Blue Movie

Blue Movie (stylized as blue movie; also known as Fuck[4][5]) is a 1969 American film written, produced, and directed by Andy Warhol.[1][6] Blue Movie, the first adult erotic film depicting explicit sex to receive wide theatrical release in the United States,[1][4][6] is a seminal film in the Golden Age of Porn (1969–1984) and helped inaugurate the "porno chic"[7][8] phenomenon in modern American culture, and later, in many other countries throughout the world.[9][10] According to Warhol, Blue Movie was a major influence in the making of Last Tango in Paris, an internationally controversial erotic drama film, starring Marlon Brando, and released a few years after Blue Movie was made.[4] Viva and Louis Waldon, playing themselves, starred in Blue Movie.[4]

Blue Movie
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAndy Warhol[1]
Produced byAndy Warhol
Paul Morrissey
Written byAndy Warhol
Louis Waldon
CinematographyAndy Warhol
Constantin Film
Andy Warhol Films
Distributed byAndy Warhol Films
Release date
June 12, 1969[2]
Running time
105 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States


The film includes dialogue about the Vietnam War, various mundane tasks and, as well, unsimulated sex, during a blissful afternoon in a New York City apartment[1][6] (owned by art critic David Bourdon).[11] The film was presented in the press as, "a film about the Vietnam War and what we can do about it." Warhol added, "the movie is about ... love, not destruction."[12]

Warhol explained that the lack of a plot in Blue Movie was intentional:

According to Viva: “The Warhol films were about sexual disappointment and frustration: the way Andy saw the world, the way the world is, and the way nine-tenths of the population sees it, yet pretends they don’t.”[14]



Andy Warhol described making Blue Movie as follows: "I'd always wanted to do a movie that was pure fucking, nothing else, the way [my film] Eat had been just eating and [my film] Sleep had been just sleeping. So in October '68 I shot a movie of Viva having sex with Louis Waldon. I called it just Fuck."[4][5]

The film was supposedly filmed in a single three-hour session and 30 minutes was initially cut for the 140 minute version.[3] The climactic section was shot in a 35 minute take.[3] According to Variety magazine, the lovemaking only featured for 10 minutes.[15][2]

The film itself acquired a blue/green tint because Warhol used the wrong kind of film during production. He used film meant for filming night-scenes, and the sun coming through the apartment window turned the film blue.[16][17]

According to Wheeler Winston Dixon, American filmmaker and scholar, who attended the first screening of the film at Warhol's Factory (33 Union Square West, Manhattan, New York City) in the Spring of 1969:


The film had a benefit screening on June 12, 1969 at the Elgin Theater in New York City.[2] Variety reported that the film was the "first theatrical feature to actually depict intercourse."[15][3][18][19] While initially shown at The Factory, Blue Movie was not presented to a wider audience until it opened at the New Andy Warhol Garrick Theater in New York City[20][21] on July 21, 1969 with a running time of 105 minutes.[1][6][12][18][2] The film also opened at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California.[3]

On its opening day in New York, the film grossed a house record $3,050, with a total of $16,200 for the week.[3] Warhol received 90% of the gross, so recovered the film's $3,000 cost quickly.[3]

Viva, in Paris, finding that Blue Movie was getting a lot of attention, said, "Timothy Leary loved it. Gene Youngblood (an LA film critic) did too. He said I was better than Vanessa Redgrave and it was the first time a real movie star had made love on the screen. It was a real breakthrough."[13]


On July 31, 1969, the staff of the New Andy Warhol Garrick Theatre were arrested, and the film confiscated.[4][6][22] The theater manager was eventually fined $250.[4][6][23] Afterwards, the manager said, "I don't think anyone was harmed by this movie ... I saw other pictures around town and this was a kiddie matinee compared to them."[12] Warhol said, "What's pornography anyway? ... The muscle magazines are called pornography, but they're really not. They teach you how to have good bodies[12] ... I think movies should appeal to prurient interests. I mean the way things are going now – people are alienated from one another. Blue Movie was real. But it wasn't done as pornography—it was done as an exercise, an experiment. But I really do think movies should arouse you, should get you excited about people, should be prurient. Prurience is part of the machine. It keeps you happy. It keeps you running."[13]


Afterwards, in 1970, Warhol published Blue Movie in book form, with film dialogue and explicit stills, through Grove Press.[18]

When Last Tango in Paris, an internationally controversial erotic drama film, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and starring Marlon Brando, was released in 1972, Warhol considered Blue Movie to be the inspiration, according to Bob Colacello, the editor of Interview, a magazine dedicated to Pop Culture that was founded by Warhol in 1969.[4]

Nonetheless, and also in 1970, Mona, the second adult erotic film, after Blue Movie, depicting explicit sex that received a wide theatrical release in the United States, was shown. Shortly thereafter, other adult films, such as Boys in the Sand, Deep Throat, Behind the Green Door and The Devil in Miss Jones were released, continuing the Golden Age of Porn begun with Blue Movie. In 1973, the phenomenon of porn being publicly discussed by celebrities (like Johnny Carson and Bob Hope)[8] and taken seriously by film critics (like Roger Ebert),[24][25] a development referred to, by Ralph Blumenthal of The New York Times, as "porno chic", began, for the first time, in modern American culture,[7][8] and later, in many other countries throughout the world.[9][10] In 1976, The Opening of Misty Beethoven, based on the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (and its derivative, My Fair Lady), and directed by Radley Metzger, was released theatrically and is considered, by award-winning author Toni Bentley, the "crown jewel" of the Golden Age of Porn.[26][27]


Blue Movie was publicly screened in New York City in 2005, for the first time in more than 30 years.[28] Also in New York City, but more recently, in 2016, the film was shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan.[29]

See also


  1. Canby, Vincent (July 22, 1969). "Movie Review - Blue Movie (1968) Screen: Andy Warhol's 'Blue Movie' (behind paywall)". The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  2. Blue Movie at the American Film Institute Catalog
  3. "Sex Act Film Cost 3G; Recoups Pronto; 'Times' Review Never Detailed It". Variety. July 30, 1969. p. 1.
  4. Comenas, Gary (2005). "Blue Movie (1968)". Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  5. Staff (April 27, 2013). "Andy Warhol – Blue Movie aka Fuck (1969)". Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  6. Canby, Vincent (August 10, 1969). "Warhol's Red Hot and 'Blue' Movie. D1. Print. (behind paywall)". The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  7. Blumenthal, Ralph (January 21, 1973). "Porno chic; 'Hard-core' grows fashionable-and very profitable". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  8. Corliss, Richard (March 29, 2005). "That Old Feeling: When Porno Was Chic". Time. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  9. Paasonen, Susanna; Saarenmaa, Laura (July 19, 2007). The Golden Age of Porn: Nostalgia and History in Cinema (PDF). WordPress. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  10. DeLamater, John; Plante, Rebecca F., eds. (June 19, 2015). Handbook of the Sociology of Sexualities. Springer Publishing. p. 416. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  11. Dixon, Wheeler Winston (April 22, 2012). "Andy Warhol, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Blue Movie". University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Archived from the original on September 14, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  12. Watson, Steven (2003). Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties. Pantheon Books. p. 394. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  13. Bockris, Victor (August 12, 2003). Warhol: the Biography. Da Capo Press. pp. 326, 327. Retrieved January 19, 2016. [Note – in "view all"/"page 327" – from the book text, "In a final defence of his methods, which were used in Blue Movie for the last time, Andy told Leticia Kent, [in a Vogue interview] ..."]
  14. Bockris, Victor (August 12, 2003). Warhol: the Biography. Da Capo Press. p. 274. Retrieved January 23, 2016. [Note – original publication: “Viva and God,” The Village Voice 111.1 (May 5, 1987), Art Supplement 9.]
  15. "Warhol's 'Blue Movie' The Bluest of 'Em All, If and When Released". Variety. June 18, 1969. p. 2.
  16. Flatley, Guy (November 9, 1968). "How to Be Very Viva--A Bedroom Farce. D7. Print. (behind paywall)". The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  17. Goldsmith, Kenneth (April 1, 2009). I'll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews 1962-1987. Da Capo Press. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  18. Comenas, Gary (1969). "July 21, 1969: Andy Warhol's Blue Movie Opens". Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  19. Haggerty, George E. (2015). A Companion to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Studies. John Wiley & Sons. p. 339. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  20. Staff (2013). "Garrick Cinema 152 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012 - Previous Names: New Andy Warhol Garrick Theatre, Andy Warhol's Garrick Cinema, Nickelodeon". Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  21. Garcia, Alfredo (October 11, 2017). "Andy Warhol Films: Newspaper Adverts 1964-1974 – A comprehensive collection of Newspaper Ads and Film Related Articles". Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  22. Haberski, Jr., Raymond J. (March 16, 2007). Freedom to Offend: How New York Remade Movie Culture. The University Press of Kentucky. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  23. Staff (September 18, 1969). "Judges Rule 'Blue Movie' Is Smut". The Day (New London). Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  24. Ebert, Roger (June 13, 1973). "The Devil In Miss Jones - Film Review". Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  25. Ebert, Roger (November 24, 1976). "Alice in Wonderland:An X-Rated Musical Fantasy". Retrieved February 26, 2016.
  26. Bentley, Toni (June 2014). "The Legend of Henry Paris". Playboy. Archived from the original on February 4, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  27. Bentley, Toni (June 2014). "The Legend of Henry Paris" (PDF). Playboy. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  28. Staff (October 2005). "Blue Movie + Viva At NY Film Festival". Archived from the original on October 27, 2015. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  29. Collman, Ashley (April 11, 2016). "Girls actress's mother unsuccessfully tries to stop the Whitney Museum showing her Andy Warhol-era pornography film". Daily Mail. Retrieved December 27, 2016.

Further reading

  • Bockris, Victor (1997). Warhol: The Biography. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-81272-X.
  • Danto, Arthur C. (2009). Andy Warhol. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-13555-8.
  • James, James (1989), "Andy Warhol: The Producer as Author", in Allegories of Cinema: American Film in the 1960s pp. 58–84. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Koch, Stephen (1974; 2002): Stargazer. The Life, World and Films of Andy Warhol. London; updated reprint Marion Boyars, New York 2002, ISBN 0-7145-2920-6.
  • Koestenbaum, Wayne (2003). Andy Warhol. New York: Penguin. ISBN 0-670-03000-7.
  • Warhol, Andy; Pat Hackett (1980). POPism: The Warhol Sixties. Hardcore Brace Jovanovich. ISBN 0-15-173095-4.
  • Watson, Steven (2003). Factory Made: Warhol and the 1960s. New York: Pantheon. ISBN 0-679-42372-9. Archived from the original on August 29, 2010.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.