Before They Were Stars: Paul Thomas Anderson Directs “The Dirk Diggler Story”

I always love to post old short films on The Back Row which were made by renowned directors before they found fame and now I’m going to put the spotlight on today’s birthday boy, Paul Thomas Anderson. When he was only 17, Anderson decided to make a 30-minute mockumentary about a porn star entitled The Dirk Diggler Story and, of course, this idea would eventually be expanded to feature length to become the masterpiece we all know as Boogie Nights. This two-minute snippet provides the origin of the famous scene from that film where Dirk Diggler sings “The Touch”. Incidentally, the actor playing Dirk here, Michael Stein, has a small role in Boogie Nights as the customer that Don Cheadle delivers a sales pitch to in the stereo store. It’s also interesting to see Robert Ridgely (a lifelong friend of Paul Thomas Anderson’s father) playing the role of Jack Horner here, as he would go on to deliver a very memorable performance as The Colonel in

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