For Immediate Distribution:
Radley Metzger died of undisclosed causes in New York City on Friday, March 31, 2017 at the age of 88.
Born in the Bronx in 1929, Radley Henry Metzger received a B.A. in Dramatic Arts from City College of New York and went on to graduate studies at Columbia University. During the early 1950s, Metzger served as a photographer in the U.S. Air Force before going on to edit trailers for Janus Films, a major distributor of foreign art films.
His directorial film debut, Dark Odyssey (1958), was a neo-realist drama concerning the experiences of a Greek immigrant arriving in New York. In 1961, along with film distributor Ava Leighton, Metzger founded Audubon Films, a distribution company that specialized in importing international features, some of which were marketed into the gradually expanding erotic film genre.
He emerged as an auteur in the mid 1960s making artistic, adult-oriented films such as Carmen, Baby (1967), Thérèse and Isabelle (1968), Camille 2000 (1969) and The Lickerish Quartet (1970). Much of this work was shot in Europe, and was adapted from novels or other literary sources, including ‘Carmen’, ‘La Dame aux Camélias’ and ‘Six Characters in Search of an Author’. In 1973 he directed Little Mother, based on the life of Eva Peron.
His oeuvre was distinguished by its lavish design, witty screenplays, and striking cinematography. In the words of one critic, “They capture – as much as they contributed to – the emerging sexual revolution.”
In the 1970s, using the name Henry Paris, Metzger directed some of the most famous and technically accomplished films of the so-called ‘porno chic’ genre, such as The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann (1974), Naked Came the Stranger (1975), and The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1976). In 1978 he directed the mainstream film The Cat and the Canary.
Metzger’s work has received numerous awards, honored in retrospectives, most recently at the Lincoln Center in New York, and is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
He is survived by his daughter, nephew and nieces. A private funeral service will be held by the family. An announcement regarding a public memorial will be made at a later date.
Questions regarding Metzger’s passing can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Press Release issued by: Juliette Metzger, Caryl Feldman, Ashley West
A true Gentleman, Way ahead of his time. Was honored to be his eyes on Youtube. RIP Maestro.
Truly the best.
So the rumors are true. I had hoped that as it was April 1st that… well, y’know.
Thanks for being the only authoritative source for information about the industry. I don’t know where many of us would be without you.
RIP Maestro. You will be sorely missed.
The theater lights have dimmed one last time.
Heartbreaking news. One of the most gifted and important filmmakers in cinema history. One of the absolute greats whose influence can’t be measured.
The true “aristrocrst of erotica” this man has done more to give adult films the respectability they deserve. And thank you Ashley West for taking the time to sit down with him for the four amazing Distribpix commentary tracks he did (I think you were the moderator on those at least). He will be sorely missed.
Amazing man, stunning films, huge loss. I’m speechless and unconsolable.
One of the every best.
Another loss for the golden industry.
My Radley Metzger Story…
I met Lynn Lowry when I was a PA for her at a horror convention in Dallas. She was there to promote a indie horror film she’d done, produced by some friends of mine. Flash forward a few months later. The movie has a screening in NYC. I go, and just about all the cast and crew are there, plus friends and family.
I see Lynn, and she’s with a distinguished older gentleman who she introduced to me as Radley Metzger. Now I knew he’d directed Lynn in SCORE with Cal Culver (aka Casey Donovan), and I wanted to tell him how much I enjoyed it. I did.
But nerves got the better of me, and I asked him what it was like, working with Lynn.
AND JACK WRANGLER.
Needless to say, Radley was NOT AMUSED.
I meant to apologize for getting it wrong. But I never got a chance to speak to him again after the screening.
Terrible news but what a life and what a towering achivement.
RIP Radley. I met you at the Lincoln retrospective and you were a true gentleman.
A few years ago,I attended a screening of THE IMAGE at the Lincoln Center retrospective of Radley Metzger’s films called THIS IS SOFTCORE. Radley introduced the film and then held a Q and A moderated by Gavin Smith. Amazingly, Marilyn Roberts was in the audience and Radley called her up onstage to participate. She looked amazing but seemed to have a bit of a problem speaking clearly. Radley was so thrilled to see her again after so many years. It was quite moving. Marilyn commented to Radley “I love your hair” which made everyone laugh. One member of the audience complained to Radley that he was disappointed that the hardcore version was shown– he wanted to see the softcore cut and got quite agitated about it. Radley calmed the waters by saying that he wanted to go on to a different subject before the disgruntled audience member had a heart attack! Unfortunately, I was too intimidated to ask Radley of autograph my DVD of DARK ODYSSEY which I had brought along. My loss. I am a huge fan of ALL of his work and am very saddened by his passing.