Paul Morrissey

Director, Screenwriter, Producer
Often overlooked as an independent filmmaker because of his association with Andy Warhol, Paul Morrissey was instrumental in enhancing the celebrity of that pop icon, while his own fame fell victim to the success of his ... Read more »
Born: 02/23/1938 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Director (15)

News from Nowhere 2016 (Movie)

(Director)

San Diego Surf 2012 (Movie)

(Director)

Forty Deuce 1996 (Movie)

(Director)

Andy Warhol's Frankenstein 1995 (Movie)

(Director)

Beethoven's Nephew 1988 (Movie)

(Director)

Spike of Bensonhurst 1988 (Movie)

(Director)

Mixed Blood 1985 (Movie)

(Director)

Madame Wang's 1981 (Movie)

(Director)

The Hound of the Baskervilles 1977 (Movie)

(Director)

Blood For Dracula 1975 (Movie)

(Director)

Heat 1972 (Movie)

(Director)

L' Amour 1971 (Movie)

(Director)

Trash 1970 (Movie)

(Director)

Women in Revolt 1970 (Movie)

(Director)

Flesh 1968 (Movie)

(Director)
Actor (13)

The Late Show With David Letterman 2014 (Tv Show)

Guest

A Walk into the Sea 2007 (Movie)

(Actor)

Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film 2006 (Movie)

(Actor)

Divine Trash 2000 (Movie)

(Actor)

Sleep in a Nest of Flames 2000 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Nico Icon 1996 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Jonas in the Desert 1994 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Superstar: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol 1991 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Chambre 666 1983 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Rich and Famous 1981 (Movie)

Malibu Party Guest (Actor)

Midnight Cowboy 1969 (Movie)

Party Guest (Actor)
Writer (12)

Andy Warhol's Frankenstein 1995 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Beethoven's Nephew 1988 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Spike of Bensonhurst 1988 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Spike of Bensonhurst 1988 (Movie)

(From Story)

Mixed Blood 1985 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Madame Wang's 1981 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Hound of the Baskervilles 1977 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Blood For Dracula 1975 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Heat 1972 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Trash 1970 (Movie)

(From Story)

Flesh 1968 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Blue Movie 1967 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Camera, Film, & Tape (6)

Heat 1972 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Trash 1970 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Women in Revolt 1970 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

Flesh 1968 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

Blue Movie 1967 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

Bike Boy 1966 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)
Producer (5)

Dartmoor Killing 2015 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Thorne 2012 (Tv Show)

Executive Producer

L' Amour 1971 (Movie)

(Producer)

Lonesome Cowboys 1969 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Blue Movie 1967 (Movie)

(Producer)

Biography

Often overlooked as an independent filmmaker because of his association with Andy Warhol, Paul Morrissey was instrumental in enhancing the celebrity of that pop icon, while his own fame fell victim to the success of his myth-making. The Fordham University graduate had made several short films prior to meeting Warhol who remarked, "Your films are great. They are in focus! Why not come help me make a movie?" Warhol had already made the epically monotonous "Empire" (1964), in which the camera stares at the Empire State Building for eight hours, among his experiments in the inane. Morrissey brought camera movement and editing to the Warhol pictures, as well as the camp, satire and 'social realism' that made the films appeal to a wider circle. Though Warhol liked to operate the camera, he withdrew from the filmmaking process after Valerie Solanas shot him on June 3, 1968, leaving the field wide open for Morrissey to enjoy unprecedented freedom as a director, though Warhol's "brand name" continued to "present" the product. He has described the shooting in interviews as "an ill wind that blew somebody some good."

EDUCATION

Fordham University

New York, New York

Milestones

1997

Interviewed for the documentary portrait of the early works of John Waters "Divine Trash"

1994

Appeared in "Nico Icon", a documentary about the heroin-addicted heroine of the Velvet Underground

1993

Featured in the documentary "Jonas in the Desert", about avante-garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas

1990

Appeared in Chuck Workman's documentary "Superstar: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol"

1989

"Retired" from film directing

1988

Wrote and directed "Spike of Bensonhurst", arguably his most mainstream movie, which drew favorable comparison to that year's "Married to the Mob" along with criticism for its ethnic stereotypes and "politically incorrect" humor

1985

Helmed and co-scripted (with Mathieu Carriere) "Beethoven's Nephew"; released in 1988

1984

Co-scripted (with Browne) and directed "Mixed Blood", a black comedy of rival drug gangs in Greenwich Village's "alphabet city"

1982

Helmed "Forty Deuce" about a teenage hustler (Kevin Bacon) who tries to frame a client for murder; based on the play by Alan Browne; released in 1996

1981

Made cameo appearance as a party guest in "Rich and Famous"

1978

Directed "The Hound of the Baskervilles"; also co-scripted with Dudley Moore and Peter Cook

1972

Wrote and directed the final segment of trilogy, "Heat", a campy reworking of "Sunset Boulevard" with Dallesandro cast opposite Sylvia Miles as the faded star; also served as cinematographer; filmed for $6000 over three weeks in Los Angeles

1970

Helmed "Women in Revolt", a transvestite take-off on 1950s women's prison movies

1969

Wrote, directed, shot and edited "Trash", the second part of the trilogy; filmed for $3000; re-released in 2000

1968

Made cameo appearance as a party guest in the mainstream film "Midnight Cowboy"

1968

Wrote, directed and shot "Flesh", the first in a trilogy; all three films starred Joe Dallesandro and were produced by Warhol; in London in 1969, an entire audience was arrested for watching the "pornographic" picture

1968

Edited, executive produced and shot Warhol's "Lonesome Cowboys", filmed in Tucson, Arizona; the two-and-a-half days in Arizona brought the budget to a whopping $5000

1965

First Warhol film on which he considers he had input in the direction, "My Hustler", his third or fourth project with Warhol; convinced Warhol that a panning camera produced footage superior to that captured by a fixed camera, putting an end to Warhol's u

Managed the celebrity of Warhol, using the "underground" films to raise the artist's profile and ultimately the price of his art; put Warhol on the lecture circuit, allegedly going back and forth across the country the first year with a Warhol impersonato

Introduced to Andy Warhol through mutual friend, poet Gerard Malanga

Wrote and directed the horror films "Andy Warhol's Dracula/Blood for Dracula" and "Andy Warhol's Frankenstein/Flesh for Frankenstein"; first pictures working with a full studio crew; the original credits read "Andy Warhol presents a Carlo Ponti, Andy Brau

While working at an insurance office job in Manhattan was inspired to make movies by critic-filmmaker Jonas Mekas' Monday evening programs at an Off-Broadway theater

Made own short films in the 1960s, including "Ancient History" (1961), a five-minute "rearranged newsreel", and "Taylor Mead Dances" (1963), a 14-minute profile of underground "superstar" Taylor dancing with wild abandon at the Second City nightclub

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