5.7/10
2,067
23 user 34 critic

Flesh (1968)

A man desperate for money and no income, turns prostitute and interplays with a variety of clients and hustlers.

Director:

Paul Morrissey

Writer:

Paul Morrissey
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joe Dallesandro ... Joe - the Hustler
Geraldine Smith ... Geri - Joe's Wife
Patti D'Arbanville ... Patti - Geri's Lover
Candy Darling ... Candy - a Transvestite
Jackie Curtis ... Jackie - a Transvestite
John Christian John Christian ... Joe's Customer
Maurice Braddell Maurice Braddell ... The Artist
Geri Miller Geri Miller ... Terry
Louis Waldon Louis Waldon ... David - the Gymnast
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Barry Brown Barry Brown ... Boy in street
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Storyline

Geri (Geraldine Smith) ejects her husband Joe (Joe Dalessandro) from bed, and insists he go out on the streets to make some money for her girlfriend's abortion. This leads to Joe's various encounters with clients on the streets of New York City: an Artist (Maurice Bradell) who wishes to draw Joe, a Gymnast (Louis Waldon), and another 'John' (John Christian). Joe spends time with other hustlers, one of whom is played by his real life brother, and teaches the tricks of the trade to the New Hustler (Barry Brown). Back home, Joe interacts with his real life one-year-old son. Joe gets back home, presumably at the end of his duty work, and is in bed with Geri and her girlfriend Patti (Patti D'Arbanville). The women strip Joe and begin to get intimate with each other; Joe gets bored and falls asleep. (Source: Wikipedia) Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Just an ordinary day in the life of a male hustler.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 May 1970 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Andy Warhol's Flesh See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Factory Films (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

UK censor John Trevelyan was wary of issuing the film a cinema certificate and suggested to the distributors that the film be shown on a club basis. When it was initially shown at the Open Space Theatre in London in February 1970 the cinema was raided by police who attempted to seize the film, leading Trevelyan himself to hastily rush to the cinema and vigorously defend the movie against possible prosecution, calling the police action 'unjustified and preposterous'. In the light of this incident Trevelyan was able to grant the film an uncut 'X' certificate. See more »

Goofs

During a scene with the go-go dancer, Candy and Jackie alternately call her by the character's first name (Terry) and that of the actress playing her (Geri Miller). See more »

Quotes

Joe, the Hustler: Mother used to watch. She didn't mind.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The only closing credit is a copyright notice. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Planting the Seeds of Evil (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Makin' Wicky Wacky Down in Waikiki
Performed by Sophie Tucker.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
FLESH (Paul Morrissey, 1968) **
6 September 2007 | by MARIO GAUCISee all my reviews

I guess only a selected number of audience members really had any interest in watching how a male hustler in New York operates but I'd be willing to bet that even these brave souls were turned off by the irritating patchwork technique and deliberately muffled sound recording on display here; the fact that these inherent 'defects' were a direct result of the film's low-budget/underground/experimental nature is, I'd say, beside the point. Anyway, for those so inclined, the film features extensive male nudity and Joe Dallesandro, understandably, became an underground – and gay – icon!

The episodic structure showing the day-to-day routine of the hustler protagonist offers a couple of mildly interesting scenes: his meeting with (and eventually posing for) an eccentric elderly artist; the one where Dallesandro expresses his views on his unusual line of work and delineates his particular modus operandi to a couple of prospective 'colleagues' including perhaps the unlikeliest of hustlers – a bespectacled nerd! Perhaps mercifully, the film ran for only 89 minutes against the IMDb's claim that its complete length is 105 (but the latter could well be a mistake)!

I had watched a few other of Warhol's 'movies' and this one is decidedly not as satisfying as the most tolerable example I've run into yet, BAD (1977), and only slightly better than the likes of MY HUSTLER (1965) which were mostly a strain to sit through. The fact that this was only the first part of a trilogy did not augur well but, as the saying goes, you gotta to do what you gotta do and the other two 'chapters' had to follow in quick succession...

Despite my generally negative reaction to it, FLESH is nevertheless still valuable as a 1960s time capsule and as a prototype of the Underground scene of that era, both cinematically and in real life. For the record, an image of Dallesandro from this film adorns the sleeve of The Smiths' self-titled 1984 debut album and transsexual Candy Darling (who appears here rather unremarkably) was immortalized in "Candy Says", the opening track of The Velvet Underground's eponymous 1969 album. Although the latter band is my all-time favorite, and one of the reasons for this is that, through their sheerly unique and ground-breaking music, they described a lifestyle so utterly different from my own, this is truly a case where I'd much rather experience something aurally instead of visually!


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