Photo courtesy of James Vincent

Eddie “Dolls” DeCurtis photo courtesy of James Vincent

“Dolls” had his charm, like a dirty sox in a bowl of fresh fruit punch. Speaking emphatic imperatives, he dominated any conversation – with him there was not much room for negotiation – he talked; you listened. Christened Ettorie DeCurtis, Dolls went by as many names as the different rackets he ran, and they were plenty: porno, extortion, insurance fraud, even selling illegal fireworks in Little Italy. Most people knew him as Eddie “Dolls” or Eddie “Dee”, take your pick; both worked. After serving jail time for extortion of gay bars in the late Sixties, Dolls settled into the cushy chair in front of Eddy Mishkin‘s desk. He took control of Mishkin’s operation at Wholesale Books, the main hub of porn distribution in NYC during the Seventies.

My first face to face with Dolls was preceded with a standard warning: “Don’t ever hit a guy like me.” The beauty of brevity, all is understood. I got to know Dolls a bit through my association while doing “loops” for him, and for Wholesale Books. He produced some films and stole the rest. My work for him was to subsidize his income when it wasn’t football season; his main money maker was taking bets. Doll’s had a big overhead with two wives and a girlfriend on Staten Island. “Hey! I give ’em all  birthday presents, ain’t dat big-o-me?”

As owners of the Stone Wall Inn, Dolls and his brother, Guido, inadvertently helped spark the gay revolution of 1969.

The Stone Wall Riots

             The Stone Wall Riots

The now famous Stone Wall riots of 1969 were not only about the NYPD blue against gays, primarily it was in response to a request from Interpol for the police to find out where the stolen securities showing up in Europe were coming from in NYC. Blackmail was not beneath Dolls and he had the goods on Wall-street patrons caught in compromising acts in the Stonewall’s back-room. Dolls had the low-down on a lot of high-ups. You’ve heard of the famous photo of J. Edgar Hover in drag? Guess who held the negative?



final-wham-bam-cover-19A dangerous journey during  the heady years of the 1970’s, when porn was profitable, illegal and a loadstone for gangsters and profiteers attracted by easy cash from 8 mm smut loops, this book documents first hand reports of that era.

Possibly one of the most influential sociological changes since the industrial revolution, the advent of   hardcore sex films in public places, stripped away much of the quasi-moral vestiges of the ninetieth century Victorian era. It was a time when mores, morals and modesty changed inexorably. Porn was not the only sociological shift; it was happening in the arts, politics and society in general. Whether pornography was a catlist or a by-product of this change is difficult to cleave, but for certain it played a big part in challenges for first amendment rights.    

Literally at fox hole, basement level, I witness the paradigm shift from titillation to penetration in motion pictures. I paralleled the legal adjustments, while making films, and watched as the public demanded the ability to watch what they wanted. It was an important slice of American culture witnessing  implications of the past and the impact to the future. 

Available @:

and also: http://


~ by Larry Revene on January 2, 2013.

One Response to “DON’T TOY WITH DOLLS!”

  1. This is not a picture of my dad


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