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I Shot Andy Warhol [DVD]

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Product details

  • Actors: Lili Taylor, Jared Harris, Martha Plimpton, Stephen Dorff, Danny Morgenstern
  • Directors: Mary Harron
  • Producers: Tom Kalin, Christine Vachon
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Dutch, English, French, Greek, Hindi
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: MGM Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 10 July 2006
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,970 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Based on the attempted murder of New York artist Andy Warhol. Valerie Solanas (Lili Taylor) moves to Sixties New York, where she is befriended by the transvestite Candy Darling (Stephen Dorff) and lesbian Stevie. Working as a prostitute, Valerie tries to get herself published. She writes her own manifesto, SCUM (Society for Cutting Up Men), and a play entitled 'Up Your Ass'. When she and her friends become part of Warhol's (Jared Harris) Factory entourage, Valerie has hopes that Warhol will produce her work, but instead finds herself ridiculed by and finally 'excommunicated' from his circle. As she slips into paranoia, Valerie makes an attempt on Warhol's life.


Mary Harron's feature--which picked up a Special Jury Award at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival for lead actress and independent film mainstay Lili Taylor--is a highly suspect mishmash of golly-gee counterculture reconstruction and inflammatory agitprop. Harron re-creates the ultimately violent relationship of motor-mouth street freak writer-prostitute-lesbian-gun-wielding assailant Valerie Solanas (Taylor) and pop artist Andy Warhol (Jared Harris) in the late 1960s, which ended in Solanas's assault on Warhol for his charmingly noncommittal responses to her search for a patron. It's a great idea for a film, but I Shot Andy Warhol is truly at odds with itself. Harron's modular construction of the story--part naive re-enactment of the instant-celebrity life at Warhol's studio, part celebration of Solanas's subversive ramblings, part investigation into the roots of her hyper-victimisation at, apparently, the hands of all men--is ultimately a shell game that allows the writer-director to avoid taking a clear stand on Solanas's bizarro politics. The cast is the only draw here: besides indie-film queen Taylor, Jared Harris makes for a convincingly cagey Warhol. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By cathy earnshaw on 4 Dec. 2007
Format: DVD
The film's title is self-explanatory: this is the story of militant lesbian feminist Valerie Solanas' violent attack on the pope of pop art, Andy Warhol, on June 3, 1968. It was partly the forthrightness of the title that so enraged Lou Reed, a friend of Warhol's in the 1960s and lead singer of the Warhol-produced Velvet Underground: "How would people feel about a film titled 'I Shot John Lennon?'". Unsurprisingly Reed refused cooperation, but ex-Velvet John Cale agreed to compose the original score and famous Factory cohort Billy Name served as a dramatic consultant (Billy was also responsible for the original Factory being decorated in silver foil; the replica here, complete with weirdly-shaped silver balloons, looks utterly convincing).

Lili Taylor's performance as Valerie has garnered a host of very complimentary reviews as well as a Grand Jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival. It is certainly an authentic portrayal (as is Stephen Dorff's performance as the transvestite Candy). Another Amazon reviewer has complained that Solanas is irritating because of her fast-talking, misandrist manner, but that is surely intentional: she is after all an anti-heroine and director Mary Harron (who interviewed Warhol herself in 1980) is unlikely to have wanted to give a more sympathetic account than was necessary. Personally, I think the film doesn't go far enough on this score: Solanas was clearly an extremely dangerous woman, so obsessed with Warhol that she even spray-painted the bullets silver, regarded him as a vampire and referred to the shooting three years after the event as "a moral act. And I consider it immoral that I missed. I should have done target practice".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By calmly on 24 Oct. 2007
Format: VHS Tape
It must be Manhatten. The distance between the Warhol art scene and the Times Square porn scene seems to have been small. A "Midnight Cowboy" for the 90's.

This is one of my favorite films from the 90's. Certainly more of an edge than Oscar winners from the '90's Forrest Gump, Titanic and Shakespeare in Love.

Lili Taylor as Valerie Solonas is superb. The overall cast is excellent. Stephen Dorff as Candy Darling is ... irresistible. Going beyond the fine acting is the direction, Mary Harron making it all just too real. She also co-wrote the script with Daniel Minahan, who later directed "Series 7: The Contender". Without Harron's tight handling, this film probably would have just been odd. Now it's great and odd. Billy Name, who was responsible for covering the actual Factory's inner walls in foil, was an advisor. He seems to have been put to good use.

I've watched twice now, the second time seeming even more powerful than the first. The second half was especially absorbing. The entire Warhol scene seems fascinating. Reading about it first in a book like "Popism: The Warhol Sixties" might enhance viewing of this movie. Something to watch but perhaps to be glad not to have been part of. Well, who's bold enough?

And yet somehow these wild side walkers have been made to seem familiar, perhaps not the girls next door but maybe just up the street. "I Shot Andy Warhol" begins as a look at the fringe and ends much closer to home.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By gcd on 14 May 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
not very much by the way where are you. well get dinerr there someone said (eric). what if im back!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 48 reviews
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Alternative film hits alternative bull's-eye 17 May 2003
By Chris K. Wilson - Published on
Format: DVD
I suppose "I Shot Andy Warhol" is different things to different people. I have argued vehemently with friends whose opinion I respect about the extraordinary merits of this film. I think "I Shot Andy Warhol" was one of the finest films of 1998. I also think this film is blessed with one of the most intense performances of any era by Lili Taylor, unforgettable in the lead role of lesbian-prostitute-feminist-deranged-Warhol-groupie Valerie Solanas. Hers is a brave, utterly believable portrayal, wrought with desperation, loneliness and a creative need chained by conventions of American society.
To expect a by-the-numbers retelling/recreation of the true events portrayed in this film - Solanas' assault of Andy Warhol - is entirely missing the point. I believe film director/writer Mary Harron was trying to reveal a type of exploitation of women that existed during this time, and certainly hovered in the shadows of the pseudo alternative arts culture of Andy Warhol's Factory - a dream-like warehouse littered with black-clad artists/writers/filmmakers instinctively creating against-the-grain works while rebelling against the conservative conventions of 1950s-1960s American culture.
Harron's version of Solanas, who would go on to publish the frightening though fascinating work "SCUM Manifesto," is a lonely, out-of-place soul. She initially appears to have found a comrade haven in Warhol's Factory. But her rage, plus her radical feminist views, eventually causes her "excommunication," leading to her assualt of Andy. The shooting itself essentially ended Warhol's artistic career, leaving wounds which would never entirely heal.
I like the contrast Harron makes several times throughout the film between Warhol (well played by Jared Harris) and Solanas - with Warhol as the effeminate introverted male and Solanas as the masculine extroverted female. These two are definitely opposite sides of the coin. I was also impressed by Harron's pointed observation of the women-hating exploitation that existed in much of the Factory's art. It has always been cool to admire Warhol and the legend of his Factory. Harron's recreation of several of the warehouse parties, including a memorable Velvet Underground concert, are some of the many highlights of this film.
But eventually in Harron's film, Solanas' radical views are too counter culture for even Warhol and company. And once again Solanas is an outcast, lonely and adrift within the confines of the New York art scene of the 1960s. "I Shot Andy Warhol" is such a sad film in many ways, detailing lost souls void of acceptable identity. Solanas' rage is the angst of all struggling outcasts, cursed by a need to create, but unable to find the proper forum or audience. That she took her rage to the ultimate extreme should not be applauded. But to place her into the conventional (and safe) category of demented psycho is not entirely accurate. It's a brave stance "I Shot Andy Warhol" makes, and perhaps it is just another form of the emotional truth of this story.
Harron's "I Shot Andy Warhol" is an alternative examination of alternative lifestyles. It's stance is disturbingly unique, with a creative style undeniable.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Totally degenerate, but very well done 24 Nov. 2002
By Dennis Littrell - Published on
Director Mary Harron invades the sixties tinfoil castle of Andy Warhol and spins a kind of art deco loser romance with the very talented Lili Taylor playing the very butch Valerie Solanas, who actually did shoot Andy Warhol. I have been driving myself crazy trying to recall who Taylor is taking off on, some little guy, ghetto denizen from a forgotten flick of my mind. If anybody recognizes the style, please let me know. Anyway, she manages to be surprisingly sympathetic as the authoress of the SCUM manifesto (that's "Society for the Cutting Up of Men") and a play entitled "Up Your ...," which I suppose is appropriate considering the decadence depicted. Taylor's Valerie Solanas is strangely winning as a victim of a desperate, mad integrity. (I suspect the real Valerie was anything but sympathetic.) She won't take a job but will beg, panhandle, turn tricks and steal. She's a true believer whose main tenet is that men are something akin to a disease. Because she is bright and witty and courageous she wins us over even though she hates us. We forgive her because we know she hurts a lot and can't help herself. (To which she would say, "...")
Harron decorates this sixties cum nineties version of New York chic/flophouse reality with the kind of degenerate personalities for which the Big Apple is justly famous. Jared Harris plays Andy Warhol brilliantly with something like a truer than true characterization, combining a sympathetic, eccentric and gentle exterior with an exploitive mercantile heart. One gets the sense that he had it coming. Stephen Dorff is Candy Darling, a transvestite so fetching that he makes a guy like me wish he had a sister. Lothaire Bluteau as Olympia Press publisher Maurice Girodias seems a little young, but otherwise fits the bill, and Martha Plimpton as Stevie does a nice job in a modest part. The sound track might catch your ear with Blue Cheer performing the Coasters' "Summertime Blues" and Bettie Serveert doing a fine interpretation of Dylan's "I'll Keep It with Mine." Jewel (yes, the very same) sings "Sunshine Superman," and completing the nineties accent on the sixties, REM does "Love Is All Around." Probably outright anachronistic is the use of an aluminum soda can to smoke grass. I don't think that came into practice until later when the skunkweed got so strong you could smoke it like hash.
Some other sights: the Andy Warhol hanger-ons doing a faux sand-painting mandala with pills as they party, and then one of them rolling her naked torso into the pills so that they stick to her body. Or the guy coming out of--an encounter, we'll call it--with a jar of Vaseline in hand in time to greet some slumming French aristocratic ladies whose hands (one gloved) he kisses. In a bit of haute culture ridicule, another of the hangers-on asks poor Candy Darling, "We've been wondering, how often do you get your period?" To which s/he replies, "Every day. I'm all woman."
If you're the kind of person who watches the Disney Channel, I would recommend you skip this. Otherwise you might want to check it out. I found it surprisingly smart and witty. The print is finely cut, the acting is superior, and there's an underlying sense of something close to the heroic in a clearly quixotic way.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A brilliant and overlooked film! 31 May 2001
By FloozyFlapper1926 - Published on
Format: DVD
"I Shot Andy Warhol" is an interesting look at the life of the disturbed feminist Valerie Solanas. Its a brilliant film that takes you into a world that is often ugly yet impossible to turn away from. The first time I watched it, I felt a little uncomfortable with some of the subject matter. I don't see this movie as making a judgment call on either side. It just tells the story of the deterioration of this woman and her growing hatred and obsession with Andy Warhol that led to the shooting. Valerie wrote this odd little play with a name I can't write here. She found her way to the Factory through Candy Darling, a drag queen brilliantly portrayed by Stephen Dorff. None of them were interested too much in the play and it got tossed out with the trash. After being duped by a shady publisher for her feminist manifesto, she became increasingly enraged and obsessed with Warhol who she believed was trying to steal her book.
I have to admit that this would be a disturbing film for most people. Her ideas were very warped and skewed by a hatred and distrust of men. The ironic thing was that she probably could have been a good writer if her bitterness and insanity hadn't taken over. I think this shows what can happen to a person sexually abused as a child. Its a really depressing film that always makes me wince whenever I see it. However, its so powerful that I've watched it many times. I think Lily Taylor should have got an Oscar for this film. She put her heart and soul into this character.
All in all, I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. Its definitely a film that offends a lot of people. I didn't see this film as glorifying this woman nor condemning her. It told the story the best that it could. Its definitely a film that will be remembered.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Drag Queens, Dope Fiends, and The Manifesto... 28 Mar. 2003
By yygsgsdrassil - Published on
Format: DVD
If you want to see a tour de force performance--well, two, actually--buy, rent, borrow or steal this vid. Taylor as Solanus is amazing as well as Dorff as Candy. Recall those old WB cartoons in which there's the big Bowery bulldog prancing down the street with his little dog protege?--"Hey, Spike, let's chase some cats! Yawanna? Yawanna? Do ya?". Well, that's a bit how hustling street girl Solanus comes off as sometimes. Her line is "For 'you,' a quarter--fifty cents"..The way she cocks her hat and smokes tons of cigarettes while spewing forth her rampages about how men are genetic mistakes is priceless--she totally gets into her character. There are hints at the infamous Warhol subversive videos and cinema, the Underground and the Swinging Sixties--Yeeeah Baybaay! And the genius of the fringe and near fringe. And Noo Yawk Citay! Was Warhol exploiting the poor for his art? Or did he have a certain kinship because he was the ultimate outsider? Who's to say? Anyway, this is a great production that slipped by many movie goers when it was released. Enjoy it, now!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
You got to go through a lot of sex to be ready for anti-sex. 8 Nov. 2004
By A. Gyurisin - Published on
Format: DVD
When I first found this film I wasn't sure whom it was about. I recognized the name from the title, but I was pretty sure that it wasn't all going to be about Andy Warhol. I was perplexed and ready for yet another adventure down the path of our nation's undiscovered history. When I first started watching this movie I knew nothing about Valerie Solanas. She is not in the history books labeled next to Andy Warhol, or is she one that oozes sympathy. Solanas is a trash talking, independent thinker that somehow found herself next to one of the most modern men of our century, Andy Warhol.

Lili Taylor helms this unbridled beast Solanas like no actress I have seen before. I honestly felt as if Taylor had transformed herself into this brutal feminist. After the first ten minutes, I didn't even recognize Taylor because she had successfully transformed herself into this insane (?) character who carried this film on her shoulders. Taylor plays this woman who, for reasons unknown, constantly seeks Warhol's attention and approval. When Andy refuses to devote his entire attention to her, her mental stability begins to fail. In hopes to bring her back into the spotlight, and hopefully demonstrate to the world her manifesto, she does what the title of this film suggests. Sadly, this has the opposite effect and she is forced to live with the act that she committed instead of the words that she has written.

Taylor was phenomenal in this role. She stole the scene from everyone and was never afraid to take Solanas to the next level. Thankfully, she has some help from some amazing back-up stars to only help boost her performance. Jared Harris is superb as Andy (one of the best reincarnations of him) and Stephen Dorff blazes onto the scene as Candy Darling. Oscars should have been handed out for their parts in this film, but unfortunately this was yet another film the Academy ignored.

Outside of the acting, director Mary Harron does a fabulous job of setting the scene and building the image of this era. Warhol was a genius, and because of his fame and notoriety he somehow attracted some of the most interesting people in the world. This is one of those stories of a woman that wanted to attach herself to this great man, yet somehow couldn't. Harron directs these actors to show this with perfection. Her brash cinematography and direction seem to blend perfectly in this boiling pot of history. Her mix of documentary and biography genres works well in this film. She commands attention behind the camera, and her actors react with positive responses. This was a gritty story not for everyone's tastes. It was a very true story that is more than just Andy Warhol, but also develops themes of feminism and women's rights. Was Solanas crazy? I don't think so, I just think she was ahead of her time and not afraid to be herself.

Grade: ***** out of *****
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