“You just do whatever you have to do.”
A hustler (Joe Dallesandro) whose wife (Geraldine Smith) has requested money for an abortion for her girlfriend (Patti D’Arbanville) engages in numerous adventures throughout the day, including hooking up with a young john (John Christian), posing nude for an older artist (Maurice Barddell), giving advice to a new hustler (Barry Brown), making out with his former girlfriend (Geri Miller), and requesting money from a friendly Korean War vet (Louis Waldron).
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Paul Morrissey Films
- Prostitutes and Gigolos
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that this “early attempt by Andy Warhol” (directed by Paul Morrissey) “to cross over from strictly underground to more commercial movies” features “no real story” but is instead “just a series of vignettes shot on New York streets and inside apartments, with Warhol regular Joe Dallesandro either hustling gays in order to get money for his disgruntled wife… or meeting and having sex with his weird friends.” He points out that it’s filled with techniques — including “a cinema verite camera style, improvisation, [and] intentionally sloppy jump-cut editing — that were unique in the commercial cinema of the day”, and equally “unusual” were the film’s themes: “homosexuality, transvestitism, casual sex, [and] male prostitution”, all meant to “subvert bourgeois sensibilities.” Peary writes that Dallesandro — who “is his young, likable self” — has “several amusing scenes with oddball characters, particularly a sequence with a philosophical artist” and “a sex scene with his wife when she asks what he wants her to do most and he says his laundry”. I’ll admit to quickly tiring of Morrissey’s “sloppy jump-cut editing”, but otherwise becoming oddly absorbed by this glimpse into “the peculiar lifestyle of a fringe element of the counterculture.”
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Some effective neo-realist footage in New York
- Joe’s encounters with a Greek-loving artist
No, though it’s worth a look as Warhol’s breakthrough feature film.