Heat (1972 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byPaul Morrissey
Written byPaul Morrissey
John Hallowell[1]
Produced byAndy Warhol
StarringJoe Dallessandro
Sylvia Miles
Andrea Feldman
CinematographyPaul Morrissey
Music byJohn Cale
Distributed byLevitt-Pickman
Release dates
  • May 1972 (1972-05) (Cannes)
  • October 6, 1972 (1972-10-06) (New York)
Running time
102 minutes
CountryUnited States

Heat is a 1972 American comedy drama film written and directed by Paul Morrissey, produced by Andy Warhol, and starring Joe Dallesandro, Sylvia Miles and Andrea Feldman. The film was conceived by Warhol as a parody of the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard. It is the final installment of the "Paul Morrissey Trilogy" produced by Warhol, following Flesh (1968) and Trash (1970).


Joey Davis is an unemployed former child star who supports himself as a hustler in Los Angeles. Joey uses sex to get his landlady to reduce his rent, then seduces Sally Todd, a former Hollywood starlet. Sally tries to help Joey revive his career but her status as a mediocre ex-actress proves to be quite useless. Sally's psychotic daughter, Jessica, further complicates the relationship between Sally and the cynical, emotionally numb Joey.



The film was shown at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival.[2] The film was also screened at the New York Film Festival on October 5, 1972, before opening the following day at New York's Festival Theatre and then expanding to the Waverly Theatre in Greenwich Village and the Rialto Theatre in Times Square on October 11.[3][4]


The film was well received at Cannes and the New York Film Festival screening was standing-room only and was received by a generally enthusiastic crowd however three people walked out, with one lady claiming "It's the most disgusting thing I have ever seen" and referring to the films of the era "Make them, make them, just don't show them to anybody."[3][2]

At a panel discussion following the New York Film Festival screening, Otto Preminger called it "depressingly entertaining".[2] After previously ignoring most Warhol films, the New York Daily News reviewed the film, with Kathleen Carroll awarding it three stars.[5] The advert for the film was censored in the Daily News with a t-shirt painted on Dallesandro and a bra strap on Miles.[5]

Andrea Feldman, who had a much larger role than in previous Warhol films,[6] died shortly before the film was released, jumping from the fourteenth floor of her parents' apartment.[7] Her performance garnered positive reviews, with Judith Crist, writing in New York magazine, "The most striking performance, in large part non-performance, comes from the late Andrea Feldman, as the flat-voiced, freaked-out daughter, a mass of psychotic confusion, infantile and heart-breaking."[7]

The film grossed $28,000 in its first week.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roger Ebert: 1972: Andy Warhol's "Heat"
  2. ^ a b c Verrill, Addison (October 11, 1972). "Morrisey's Ad-Libbed 'Heat' Whams N.Y. Fest; Could Have B.O. Wattage Too". Variety. p. 7.
  3. ^ a b "Don't Go Into Film Fest If You Can't Stand 'Heat'". Variety. October 11, 1972. p. 3.
  4. ^ a b "'Heat'-ed Up At The B.O.". Variety. October 11, 1972. p. 7.
  5. ^ a b "Daily News Decides To Recognise Warhol". Variety. October 11, 1972. p. 7.
  6. ^ Andy Warhol 23: Andrea Feldman RIP, warholstars.org; accessed April 1, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Andy Warhol 1970-1974". warholstars.org. Archived from the original on July 25, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-10.

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