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A Certain Sacrifice

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A Certain Sacrifice (1980)

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Additional Information
In this extremely low-budget drama, a young transient finds her rapist, and with the help of her new boy friend, takes him underneath the Brooklyn Bridge and enacts a strange ritual sacrifice with his body. The film is most notorious for being the film debut of Madonna who was only 19-years-old and is said to have earned only $100 for her effort. Later, she tried to sue to keep the film from being released on video (it never did make it to theaters). Unfortunately for her, she lost the battle

A Certain Sacrifice is singer Madonna's first movie, made in September 1979, written and directed by Stephen Jon Lewicki. Madonna starred with Jeremy Pattnosh and Charles Kurtz. Madonna's earliest film was not released until 1985. The movie is an "oddball" indie, shot on-and-off over two years in New York City for just $20,000. Madonna finished her scenes in the Fall of 1980.[1] Almost all of the cast were unpaid.

In 1985, A Certain Sacrifice was released on video to capitalize on Madonna's fame, and in 1986, there were theatrical midnight screenings.[1] 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".[2][3][4][5][6]

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. (And she was paid only because she was short on her apartment rent and Lewicki paid her to help out.) To author Christopher Andersen, who wrote the 1991 biography Madonna Unauthorized, Lewicki said: "That woman has more sensuality in her ear than most women have anywhere on their bodies."[7][8][9][10]

Actor Jeremy Pattnosh wrote and performed several songs in the film, including: "Certain Sacrifice (Raymond Hall Must Die Tonight)" & "Screamin' Demon Lover".


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