Cult helmer directed sexploitation pics

Cult helmer Joseph Sarno, who directed sexploitation pics like “Sin in the Suburbs” and “Moonlighting Wives,” died April 26 in Manhattan. He was 89.

A pioneering helmer of ’60s sexploitation pics, Sarno was one of the few directors of the genre to receive critical attention. His films “bridged the gap between the nudist and nudie-cutie films of the late 1950s and early 1960s and the hard-core genre that developed after sexually explicit films like ‘Deep Throat’ came on the scene in the early 1970s,” according to the New York Times.

Born in Brooklyn, Sarno served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. While with the Navy, he directed training films and then later made films for military contractors.

His first erotic pic was 1961’s “Nude in Charcoal,” for which he wrote the screenplay, uncredited.

Sarno made hundreds of pics, including “The Bed and How to Make It” and “The Seduction of Inga.” Some of his later films were made under pseudonyms such as Irving Weiss, Monica Fitta and Peter Walsh.

The coming of hardcore porn put Sarno’s kind of film out of style. His last pic as was 2004’s “Suburban Secrets.”

He received retrospectives at the New York Underground Film Festival, the Torino Film Festival in Turin, Italy, and the Cinematheque Francaise in Paris.

Survivors include wife Peggy, three daughters, two sons, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

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