Sydney Knight

Who Is Sydney Knight?

A lingering question in the history of NYC sexploitation, who was the mysterious "Sydney Knight" and why isn't anybody talking about him?

Well, it can be said without absolute certainty that Mr. "Knight" is likely Exploitation impresario Simon Nuchtern. Yes, the man responsible for the "snuff" in SNUFF and the failed 3-D slasher SILENT MADNESS probably directed a handful of soft and hardcore gems including 1971's THE DEBEAUCHERS which, just like Nuchtern's 1975 editions to Mike and Roberta Findlay's innocuous drug-smuggling melodrama, ends with a snuff-surprise.

More "proof" comes from his involvement in the 1970, serious anti-war film, COWARDS. After flopping at the boxoffice, the film was sold to Nuchtern who shot softcore scenes and re-issued it as LOVE-IN '72. The second credited director: Sydney Knight.

 Finally, though this is even more circumstantial than anything else, chances are cinematographer Robert T. Megginson, who worked with Nuchtern on some of his "mainstream" offerings, also moonlighted as Robert Morgenstern, cinematographer on nearly all of "Knight's" sexploitation and hardcore opuses.

 So can we definitively state that Nuchtern is Knight? No. Nuchtern denies the connections (so why was his name on the bill of sale of "Knights" films when they were purchased by Sam Lake?), but inquiring minds will continue investigating until definitive proof is found, either way.

 In any case "Knight's" cinematic offerings rank as amongst the most fascinating from the transitional period from soft to hard. Edgy, witty, and brimming with anxt, his films call to mind the rough and tumble New York of Cassavetes or early Sorcese, but on a miniscule budget.

 Check out THE DEBAUCHERS for "rape, rape and a lot more rape," as the tagline put it.

Or the brooding murder mystery, THE MORNING AFTER, which is part Andy Milligan and part Otto Preminger.

Or the strange Vietnam War drama I FEEL IT COMING.

"Knight" was as unique as sexploitation filmmakers come, whoever he may be...