Trash (1970)

103 mins | Comedy-drama | 5 October 1970

Director:

Paul Morrissey

Writer:

Paul Morrissey

Producer:

Andy Warhol

Cinematographer:

Paul Morrissey

Editor:

Jed Johnson

Production Designer:

Paul Morrissey

Production Companies:

Factory Films, Score Productions
Full page view
HISTORY

The 3 Dec 1969 Var announced that filmmakers Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey began their latest production, provisionally titled Gutter Trash, at “The Factory,” Warhol’s New York City art studio, over the previous weekend. Photography was expected to continue for at least another week.
       According to the 3 Jul 1971 LAT, the film was later acquired by Donald Rugoff, president of the Cinema V theater chain and distribution company, at the suggestion of an employee who visited The Factory during production. Rugoff believed the picture could attract a mainstream audience if it played at “a so-called Establishment, uptown theater.” Renamed Trash, the film opened 5 Oct 1970 at Rugoff’s Cinema II in New York City, earning a record $3,565 for the location, as noted in the 7 Oct 1970 Var. Despite its low budget, sordid subject matter, and “X” rating, reviews were generally positive, especially for cross-dressing leading “lady” Holly Woodlawn. In the 11 Oct 1970 NYT, critic Vincent Canby compared the picture to the Depression-era musical Footlight Parade (1933, see entry), and emphasized its latent celebration of mainstream American values, as defined by Spiro T. Agnew, the sitting vice-president of the United States.
       Articles in the 7 Oct 1970 Var and 15 Nov 1970 NYT reported that the opening was delayed after it was discovered that Woodlawn had been incarcerated for allegedly passing a bad check while posing as the wife of France’s ambassador to the United Nations. Woodlawn denied the charge, saying she did not speak French, ... More Less

The 3 Dec 1969 Var announced that filmmakers Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey began their latest production, provisionally titled Gutter Trash, at “The Factory,” Warhol’s New York City art studio, over the previous weekend. Photography was expected to continue for at least another week.
       According to the 3 Jul 1971 LAT, the film was later acquired by Donald Rugoff, president of the Cinema V theater chain and distribution company, at the suggestion of an employee who visited The Factory during production. Rugoff believed the picture could attract a mainstream audience if it played at “a so-called Establishment, uptown theater.” Renamed Trash, the film opened 5 Oct 1970 at Rugoff’s Cinema II in New York City, earning a record $3,565 for the location, as noted in the 7 Oct 1970 Var. Despite its low budget, sordid subject matter, and “X” rating, reviews were generally positive, especially for cross-dressing leading “lady” Holly Woodlawn. In the 11 Oct 1970 NYT, critic Vincent Canby compared the picture to the Depression-era musical Footlight Parade (1933, see entry), and emphasized its latent celebration of mainstream American values, as defined by Spiro T. Agnew, the sitting vice-president of the United States.
       Articles in the 7 Oct 1970 Var and 15 Nov 1970 NYT reported that the opening was delayed after it was discovered that Woodlawn had been incarcerated for allegedly passing a bad check while posing as the wife of France’s ambassador to the United Nations. Woodlawn denied the charge, saying she did not speak French, although she did admit to being inebriated in public. She was first taken to the Women’s House of Detention, then moved to the Manhattan Detention Complex after her biological gender was discovered. During her stay, Woodlawn endured a riot, which she claimed was provoked by the prison guards. Weeks later, artist Larry Rivers learned of the arrest and posted $500 bail. Although Woodlawn was paid only $150 for the eight days she worked on the film, she enjoyed her newfound fame, and made frequent appearances outside the Cinema II to greet patrons.
       The 19 May 1971 Var noted that Trash was the only U.S. film screened at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival Critics Section. As reported in the 28 Jul 1971 Var, the picture was voted “the highlight entry at the review of ‘art’ films” at Italy’s Taormina Film Festival.
       According to the 3 Mar 1971 Var, the opening in Munich, Germany, led to a dispute with songwriter Frederick Hollander, whose uncredited music from The Blue Angel (1930) was used in the picture. Warhol, who had tentative plans to remake the 1930 film, was expected to reach a settlement with Hollander.
Copyright length: 90min. Shot in 16mm. Copyright book credits Score Movies as production company and copyright claimant. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Los Angeles Times
25 Dec 1970
Section E, p. 27.
Los Angeles Times
3 Jul 1971
Section H, p. 14.
New York Times
6 Oct 1970
p. 57.
New York Times
11 Oct 1970
p. 11, 107.
New York Times
15 Nov 1970
Section D, p. 15.
Variety
3 Dec 1969
p. 7.
Variety
30 Sep 1970
p. 20.
Variety
7 Oct 1970
p. 2, 9, 19, 53.
Variety
3 Mar 1971
p. 29.
Variety
24 Mar 1971
p. 24.
Variety
19 May 1971
p. 22.
Variety
28 Jul 1971
p. 7.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Gutter Trash
Release Date:
5 October 1970
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 5 October 1970
Production Date:
29 November--mid December 1969
Copyright Claimant:
Factory Films
Copyright Date:
5 October 1970
Copyright Number:
LP39043
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
103
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Joe, whose drug habit has made him impotent, has an encounter with a go-go dancer in which her attempts to arouse him end in failure, and he returns to the dirty, rundown Lower East Side apartment he shares with his sometime lover Holly, a transvestite who scavenges the city's streets for articles of value. On the street Joe is approached by Andrea, a wealthy dropout who is anxious to buy some LSD. She offers him $20; he takes it, buys some heroin, goes to Andrea's apartment to inject it, and again fails to function sexually. Joe returns to his apartment in time to greet Holly, who has brought home a high school student in search of "soft" drugs. Holly gives the boy a shot in his buttocks. Joe breaks into newlywed Jane's apartment in a wealthy section of the city and is told there is nothing to steal. Thrilled with the possibility of being raped by a junkie burglar, Jane gives him a bath and passes him off as an old school chum when her husband unexpectedly arrives home. Joe demonstrates to the couple his method of injecting heroin; he overdoses himself, passes out, and is thrown naked into the street by the husband. Joe returns home and is told by Holly that he must kick his drug habit because her pregnant sister is coming to live with them. Once more unable to make love, Joe falls asleep, and Holly sexually satisfies herself with the neck of a bottle. The next day Holly's pregnant sister arrives, but the stay is curtailed when Holly finds her and Joe naked together. She throws her sister out and tries to evict Joe, ... +


Joe, whose drug habit has made him impotent, has an encounter with a go-go dancer in which her attempts to arouse him end in failure, and he returns to the dirty, rundown Lower East Side apartment he shares with his sometime lover Holly, a transvestite who scavenges the city's streets for articles of value. On the street Joe is approached by Andrea, a wealthy dropout who is anxious to buy some LSD. She offers him $20; he takes it, buys some heroin, goes to Andrea's apartment to inject it, and again fails to function sexually. Joe returns to his apartment in time to greet Holly, who has brought home a high school student in search of "soft" drugs. Holly gives the boy a shot in his buttocks. Joe breaks into newlywed Jane's apartment in a wealthy section of the city and is told there is nothing to steal. Thrilled with the possibility of being raped by a junkie burglar, Jane gives him a bath and passes him off as an old school chum when her husband unexpectedly arrives home. Joe demonstrates to the couple his method of injecting heroin; he overdoses himself, passes out, and is thrown naked into the street by the husband. Joe returns home and is told by Holly that he must kick his drug habit because her pregnant sister is coming to live with them. Once more unable to make love, Joe falls asleep, and Holly sexually satisfies herself with the neck of a bottle. The next day Holly's pregnant sister arrives, but the stay is curtailed when Holly finds her and Joe naked together. She throws her sister out and tries to evict Joe, but he apologizes, promising to stop using drugs. Later a welfare investigator visits Holly, who, inspired by her sister's visit, stuffs a pillow under her sweater and pretends to be pregnant. Holly's silver shoes catch the investigator's fancy, and he offers to put the couple on the welfare roll in exchange for the shoes. Holly refuses; a violent argument ensues; and Holly's deception is revealed. The investigator runs out, and the couple are left alone to their own devices. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.