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Flesh film poster


This film featuring Joe Dallesandro provides the image used on The Smiths debut album cover:

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Wikipedia Information


Flesh (alternative title: Andy Warhol's Flesh) is a 1968 American film directed by Paul Morrissey and starring Joe Dallesandro as a hustler working on the streets of New York City. It highlights various Warhol superstars, in addition to being the film debuts of both Jackie Curtis and Candy Darling. Also appearing are Geraldine Smith as Joe's wife and Patti D'Arbanville as her lover. By the time Morrissey made Flesh, he had already made a dozen short, silent films in the early 1960s and several films alongside Andy Warhol including My Hustler (1965) and Chelsea Girls (1966). Flesh marked his feature film debut. In his book Film as a Subversive Art, Amos Vogel writes that the threadbare plot belies something "far deeper and funnier in Morrissey’s unsentimental, accepting attitude toward life, embodied by Joe Dallesandro’s brooding, disaffected performance". Flesh was first shown at the Andy Warhol Garrick Theatre at 152 Bleecker Street in Manhattan on September 26, 1968. In January 1970, the film premiered at the Open Space Theatre in London, but due to controversy surrounding the film's censorship, it was pulled from the theater and wasn't publicly shown until 1971.

In June of 1970, Jimmy Vaughan arranged a deal with Constantin, one of the largest film distributors in West Germany, to book the film into mainstream cinemas throughout Germany where it was seen by three million people, becoming one of the top five moneymakers of 1970. Flesh is the first film of the "Paul Morrissey-Joe Dallesandro Trilogy" produced by Andy Warhol. The other films in the trilogy include Trash (1970) and Heat (1972). All three have gained a cult following and are noted examples of the ideals and ideology of the time period. An image of Joe Dallesandro in Flesh was used on the front cover of the The Smiths (album), the debut LP by The Smiths released in 1984. In a 1973 interview with Fusion magazine, Morrissey said of Flesh:

"In Flesh, the man at the end talks about the wound he’s got on his arm, that his flesh is scarred, and he’s going to pot and getting fat by not going to the gym. One girl wants an abortion- wants her flesh removed. Everyone is in a predicament relating to their flesh. Joe’s predicament is that his flesh is attractive. It was all very deliberate."