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X-Rated Ambition: The Traci Lords Story (2003)

A documentary about Traci Lords, one of the most popular American porn stars of the 1980s, who almost brought down the industry when it was discovered that she had been under 18 years old.


Simon Kerslake


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The second music video was directed by Stéphane Sednaoui. It depicts Lords wearing a red latex dress walking in a hotel room. The main theme of the video is depression and anxiety disorder.... See full summary »

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Credited cast:
Jo Unwin Jo Unwin ... Herself - Narrator (voice)
Daryl Meissner Daryl Meissner ... Himself - School Classmate
Jim South Jim South ... Himself
William Margold ... Himself (as Bill Margold)
Suze Randall Suze Randall ... Herself
Tom Byron ... Himself
Ginger Lynn ... Herself
John H. Weston John H. Weston ... Himself
Jerome Tanner Jerome Tanner ... Himself (as Jerry Tanner)
Amber Lynn ... Herself
Peter North ... Himself
Ron Jeremy ... Himself
Nina Hartley ... Herself
Michael Carpenter Michael Carpenter ... Himself (as Mike Carpenter)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Traci Lords ... Herself (archive footage)


A documentary about Traci Lords, one of the most popular American porn stars of the 1980s, who almost brought down the industry when it was discovered that she had been under 18 years old.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Pornotähti Traci Lords See more »

Filming Locations:

Redondo Beach, California, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Features Talk Dirty to Me Part III (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

"One-sided" but insightful documentary on the Traci Lords scandal
14 December 2016 | by lazarilloSee all my reviews

This is a short, but interesting British-made documentary on 80's underage porn star Traci Lords. It is definitely rather one-sided since Traci herself refused to talk about her porn career for years (before completely glossing over it in her self-serving and sanitized autobiography). Without the participation of Traci herself, they mostly just interview her then-colleagues like Ginger Lynn, Amber Lynn, ex-boyfriend Tom Byron, and the ubiquitous, motor-mouthed Ron Jeremy. They are all obviously bitter, but surprisingly pretty fair to Lords. They also interview one of the vice cops who were chasing porno crews around back then trying to get them for "pandering" (Some of the more paranoid people think Traci Lords was a mole sent in by the authorities to wreck the industry).

It is interesting how little most people know about this scandal. Far from being the innocent "porn victim" she has often allowed herself to be portrayed as, Traci Lords got into porn using a fake ID that was so convincing it even fooled US customs agents, who issued her a US passport to pursue her porn career in Europe. She rose to great fame in the porno industry, and it was only conveniently AFTER she turned 18 that the truth came out. She then nearly destroyed the porno industry as they lost millions recalling all her tapes, and many people were threatened with long prison sentences. Meanwhile, her only "legal" XXX appearance was in her self-produced "Traci, I Love" made after she turned 18 and released in the wake of scandal. (You can at least UNDERSTAND the conspiracy theories. . .) What is more irksome (to me) is the way her "victim" status has allowed her to enjoy measured success in the "legitimate" Hollywood film industry whereas Ginger Lynn Allen (who went to jail, partly in retaliation for her refusing to testify for Traci) has been shunned--even though she was only a few years older than Traci. And if you think things have changed, look at how Sasha Grey, the latest porn starlet to attempt a legitimate career, is treated right here on her IMDb page. Get into porn at 16, you're an innocent victim, absolved of ALL moral responsibility, but get into porn at 18, you're branded for life as a shameless slut unworthy of legitimate employment.

Perhaps, the most controversial aspect of this documentary is that it contains underage nudity (although of course not graphic sex) of Traci in scenes from her porn career. But this also serves to show how PHYSICALLY indistinguishable she was from her slightly older contemporaries like Ginger Lynn, Amber Lynn, and Christy Canyon. One of the STUPIDEST things today is the way many confuse the natural attraction men feel towards 16 or 17-year-olds like Traci, who could easily pass for 25, with "pedophilia", which is an attraction to PREPUBESCENT children. Gee, if you're attracted to 25-year-old women, how could you NOT be attracted to physically mature teenage girls who LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME?

Though admittedly "one-sided", this documentary really puts this scandal in perspective, and it's a perspective that is often lost in the moral hysteria of today.

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