The Sins of Ilsa

The Sins of Ilsa (also known as, The Iris Movie) is a 1985 American adult erotic film, based on a novel by Iris Murdoch, that was filmed in New York City and, for exteriors, in Paris. The film is notable as the last film directed by Radley Metzger and, as of November 2019, has not yet been released publicly.[1][2][3]

The Sins of Ilsa
Original proposed movie poster
Directed byRadley Metzger
(as Stanley Paul)[1]
Produced byRadley Metzger
(as Peter Wolfe);
Ava Leighton
(as Idlewild Productions)[1]
Written byRadley Metzger
(as Gene Borey);
based on a novel by Iris Murdoch[1]
StarringHelga Sven
Sharon Moran
Edited byJimmy McDonough[1]
Distributed byAudubon Films (unreleased)
Release date
1985 (US) (unreleaed)
Running time
minutes (US)
CountryUnited States

The film was made during the Golden Age of Porn (1969–1984) (inaugurated by the 1969 release of Andy Warhol's Blue Movie) in the United States, at a time of "porno chic",[4][5] in which adult erotic films were just beginning to be widely released, publicly discussed by celebrities (like Johnny Carson and Bob Hope)[6] and taken seriously by film critics (like Roger Ebert).[7][8]

According to one film reviewer, Radley Metzger's films, including those made during the Golden Age of Porn (1969–1984), are noted for their "lavish design, witty screenplays, and a penchant for the unusual camera angle".[9] Another reviewer noted that his films were "highly artistic — and often cerebral ... and often featured gorgeous cinematography".[10] Film and audio works by Metzger have been added to the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City.[11][12][13][14]


Sue (originally, Joanie), a New York City journalist, is attempting to write an article about Ilsa (originally, Iris), a former erotic star who had lived in Paris, but who is currently in retirement and, initially unbeknown to Sue, who had earlier traveled to Pars to interview Ilsa, now living in New York City.[1]


  • Helga Sven ... Ilsa (originally, Iris)
  • Sharon Moran ... Sue (orignally, Joanie)
  • Laine Michaels
  • Stephanie Sinclair
  • Theresa Wells
  • George Cleveland

See also


  1. West, Ashley (June 23, 2019). "'The Sins of Ilsa' (1985): The Untold Story of Radley Metzger's Unreleased Last Film". The Rialto Report. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  2. Bentley, Toni (June 2014). "The Legend of Henry Paris". Playboy. Archived from the original on February 4, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  3. Bentley, Toni (June 2014). "The Legend of Henry Paris" (PDF). Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  4. Blumenthal, Ralph (January 21, 1973). "Porno chic; 'Hard-core' grows fashionable-and very profitable". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  5. Porno Chic (
  6. Corliss, Richard (March 29, 2005). "That Old Feeling: When Porno Was Chic". Time. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  7. Ebert, Roger (June 13, 1973). "The Devil In Miss Jones - Film Review". Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  8. Ebert, Roger (November 24, 1976). "Alice in Wonderland:An X-Rated Musical Fantasy". Retrieved February 26, 2016.
  9. Gallagher, Steve (August 7, 2014). ""This is Softcore": The History of Radley Metzger". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  10. Simpson, Claire (October 2, 2013). "Adults Only: 5 Films By Radley Metzger". Archived from the original on May 24, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  11. Rist, Ray C. (January 4, 1974). Book - The Pornography Controversy: Changing Moral Standards in American Life. The Pornography Controversy: Changing Moral Standards in American Life. p. 124. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  12. Lehman, Peter (2006). Book - Pornography: Film and Culture. Pornography: Film and Culture. p. 9. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  13. Staff (2016). "Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) - DadaBase Search Results - Radley Metzger". Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  14. Staff (March 4, 2017). "Obituary Of The Righteous - The Porn Of The Fabulous 60s And 70s Loses One Of Its Pioneers And Masters: Radley Metzger - Photographer Of War, The MOMA Presents A Retrospective: His Erotic Films Made History - Video: 'Score', On The Relationships Of Couples Of The 70s, In An Uncensored Version". Retrieved November 12, 2019.

Further reading

  • Cook, David A. (2002). History of the American cinema. 9. University of California Press. pp. 274–275. ISBN 0-520-23265-8.
  • Heffernan, Kevin, "A social poetics of pornography", Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Volume 15, Issue 3, December 1994, pp. 77–83. doi:10.1080/10509209409361441.
  • Lehman, Peter, Pornography: film and culture, Rutgers depth of field series, Rutgers University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-8135-3871-8.
  • Williams, Linda, Hard core: power, pleasure, and the "frenzy of the visible", University of California Press, 1999, ISBN 0-520-21943-0.
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