Ciao Manhattan (1972)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Romance  |  July 1974 (Austria)
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CIAO! MANHATTAN parallels Andy Warhol Factory star Edie Sedgwick's glory days in the late 60's through her inevitable downfall and the tragic addiction that would take her life only weeks after filming wrapped in 1971.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Edie Sedgwick ...
Susan Superstar
Wesley Hayes ...
Jeff Briggs ...
Geoffrey (as Geoffrey Briggs)
Paul America ...
Tom Flye ...
Gabriel Lampa ...
Pat Hartley ...
Nell Bassett ...
Charlie Bacis ...
Doctor Robert (as Bhavananda)
Jane Holzer ...
Charla (as 'Baby' Jane Holzer)
Wesley Rand ...
Diana - Vogue editor
Roger Vadim ...
Dr. Braun


CIAO! MANHATTAN parallels Andy Warhol Factory star Edie Sedgwick's glory days in the late 60's through her inevitable downfall and the tragic addiction that would take her life only weeks after filming wrapped in 1971.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

July 1974 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Ciao! Manhattan  »

Filming Locations:


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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film originally followed the excessively hip lives of Sedgwick and fellow Warhol superstar Paul America, as they lived life in the fast lane (literally speeding down the West Side Highway on massive amounts of amphetamine). See more »


Butch is seen hitch-hiking past a billboard advertising Land of Make Believe and past a graveyard. These locations are along US Route 46 in White Twp, New Jersey. Butch is later seen at the Pocono Diner in Tannersville, PA which is farther west. He says that he is trying to go to New York City but he would have been traveling in the wrong direction. See more »


Susan: Speed is the ultimate, all-time high. That first rush. Wow! Just that burning, searing, soaring sense of perfection.
[... ]
Susan: There's no way to explain it unless you've been through it. There's no way to tell anyone who hasn't tasted it. I'd like to turn the whole world on just for a moment... just for a moment. I'm greedy. I'd like to keep most of it for myself and a few others, a few of my friends. Keep that superlative high just on the cusp of each day so that I radiate sunshine.
See more »


Referenced in Sweetest Compassion: The Gunther Palmer Story (2002) See more »


Can't Make It Anymore
Written by Gordon Lightfoot
Performed Richie Havens
See more »

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User Reviews

Strange, hypnotic, and somehow quite affecting
27 May 2002 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

Ciao! Manhattan is an avant-garde film that makes the films of Jean-Luc Godard seem conventional. That's not to attack Godard, mind you. I'm just comparing the two to express how far out Ciao! Manhattan is. The slight narrative concerns a young Texan hippie traveling the American countryside just because he likes to see things. One night, he sees something quite unexpected: a beautiful young woman with bare breasts hitchhiking. He picks her up (who wouldn't?) and finds that she has a couple of dog tags around her neck with her name, Susan, and address on them. He takes her home. Susan's mother thanks him and offers him a job taking care of her daughter. Susan was a young model in New York, a discovery of artist Andy Warhol. She lived a life of hard partying, and is now paying for it with a severe case of brain damage. Now Susan lives in a drained pool in her mother's back yard, and she spends endless hours drinking hard liquor and rattling off stories about the old days in New York.

At first, Ciao! Manhattan just seemed to me an excessively playful experimental film with a bunch of bizarre imagery and editing and stuff. I was laughing, it was fun to see the excesses of that sub-culture which I know so little about. But after a while, the film just started working, and really well. Susan is played by Edie Sedgwick, who really was a protege model of Andy Warhol. The film works a fine balance between reality and fiction. How much of Sedgwick are we seeing? Is any of it fictional. She died three months before the film was released, and, edited into the last moments of the film, there is a shot of a newspaper headline that announces the death. Whether Ciao! Manhattan was meant to be or not, it serves as a dirge, not only to Edie Sedgwick, but to the young generation of the time.

I don't know, maybe I loved this film because I grew to adulthood so far after the hippie generation, but I'll tell you one thing: I have seen a ton of the greatest films ever made. It's a rare experience to come upon one that is as unique as this one. Perhaps there were a thousand films like this at the time, but none are available except this. Well, I choose to praise this. 10/10.

24 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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