CANNON MONTH 2: Mustang: The House That Joe Built (1977)

Robert Guralnick directed, wrote, produced and edited this documentary about the Mustang Ranch, which became Nevada’s first licensed brothel in 1971 under the ownership of Joe Conforte.

Just 20 miles east of Reno, the ranch was basically a trailer park, but if you wanted legal lovemaking, well, it was the place to be in the U.S. Guralnick spent months there before filming — certainly for research purposes only —  so the owners and the girls would be comfortable with him as he used his handheld camera to shoot this movie.

Conforte left the U.S to go to Brazil and escape tax evasion charges a few years after this, leaving behind his prison yard-esque paradise, which is still open today after being sold by the U.S. government which is pretty wild when you think about it. He also was involved in the 1976 murder of Oscar Bonavena, a former friend who may have had an affair with his wife. He was shot dead at the ranch by Conforte’s bodyguard.

It seems like literally the unsexiest and saddest place on Earth, so here’s to the maniacs that can go there and still get it up. Then again, I feel that legal sex work would solve a lot of our nation’s mental issues.

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