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Slaves of New York

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Director  James Ivory
Initial DVD release  July 26, 2005
Country  United States
5.2/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama
Language  English
Slaughterhouse Five (film) movie poster
Release date  March 19, 1989 (1989-03-19)
Writer  Tama Janowitz (based on the stories by), Tama Janowitz (screenplay)
Music director  Joe Leeway, Richard Robbins, Johann Carlo
Cast  Bernadette Peters (Eleanor), Chris Sarandon (Victor Okrent), Mary Beth Hurt (Ginger Booth), Madeleine Potter (Daria), Adam Coleman Howard (Stash), Jsu Garcia (Marley)
Similar movies  Related James Ivory movies

Slaves of new york trailer 1989

Slaves of New York is a 1989 comedy-drama Merchant Ivory Productions film. It was directed by James Ivory, produced by Ismail Merchant, and starred Bernadette Peters, Adam Coleman Howard, Chris Sarandon, Mary Beth Hurt, Mercedes Ruehl, Madeleine Potter, and Steve Buscemi.


Slaughterhouse Five (film) movie scenes

Based on the stories Slaves of New York by Tama Janowitz, the film follows the lives of struggling artists in New York City during the mid-1980s.

Slaughterhouse Five (film) movie scenes


Slaves of New York movie poster

The story follows Eleanor, an aspiring hat designer, and a group of artists and models in the "downtown" New York City art world. Eleanor lives with her younger boyfriend Stash, an unknown artist, who is unfaithful and treats Eleanor with careless indifference. Eleanor expresses her feelings for Stash when she tells him that she was once attracted to him because he was dangerous. She stays with him despite the crumbling relationship because she has nowhere else to live—she is, in effect, a "slave."

Slaves of New York movie scenes

When a clothing designer, Wilfredo (Steve Buscemi), discovers her hat designs and offers to use them in a fashion show, Eleanor gains the self-respect—and money—to leave Stash. There is an elaborate fashion show sequence.

Slaughterhouse Five (film) movie poster

While buying food for a celebratory party, she meets Jan and invites him to the party. After the party, Eleanor and her new friend talk, and then ride off into the morning sunrise.


Slaughterhouse Five (film) movie scenes

Tama Janowitz had written a script for Andy Warhol, based on the Eleanor and Stash stories in her 1986 collection of short stories, Slaves of New York. When Warhol died, Merchant-Ivory bought that script. The real graffiti artist from New York City named STASH, who is a friend of Janowitz, was the influence for the name of her lead character and can be seen as an extra in many of the party scenes.

Slaughterhouse Five (film) movie scenes

The fashion show in the movie had costumes by designer Stephen Sprouse.

Slaves of New York movie poster

In discussing casting the role of Eleanor, James Ivory commented: "...but out of 100 girls, there was not a single one with Miss Peters's originality. We wanted someone unusual and different but also ingenuous and not too knowing."

Slaves of New York movie scenes

Slaves of New York was shot on location in New York City, in the Lower East Side, a downtown gallery and a club. Shooting started on April 4, 1988, with a 10-week shooting schedule. There was a "modest" budget—$5 million—that meant there were no lengthy rehearsals. There was one read-through before shooting began.

There are several cameos in this film: for example, Producer Ismail Merchant, lyricist Betty Comden and Adam Green, son of her writing partner, Adolph Green, and Tony-Award winning actress Tammy Grimes appear in party scenes.



  • Bernadette Peters as Eleanor
  • Chris Sarandon as Victor Okrent
  • Mary Beth Hurt as Ginger Booth
  • Madeleine Potter as Daria
  • Adam Coleman Howard as Stash
  • Nick Corri as Marley
  • Charles McCaughan as Sherman
  • John Harkins as Chuck Dade Dolger
  • Mercedes Ruehl as Samantha
  • Joe Leeway as Jonny Jalouse
  • Anna Katarina as Mooshka
  • Bruce Peter Young as Mikell
  • Michael Schoeffling as Jan
  • Steve Buscemi as Wilfredo
  • Co-starring

  • Michael Butler as Performance Artist
  • Johann Carlo as Performance Artist
  • Richy Canatta as Saxophonist
  • Betty Comden as Mrs. Wheeler
  • Anthony Crivello as Hairdresser
  • Christine Dunford as "B"
  • Adam Green (son of Adolph Green) as Max
  • Tammy Grimes as Georgette
  • George Harris as Super
  • Paul Jabara as Derelict
  • Sakina Jaffrey as Wilfredo's Receptionist
  • Tama Janowitz as Abby
  • Freddy Korner as Party Guest
  • Anthony La Paglia as Henry
  • Philip Lenkowsky as Fritz
  • Maura Moynihan as Mona
  • Richard Steinmetz as Party Guest
  • Stanley Tucci as Darryl
  • STASH ( graffiti artist ) as Party Guest
  • Reception

    Slaves of New York received mostly unfavorable reviews at the time of its release. Janet Maslin wrote that the film "...simply drifts from situation to situation" and is "never terribly involving". Roger Ebert, who gave the movie a half-star rating, opened his review with the statement "I detest Slaves of New York so much that I distrust my own opinion."

    Domestic gross was $463,972, according to boxofficemojo.

    Slaves of New York became a cult classic amongst the gay communities in the United States. It is notorious for a scene that features a very convincing drag act performing "Love Is Like an Itching In My Heart" by The Supremes while making their way down a street in full evening gowns.

    Performed on screen

  • Mother Dearest
    Written and performed on screen by Joe Leeway
  • Say Hi to Your Guy
    Written and performed on screen by Johann Carlo and Michael Butler
  • Soundtrack Album Selections

  • Some Guys Have All the Luck
    Written by Jeff Fortgang
    Produced by Willie Lindo, Sly Dumbar and Robbie Shakespeare
    Performed by Maxi Priest
    Courtesy of 10 Records, Ltd.
  • Tumblin' Down
    Written by Ziggy Marley and Tyrone Downie
    Produced by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth
    Performed by Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers
    Courtesy of Virgin Records America, Inc.
  • Admit It
    Love Overlap
    Written by Arto Lindsay and Peter Scherer
    Produced by Peter Scherer
    Performed by Ambitious Lovers
    Courtesy of Virgin Records America, Inc.
  • Buffalo Stance
    Written by Neneh Cherry, Cameron McVey, Phillip Ramacon and Jamie Morgan
    Produced by Tim Simenon and Mark Saunders
    Performed by Neneh Cherry
    Courtesy of Circa Records, Ltd.
  • Girlfriend
    Written by George O'Dowd, Vlad Naslas
    Produced by Vlad Naslas
    Performed by Boy George
    Courtesy of Virgin Records, Ltd.
  • Change Your Mind
    Written by Camper Van Beethoven
    Produced by Dennis Herring
    Performed by Camper Van Beethoven
    Courtesy of Virgin Records America, Inc.
  • Good Life
    Written by Kevin Saunderson, Paris Grey and Ray Holman
    Produced by Kevin Saunderson
    Performed by Inner City
    Courtesy of 10 Records, Ltd.
  • Fall in Love with Me
    Written by Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Hunt B. Sales and Tony Sales
    Produced by Bewlay Bros.
    Performed by Iggy Pop
  • Tongue Dance
    Written by Catherine Ringer and Frederic Chichin
    Produced by Tony Visconti and Rita Les Mitsouko
    Performed by Rita Les Mitsouko
    Courtesy of Virgin France
  • Additional Music

  • Warrior
    (from "9" 1989)
    Written by Allan Dias, Lu Edmonds, John Lydon, John McGeoch and Bruce Smith
    Produced by Steven Hague
    Performed by Public Image, Ltd.
    Courtesy of Virgin Recordsm Ltd.
  • Am I Blue?
    Written by Grant Clarke and Harry Akst
    Performed by Billie Holiday
    Courtesy of CBS Records
  • Dad, I’m In Jail
    (from "What Up, Dog?" 1988)
    Written by David Was and Don Was
    Performed by Was (Not Was)
    Courtesy of Chrysalis Records, Inc.
  • Grand Tour
    (from "The Grand Tour" 1974)
    Written by Carmol Taylor, George Richey and Norris Wilson
    Performed by George Jones
    Courtesy of CBS Records
  • Glück, das mir Verblieb
    From Die tote Stadt by Erich Korngold
    Performed by Carol Neblett
    Courtesy of RCA Victor Red Seal, A Division of BMG Classics
  • Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart
    (from "The Supremes A' Go-Go" 1966)
    Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Edward Holland
    Performed by (Diana Ross and) The Supremes
    Courtesy of Motown Record Corporation
  • I Need a Man
    (from "Savage" 1987)
    Written by Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart
    Performed by The Eurythmics
    Courtesy of RCA Records
  • O ruddier than the cherry
    From Acis and Galatea by G.F. Haendel
    Performed by John Ostendorf
  • Uncredited

  • Opening title by Richard Robbins (loosely based on "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" by Bob Dylan), sung by Bernadette Peters with chorus
  • Prélude from Carmen by Georges Bizet
  • Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah by George Frideric Handel
  • Kuroda-bushi 黒田節
  • References

    Slaves of New York Wikipedia
    Slaughterhouse-Five (film) IMDbSlaughterhouse-Five (film) Rotten TomatoesSlaughterhouse Five (film) Slaves of New York IMDb Slaves of New York

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