Distribpix / Adult Film Industry Timeline

Key events in the adult film industry and at Distribpix

 

1961
  • In the wake of the success of Russ Meyer’s ‘The Immoral Mr. Teas’ (1959), sexploitation films explode onto the big screen; Herschell Gordon Lewis makes ‘The Adventures of Lucky Pierre’, Doris Wishman releases ‘Nude on the Moon’, and in the UK, sex film pioneer George Harrison-Marks directs ‘Naked as Nature Intended’

                    

  • Joe Sarno makes his first film ‘Nude in Charcoal’; never released on video or DVD, this is a forthcoming release from Distribpix

1962
  • The cinematic adaptation of Nabokov’s Lolita is released under the constant threat of censorship and a denial of a Seal of Approval from the film industry’s production code
  • Marilyn Monroe appears nude in a swimming pool scene in ‘Something’s Got To Give’; the film is uncompleted as the star dies in August

  • Future ‘Godfather’ director Francis Ford Coppola makes early sexploitation film ‘Tonight For Sure’; this is a forthcoming release from Distribpix

          

1963
  • ‘Promises! Promises!’ – featuring a nude Jayne Mansfield – is released and quickly banned in many US cities; photographs of the offending scene are re-published in Playboy leading to the magazine’s publisher High Hefner being charged with obscenity

        

  • ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bares’ – the first nudie musical – is released by director Herschell Gordon Lewis

               

1964
  • Sidney Lumet's 'The Pawnbroker' is released; it was the first US film to show a woman nude from the waist up with bare breasts that was granted a Production Code seal; this led to the breakdown of the Production Code's restrictions. The film's producer is Hebert R. Steinmann - father of Danny Stone, director of 'High Rise' released by Distribpix in 1973

        

        

  • Russ Meyer releases the groundbreaking 'Lorna' - moving sexploitation films away from the 'nudie-cutie' tradition and into rape and revenge territory. It is prosecuted in some states for obscenity

              

1965
  • Russ Meyer releases 'Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!' combining sex with violence

              

  • Distribpix is formed in New York to distribute and produce films in the burgeoning sexploitation market

                

 

  • Michael Findlay makes the notorious 'Satan's Bed' for Sam Lake Enterprises, starring the then unknown Yoko Ono; this is later acquired for distribution by Distribpix
1966
  • Michelangelo Antonioni's first English language film, 'Blow-Up' is released - featuring the first view of pubic hair in a mainstream film; Antonioni refuses to cut the nudity and so it is released without the MPAA's Seal of Approval. He is nominated for an Oscar as best Director.

        

  • Financed by Distribpix and produced by Distribpix co-founder, Howard Farber, Joe Sarno directs the classic New York sexploitation films 'The Bed and How to Make It!' and 'Skin Deep in Love'

              

  • Future exploitation cinematographer par excellence, C. Davis Smith releases 'All My Men' for Sam Lake Enterprises
1967
  • The landmark ‘I Am Curious, Yellow’ is released; this Swedish film was seized by US Customs who claimed that it was pornographic – it contained full frontal nudity of both sexes and simulated intercourse. It went on to become one of the highest grossing foreign films in the US for decades

         

  • Luis Bunuel makes ‘Belle de Jour’ – a surreal tale of fantasy, masochism and eroticism

       

  • Joe Sarno’s long association with Distribpix continues with the film ‘Anything for Money’, which also stars his wife Peggy Steffans

           

  • Legendary director Ron Sullivan (also known as Henri Pachard) makes his first film – the classic ‘Lust Weekend’

            

  • C. Davis Smith continues his directing career for Sam Lake making sexploitation cult films ‘File X For Sex: The Perverted’ and ‘To Turn A Trick’
1968
  • Mainstream films continue to incorporate more sexual content; these include Roger Vadim's 'Barbarella'; Lindsay Anderson's 'if…' and the lesbian-oriented 'The Killing of Sister George' Sexploitation films continue to be successful - including Joe Sarno's Swedish drama 'Inga', Radley Metzger's 'Therese and Isabelle' and Russ Meyer's 'Vixen, one of the first films to receive the newly formed MPAA's 'X' rating
  •                 
  • The biggest year so far for Distribpix as many big names debut their first sexploitation films; Graham Place makes 'The Procurer' and 'Room and Broad'

                 

  • Robert Sumner directs 'Sidewalk Cowboy'

        

  • William K. Hennigar authors 'An Angle of Love' and 'Surfside Sex'

           

  • Legendary director of one day wonders Leonard Kirtman also marks his arrival producing 'Orgy Girls '69' and 'Spread Eagles'

        

  • Assisted by his wife, Joe Sarno consolidates his reputation with 'All the Sins of Sodom' and 'Vibrations' Future 'Deep Throat' production manager, Ron Wertheim, makes 'Invitation to Lust'

                           

1969
  • 'Midnight Cowboy' becomes the first (and only) X-rated film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. 'Easy Rider' is released; its counter-culture and generation-defining themes make it an instant classic and hugely influential film
         
  • The year that Kirt Films, founded by ex-taxi driver Leonard Kirtman, explodes onto the New York sexploitation screens with a slew of releases. These include 'Around the World in 80 Ways', 'A Bride for Brenda', Going Down for the 3rd Time', 'The Hot Kiss' and 'Marriage Dropouts' and 'Sex Circus' - all directed by Tommy Goetz
  • 'Felicia' and 'Franchette: Les Intrigues' are made by Don Walters (using the pseudonym Arlo Shiffen), who goes on to a long association with Distribpix

         

  • Legendary director Michael Findlay teams up with Jack Bravman to make a number of films including 'The Closer to the Bone the Sweeter the Meat', 'Crack-Up' and 'All Night Rider'

            

  • Ron Sullivan continues his sexploitation career by making 'This Sporting House' starring a young Jennifer Welles

       

        

1970
  • 'Beyond the Valley of the Dolls' is released; the first studio film of independent 'nudie-cutie' king Russ Meyer

             

  • 'Pornography in Denmark: A New Approach' is released; the first successful mainstream, widely distributed film featuring pornographic sequences
  • 'Mona: The Virgin Nymph' is released; the first theatrically released, feature-length hardcore film with a narrative storyline
     
  • 'Electro Sex 75' is released; the first pornographic film to be advertised in a newspaper in New York
  • Distribpix distributes the Amero brothers' surreal masterpiece 'Bacchanale'; originally shot as a soft core film, hard core inserts featuring Harry Reems and Tina Russell were added prior to release

                     

  • Future XRCO Hall of Famer, Henri Pachard (real name Ron Sullivan), releases 'Scorpio '70' starring Distribpix legend Jennifer Welles

               

  • 'The Postgraduate (A Course in Sexual Love)' is released to great success through Cosmos Films; Distribpix will later acquire the rights to this early classic

       

 

  • Other notable Distribpix films released during this year include the Kirt International films, 'Catch 69', 'Construction Gang', 'Mother Knows Best', 'My Swedish Cousins', 'Open Air Bedroom', and Joe Sarno's 'Horn-a-Plenty'

                         

1971
  • 'Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song' is released, an independent low-budget classic, featuring unsimulated sex, which provides a template for many New York exploitation directors

          

  • 'Carnal Knowledge' is the subject of a major US Supreme Court case; it was ruled that a Georgia law prohibiting the distribution of obscene material had gone too far
     
  • 'Cherry Blossom', the first film by legendary director Jonas Middleton, is produced by Distribpix and stars the gorgeous and ubiquitous Cindy West

        

  • Sidney Knight's 'I Feel It Coming' is released with the husband and wife team of Tallie Cochrane and Patrick Wright in the lead roles
  • Other notable Distribpix films released during this year include the Kirt International films, Lip Service', 'Love Thy Neighbor', 'Moving Violation' and 'The Wee Gee Broad'

                

 

        

1972
  •  Gerard Damiano’s ‘Deep Throat’ is released becoming one of the most profitable films of all time. It launches the porno-chic phenomenon as the first cross-over adult film, and influences the industry for years to come. Gerard Damiano would go on to direct a number of films for Distribpix, including ‘Consenting Adults’ and ‘People

              

  • The Mitchell Brothers ‘Behind the Green Door’ is released starring Marilyn Chambers, the “99.44% pure Ivory Snow girl”

          

  • Capitalizing on the burgeoning interest in depictions of sex, Woody Allen releases ‘Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask’

           

  • ‘Last Tango in Paris’ is released; Bertolucci’s film, starring Marlon Brando, becomes the first film to be prosecuted under Britain’s Obscene Publications Act
     
  • Elusive Distribpix director Sidney Knight releases ‘The Debauchers’, ‘The Morning After’, ‘Sexual Customs in Scandinavia’ and ‘The Lovemakers’

              

 

  • John and Lem Amero release their first fully fledged hardcore effort ‘Dynamite’ featuring the a combination of soft-core stars (Ute Erickson) and hardcore stars (Jamie Gillis and Deep Throat’s Dolly Sharp)

                 

  • Future great, Armand Weston, releases his proto porno-documentary ‘Personals’ which is distributed by Distribpix
  • Future ‘Captain Lust and the Pirate Women’ director, Beau Buchanan, teams up with Distribpix in-house director Leonard Kirtman, to release the documentary ‘Pornography in New York’

        

 

1973
  • Gerard Damiano's 'The Devil in Miss Jones' is released, reaffirming the director's role as the pre-eminent porno-auteur, and making a star out of Georgina Spelvin in the titular role

              

  • 'Deadly Weapons' - starring the prodigiously-endowed burlesque stripper Chesty Morgan - becomes a soft-core hit
     
  • Joe Sarno leaves his soft-core roots behind and makes his first big-budget porn film 'Sleepyhead' - hiding his involvement behind the absence of film credits

           

  • Ray Hoersch and John Butterworth make the notorious 'Erotic Memoirs of a Male Chauvinist Pig'. This taboo-busting film featured the directors themselves, as well as Distribpix favorites Georgina Spelvin, Any Mathieu, Tina Russell, Helen Madigan and Darby Lloyd Rains

        

  • Future 'Friday the 13th: A New Beginning' director Danny Stone, makes his first film - the classic adult film 'High Rise' featuring Harry Reems and Jamie Gillis

               

  • Kirt Films' Leonard Kirtman release a group of films credited to 'Tim Davies' that are distributed by Distribpix. These include 'Round Robin', 'Redliners', 'Head Nurse', 'Fast Ball', 'Head Set' and 'Quick Turnover'

                          

1974
  • ‘Emmanuelle’ is released immediately becoming one of the most successful sex films of all time; this sophisticated French soft-core film spawns numerous imitations that continue to this day

         

  • Soft-core auteur Radley Metzger creates the hardcore director persona ‘Henry Paris’ and directs the classic ‘The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann’ starring Distribpix regulars Sonny Landham, Darby Lloyd Rains, Marc Stevens, and Eric Edwards, and Barbara Bourbon in the lead role

                       

        

  • Soft-core adaptation of the 1930s superhero, ‘Flesh Gordon’ is released; it is so successful that an edited R-rated version is released for wider distribution
     
  • Taking advantage of the publicity surrounding the publication of ‘The Happy Hooker’, Mature Pictures release ‘The Life and Times of Xaviera Hollander’; Distribpix later acquire this picture for distribution

          

  • Porn journeyman Shaun Costello releases low rent one day wonders such as ‘Lady On The Couch’, ‘Love Bus’ and ‘The Teenage Nurses’ – all subsequently purchased by Distribpix

                   

1975
  • ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ – with scenes of transvestism, homosexuality, bisexuality, adultery and incest – becomes the cult film par excellence

         

  • Pier Pasolini releases his last film ‘Salo’ – and runs into immediate censorship problems for its depiction of atrocities and sexual perversions

         

  • Radley Metzger’s second ‘Henry Paris’ film ‘Naked Came the Stranger’ is released starring Distribpix favorites Darby Lloyd Rains, Levi Richards and Mary Stuart

               

  • The Amero brothers release ‘Every Inch a Lady’ featuring a stellar cast of the cream of New York players, including Harry Reems, Darby Lloyd Raines, Jamie Gillis, Marc Stevens and Kim Pope

                    

  • Bill Milling makes his first adult films including ‘French Shampoo’, ‘Oriental Blue’ and ‘When a Woman Calls’ – using his Philip T. Drexler Jr. pseudonym
  • Joe Sarno continues his hardcore journey with the film ‘Laura’s Toys’
1976
  • Nagisa Oshima’s ‘In the Realm of the Senses’ is seized and banned by US Customs
  • Radley Metzger’s all-time classic ‘The Opening of Misty Beethoven’ is released; often cited as the greatest adult film of all time, it was acquired by Distribpix (together with the other Henry Paris titles) in 2011
                  
  • Jonas Middleton makes ‘Through the Looking Glass’ starring Jamie Gillis; combining horror and hardcore sex, it is considered one of the great adult films of the golden age

                  

  • Joe Sarno maintains his high artistic standards with his two films, ‘Honeycup’ and ‘Slippery When Wet’
  • Bill Milling continues his prolific career with three great films ‘Blonde Velvet’, ‘The Ecstasy in Blue’ and ‘Virgin Snow’
  • Famed director Armand Weston makes the first of his films for Distribpix, ‘Expose Me Lovely’
  • Leonard Kirtman disciple Ralph Ell makes ‘Seduction’ and ‘Teenage Deviates’

              

1977
  • Luis Bunuel releases his final film, ‘That Obscure Object of Desire’ – a steamy story of sexual politics and obsession
  • Radley Metzger’s ‘Barbara Broadcast’ is the fourth film released under his ‘Henry Paris’ persona; it features Annette Haven and New York regular C.J. Laing in starring roles
         
  • Cult director Bill ‘Maniac’ Lustig releases his two adult films – ‘Hot Honey’ and ‘Violation of Claudia’ – using the pseudonym ‘Billy Bagg’

                  

  • Joe Sarno releases two classics for Distribpix, ‘Hot Wives’ and ‘Inside Jennifer Welles’; 'Inside Jennifer Welles' marks the first time an adult film company enters into an exclusive contract with a star

                  

  • Legendary Distribpix director, Chuck Vincent, releases ‘Dirty Lilly’ and ‘Visions’
  • Carter Stevens makes ‘Honeymoon Haven’ starring New York porn stalwarts Robert Kerman, Wade Nichols and Marlene Willoughby

               

1978
  • Legendary adult film ‘Debbie Does Dallas is released, and is promptly denounced and sued by the real Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders

         

  • ‘Maraschino Cherry’ – the final ‘Henry Paris’ film – is released; it is acquired and released by Distribpix. In 2009, Video-X-Pix release a special collector’s edition as part of the Platinum Elite collection   

           

  • Armand Weston releases his masterwork ‘Take-Off’; spanning the 1920s through to the 1970s; it is expertly shot by Joao Fernandes and features a who’s who of New York adult film

            

  • Gerard Damiano releases ‘People’ starring Jamie Gillis and his then-partner Serena
  • Chuck Vincent releases ‘Bad Penny’ starring one of the great New York adult stars, Samantha Fox

       

1981
  • ‘Roommates’, directed by Chuck Vincent, is released; one of the last attempts to create a pornographic cross-over film for viewing couple in the neighborhood theater. It stars Samantha Fox, Kelly Nichols, and Veronica Hart