4 user 19 critic

A Life in Dirty Movies (2013)

The Sarnos: A Life in Dirty Movies (original title)
1:13 | Trailer
A documentary shot at the end of pornographer Joe Sarnos's life, which reveals his attempt to make one last film, as well as his relationship with his wife, Peggy.


Wiktor Ericsson


Wiktor Ericsson
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph W. Sarno ... Himself
Peggy Steffans Peggy Steffans ... Herself
Michael J. Bowen Michael J. Bowen ... Himself (as Michael Bowen)
John Waters ... Himself
Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan ... Herself
Annie Sprinkle ... Herself
Michael Raso ... Himself
Arthur Morowitz Arthur Morowitz ... Himself
Kemper Peacock Kemper Peacock ... Himself
Jim Morton Jim Morton ... Himself, film historian
Myron Odegaard Myron Odegaard ... Himself
Adolfas Mekas Adolfas Mekas ... Himself
Ed Grant Ed Grant ... Himself, film historian
Linda Williams Linda Williams ... Herself
Jamie Gillis ... Himself


THE SARNOS - A LIFE IN DIRTY MOVIES is a love story about legendary sexploitation director Joe Sarno, "The Ingmar Bergman of 42nd Street", and his loyal wife and collaborator Peggy - their place in sex film history, life between New York and Sweden, and their struggle to make one last erotic film. A funny and touching portrait of a unique couple who has followed their passion in life - no matter the cost! Written by Wiktor Ericsson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

19 September 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Life in Dirty Movies See more »

Filming Locations:

Stockholm, Sweden See more »


Box Office


SEK2,700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Anagram See more »
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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


References Young Playthings (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

Very Good Look at Sarno
3 January 2015 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

A Life in Dirty Movies (2013)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Highly entertaining documentary that focuses on the life and career of writer-director Joseph W. Sarno. The name might not be overly familiar to most but he was a pretty big figure in the softcore days when he tries to deliver more than just sex and nudity. This documentary does an extremely good job at explaining what the sexploitation genre was all about back in its boom days and it also shows how different the films of Sarno's were. The best thing is that we've got the man himself here discussing his past work and we also see him trying to get a new picture made. This film was made towards the end of his life and also centers on his relationship with his wife Peggy. We get to see what it's like for them trying to get the film off the ground, to get Sarno's worked looked at and of course the various financial issues.

A LIFE IN DIRTY PICTURES also features interviews from film historians and fans including John Waters. Over the past decade there have been several documentaries taking a look at the sexploitation pioneers and this one here is certainly one of the best. Fans of Sarno will certainly want to take a look at it and if you're new to the genre then you're going to see several great clips.

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