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A Certain Sacrifice

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Director  Stephen Jon Lewicki
Music director  Jeremy Pattnosh
Country  United States
2.8/10 IMDb

Genre  Crime, Drama
Language  English
A Certain Sacrifice movie poster
Release date  October 1, 1985
Writer  Stephen Jon Lewicki, Jeremy Pattnosh, Robert Manganaro Morris (additional story work)
Cast  Madonna, Jeremy Pattnosh, Charles Kurtz, Kate Magill
Screenplay  Jeremy Pattnosh, Stephen Jon Lewicki
Similar movies  Madonna appears in A Certain Sacrifice and Shanghai Surprise

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A Certain Sacrifice is a 1985 American drama film co-written and directed by Stephen Jon Lewicki and starring Madonna, Jeremy Pattnosh and Charles Kurtz. It was Madonna's first movie, filmed around September 1979, but not released until 1985.


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The film is an "oddball" independent film, shot on-and-off over two years in New York City for just $20,000. Madonna finished her scenes in the Fall of 1980. Almost all of the cast were unpaid.

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Madonna played the part of Bruna, a Lower East Side resident who lives with three "love slaves" (one male, one female, one transgender). Bruna meets Dashiell (Pattnosh) in the water fountain in Washington Square Park and the two "fall in love". Bruna tells her lovers she doesn't need them anymore. They attack her sexually (this scene caused controversy since Madonna is topless). Later, Bruna is raped by Raymond Hall (Kurtz) in a bathroom at a coffee shop. To exact retribution, Bruna enlists her love slaves and Dashiell to abduct the rapist. They dress up as hookers and lure him into a limo. They lead him to a theatre where a Satanic sacrifice is performed. Dashiell later wipes Raymond's blood all over Bruna.


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Despite Madonna's second thoughts about having participated in this movie, Lewicki had nothing but compliments for her. One of his oft-repeated stories was how he "discovered" Madonna and was amazed that she hand-wrote a three-page letter for a part that didn't even pay. She was only paid $100, only because she was short on her apartment rent and Lewicki paid to help out. In Christopher Andersen's 1991 biography, Madonna Unauthorized, Lewicki stated: "That woman has more sensuality in her ear than most women have anywhere on their bodies".

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Actor Jeremy Pattnosh wrote and performed several songs in the film, including: "Certain Sacrifice" & "Screamin' Demon Lover".


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In 1985, A Certain Sacrifice was released on video to capitalize on Madonna's fame, and in 1986, there were theatrical midnight screenings. Madonna tried to buy the rights from director Stephen Jon Lewicki for $5,000. Unsuccessful, she then attempted to ban the film from being seen. Stephen Lewicki invited her to view it; Madonna was reportedly unhappy with the result. According to Lewicki, she had an expression of horror on her face and screamed: "Fuck you" as she stormed out of his apartment.

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A Certain Sacrifice Wikipedia
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