Dirk Diggler’s “Livin’ Thing!” 70’s Sex! 80’s Excess! The Oral History Of “Boogie Nights”!

Boogie Nights movie

It’s the story of a young man who dreams of making it big – and he does – in adult films! Time to celebrate the brilliance of Dirk Diggler!

brilliant movies

One of the greatest films ever made is now being remembered with a great “oral history!” Here is Actor Thomas Jane talking about working with legendary Actor Burt Reynolds:

Boogie Nights Burt Reynolds

Thomas Jane: “In between setups, all the actors would sit on the floor, all around Burt Reynolds in a big puffy chair. Luis Guzmán and the Roller Girl girl and all of us, ya know, we’d all be there. We’d all sit down and Burt would tell stories about acting in the ’50s and New York City and Marlon Brando and James Dean.”


Boogie Nights!

Paul Thomas Anderson directed this epic look at the rise of a adult film superstar, and his journey through the changing world of porn. Anderson uses the adult film industry to tell a much larger story of the changing world of art and commerce, innocence and corruption.

Mark Wahlberg Boogie Nights

Inspired by the tragic story of John C. Holmes – aka “Johnny Wadd”, Mark Wahlberg does an amazing job as Eddie Adams, who is “discovered” by an adult movie producer – due to his “unique” talent – and overnight becomes porn superstar Dirk Diggler!

boogie nights cast

“Livin’ Thing: An Oral History of ‘Boogie Nights’”

I found an incredible oral history of the film on the great website “Grantland” – and you can read the entire history here:


Paul Thomas Anderson Boogie Nights

This terrific oral history includes gems like this from Writer/Director Paul Thomas Anderson:

I was so influenced by Spinal Tap that it was in my brain, so it was like, “Let’s play it as a documentary.” I’d seen this piece on A Current Affair on [adult film star] Shauna Grant, which was the clichéd-but-true story of a girl from Iowa who comes to Hollywood on the bus, looking for her dreams.”

Dirk Diggler graphic

Creating “Dirk Diggler”!

The Director also reveals how he came up with the film’s most iconic character name:

“I remember sitting on my bed, I was 17 years old, I was watching TV, and I swear to God, it just was like — bang! Dirk Diggler. Hey, that’s a good porno name, and I wrote it on a little index card. And I still have the index card.”

Mark Wahlberg has never been better as the young man who becomes porn’s biggest star, Dirk Diggler. The terrific cast also includes John C. Reilly, Burt Reynolds, and Heather Graham, who is terrific as Roller Girl…


Also in the cast are Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Julianne Moore, who plays porn star Amber Waves…here she meets Wahlberg AKA Dirk Diggler, and sees what all the fuss is about…

Burt Reynolds Boogie Nights

Amber Waves: Let me just check on something.
[takes off Dirk’s pants]
Amber Waves: That is a giant cock.

full frontal nudity

The entire cast is phenomenal in the film, with Burt Reynolds doing an amazing job in what was called the comeback role of a lifetime…

This is a fascinating look at ht rise of adult films in the 70’s, and how it all turns into ’80’s excess. You see Dirk Diggler as he creates another character, “Brock Landers”, an ass-kicking Detective who also loves the ladies!

Brock Landers

These parodies of 70’s porn films were hilariously accurate:

[in a scene from “Brock Landers: Angels Live In My Town”]
Dirk: [as Brock] You still hungry?
Jessie St. Vincent: Starving.
[unzipping his pants]
Dirk: [as Brock] Then feast on that.


After achieving porn super stardom, Dirk Diggler and his sidekick Reed Rothchild decide to become rock stars. After singing some of the worst songs ever put on film – “You Got The Touch”, they return to the studio to find out that the record producer won’t release the master tapes…

boogie nights song yougotthetouch

Dirk: Look, man, all we need is the tapes, all right?
Record Producer: No, you don’t get the tapes until you’ve paid.
Dirk: In our situation, that doesn’t make any fucking sense.
Reed Rothchild: Look, we can not pay for the tapes, unless we take the tapes to the record company, and get paid.
Dirk: Hello? Exactly.
Record Producer: That’s not an MP, that’s a YP, your problem. Come up with the money, or forget it.
Reed Rothchild: Okay, now you’re talking above my head. I don’t know all of this industry jargon, YP, MP. All I know is that I can’t get a record contract, we cannot get a record contract unless we take those tapes to the record company. And granted, the tapes themselves are a uh um oh, you own them, all right, but the magic that is on those tapes. That fucking heart and soul that we put onto those tapes, that is ours and you don’t own that. Now I need to take that magic and get it over the record company. And they’re waiting for us, we were supposed to be there a half hour ago. We look like assholes, man.
Dirk: Let me explain to him in simple arithmetic. One, two three! Because you don’t fuckin’ get it, Burt! You give us the tapes. We get the record contract. We come back and give you your fuckin’ money. Have you heard the tapes? Have you even heard them? We’re guaranteed a record deal. Our stuff is that good!
Record Producer: Now I get it. Now I understand. You want it to happen… but it’s not going to happen. Because it’s a Catch-22.
Dirk: What the fuck does that mean? What is a Catch-22, Burt?
Record Producer: Catch-22, gentleman. Think about it.
Dirk: You know what I’m thinking about, man? I’m thinking about kicking some fuckin’ ass!

Mark Wahlberg penis

Dirk Diggler’s “Living Thing!”

Of course, the movie’s most notorious “reveal” is at the end, when Dirk Diggler reveals what makes him a star…and it is one of the most perfectly realized endings of any film…in a movie full of great moments…

crazy boogie nights films

There is so much that is memorable about this film – great character Actors like Alfred Molina show up for small roles that burn through the screen –

I can watch this movie any day of the week…a masterpiece. And this “oral history” is full of great stories about the making of the film….and finally, it may be one Actor’s greatest performance ever. RIP Phillip Seymour Hoffman…

RIP Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Make sure to read the entire “oral history” of this great movie here!


And let’s not forget Burt Reynolds’ other claim to fame…

burt reynold cosmopolitan

Oh, Burt!

Don’t forget that, aside from a great role in “Boogie Nights”, Burt Reynolds was one of the biggest stars in the world in the 70’s…read all about his amazing career highlights, including posing nude in “Playgirl” magazine…


And kudos once again to everyone involved in the masterpiece that is “Boogie Nights!”

Boogie Nights

Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Action Films, Awards, Books / Media, Cult Movies, Exploitation films, Golden Globes, Great Films, Grindhouse, Hollywood, Independent Cinema, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Movies, Movies About Movies, Music, Obscure Movies, Obscure Music, Sexploitation Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized

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5 replies

  1. PT Anderson’s dad was a Cleveland late night host named Ghoulardi who showed horrible thrillers on Friday nights. He wore an old fright wig, a goatee, sunglasses with one eye and a lab coat. He called the audience “Group”… and threw firecrackers on set… he called them “boom booms.” No doubt inspiration for the Molina scene. Anderson moved out to LA with Tim Conway. Anderson became the iconic voice of 70s and 80s ABC promos… “On… The Love Boat.” Just fascinating stuff. Cant wait to see Anderson’s newest Inherent Vice.



  1. Suck Down Some “White Lightning!” “Hicksploitation!” Burt Reynolds’ “Gator!” Good ‘Ol Boy Action Classics! | johnrieber
  2. Incredible Nightclub Movie Mashup “Hells Club”! Star Wars! Boogie Nights! Scarface! | johnrieber
  3. My Movie Alphabet! An A-Z Of My Favorite – And Most Offbeat Films! – johnrieber

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