” (1978). But fearing his notoriety would harm the film box office prospects, particularly in Southern US states, Paramount Pictures replaced him with Sid Caesar. He starred non-nude in the horror film “Demented” (1980), which 20th Century Fox passed on handling theatrical distribution for due to Harry’s lead role.

Late in life the love of a good woman saved Harry as he became a 'church gypsy': "I am not religious. I'm spiritual, 100 percent," he said in interviews, for anyone who thinks that finding Jesus turned him against porn and his former career. It didn’t. He won belated recognition in the documentary "Inside Deep Throat" (2005). While he converted to Christianity he did keep his stage name and was happy to discuss his porn past right up until his death in 2013. He would have turned 75 this year.

“A Touch of Genie” (1974) is what you'd get if Woody Allen had made porn in the 70s, though "Deep Jaws" (1976) is also genuinely sexy and funny - both beautifully restored by Vinegar Syndrome. “The Love Witch” (1970) sees Harry do an 'Alex Guinness' and playing multiple parts - with on-screen Batman-style f/x! “Sherlick Holmes” (1975) sees him playing the great detective, in “More” (1975) he is Detective Dick (!) Copper, while “Dark Dreams” (1975) is a hallucinogenic sex and horror trip.

Harry was shooting films in Sweden and Germany while his legal appeal was under way in the 1970s: “Justine & Juliette” (1975) and “Bel Ami” (1976) are literary adaptations with a veneer of cultural respectability, but primarily gorgeously shot XXX features. Probably the strangest Harry film of all is the non-nude “SS Operation Wolfcub” (1983) where he's a mercenary infiltrating a neo-Nazi training camp in Swedish forests.

Harry made a return in the 1980s. “Trashy Lady” (1985) is Harry doing a reverse My Fair Lady on too-classy mob moll Ginger Lynn, while in “China and Silk” (1984) Harry plays a cop.

For anyone wishing to learn more about Harry we recommend the New York Magazine article 'The Afterlife of a Porn Star' by Dave Itzkoff, as well as the excellent podcasts by the Rialto Report herehere and here. Of course we also have a Harry Reems Spotify playlist for your enjoyment.

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