The year was 1970 and a young, unknown, 23-year-old actor named Sylvester “Sly" Stallone was going through very hard times. The truth is, young Stallone, who had finally found employment as a movie usher, was now jobless and flat broke. He was so broke he had recently been evicted from his apartment and was literally homeless. At the time he was hired for his first movie gig, he was living in a local bus station.
New York, at the time, was the hub of porno films and young Sly was about to film his motion picture debut. For a modest salary of $200 (for two days work) sly signed on for the title role of “Stud" in a cheapie softcore porno flick called The Party at Kitty and Stud's. The film's budget was a mere $5,000.00.
According to Sly, the film was financed "by a group of wealthy lawyers- very, very solid.” The film's triple threat director/writer/producer was the immortal Morton Lewis. Sly's co-star (“Kitty") in this epic was Janet Banzet.
The film's cast was rounded out by an illustrious cast consisting of Jodi Van Prang, Nicholas Warren, Frank Michelli, and Barbara Storm. No doubt each one has spent the last 40 years regaling their friends, mates, relatives, co-workers, and associates about "being in Sylvester Stallone's first film.” (Hey, look, the movie business is a very tough, competitive racket- more power to them!)
The "plot" (and I use the term loosely) of The Party at Kitty and Stud's involves Kitty and Stud, a New York couple, who throw a party and engage in group sex. To the delight of female (and gay guy) viewers, Sly spends much of the film stark naked.
In the film, Stud posts an invitation to a party on a bulletin board. At the party, he "services" all three women who attend. Stud is an oafish and brutish character (prescient of many of Sly's later trademark roles), but Kitty is attracted to him because of his "performance skills.”
The film's most memorable dialogue is as follows:
Stud: “Be careful. you bit me last time!"
Kitty: “I’ll be velvet-mouthed on your shaft of love.”
(It is unknown whether Noel Coward or Neil Simon contributed to this witty, urbane banter.)
The film does not show the actual acts of intimacy and the above scene dissolves into fits of Kitty's unscripted giggling.
There is mild sado-masochism in the film, in a scene where Stud hits Kitty with a belt. Some dated '60's slang slightly dates the film's dialogue, i.e. Kitty says Stud is "so far out" and at another point she says he is "animalistic.”
For those interested (and I am not) Sly's body was not oiled as in his later more-famous roles and his physique is apparently fairly normal, as opposed to his later world-famous Herculean build. Also, interestingly, he does not sneer or talk with his trademark slur, sounding relatively normal. For Stallone aficionados, he has a scar on the back of his left thigh.
The film never saw an actual release- and was surely destined to have faded into filmdom's graveyard of oblivion. And had it not been for Stallone's persistence and talent, it definitely would have.
A year later, the talented Sly got himself a bit part in the woody allen film Bananas. It was six more films before he wrote and starred in Rocky (1976), and the rest, as they say, is movie history.
After he achieved his world-wide stardom (not to mention Rocky's two Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Screenplay), The Party at Kitty and Stud's was finally "released" under the new title The Italian Stallion. This was, obviously, an attempt to cash in on Sly's new-found fame.
Sly was to claim the film's producers asked him for "around $100,000" to keep the film from being released. Although marketed as an X-rated or "hardcore" porn film, there is no verifiable evidence of this, even before the original version was "re-edited".
In the prologue to the new re-edited version and in the film's trailer, porn producer Gail Palmer is seen sitting by an editing machine. She tells the viewing audience the film is X-rated. This was obviously said to excite curious viewers, but the consensus of viewers and reviewers who sat through the film is that it is fairly light, softcore porn, just as the original version was.
According to Stallone: “By today's standards, the film would almost qualify for a PG rating.”
The film was even credited as being produced by “Stallion Productions.” It was to see some newfound financial success after being released on video- success it would obviously never have seen had Stallone not hit the jackpot of success.
***The above is a true account of the story of Sylvester Stallone's first film.
I know I used a lot of sarcasm and smart remarks in this account- I did this for strictly entertainment purposes. The truth is I have always been a big Sylvester Stallone fan. Like everyone, I loved Rocky, and First Blood is one of my all-time favorite movies.
I have always admired his tenacity on his rough road to success. My God, the guy was living and sleeping in a bus station!
According to Sly: “It was either do that movie or rob someone because I was at the end -the very end- of my rope. Instead of doing something desperate, I worked for 2 days for $200 and got myself out of the bus station.”
I had the great pleasure of meeting Mr. Stallone at a book signing a few years ago. I got to shake his hand!!! He was kind, warm, and friendly. A genuinely nice guy.
As for the rest of the cast of The Party at Kitty and Stud's, I’m sure their resumes are all on IMDb, if you are curious whatever became of them. The Party at Kitty and Stud's, although they couldn't possibly have imagined it at the time, was probably the most fascinating and "well-known" part of their acting careers. Maybe they weren't overly proud of their performances at the time, but they sure have a great story to tell at parties and social gatherings they attend for the rest of their lives.