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Paul Glickler, who directed, co-wrote, produced and edited the sex-filled 1973 independent film The Cheerleaders, has died. He was 81.
Glickler died Sept. 19 of a heart attack at his Topanga home in Los Angeles, his sister, Louise G.S. Plaschkes, told The Hollywood Reporter.
The Cheerleaders starred Stephanie Fondue, Denise Dillaway and Jovita Bush in a playful film about Amorosa High School cheerleaders who have sex with the opposing team’s football players the night before a big game to sap them of their strength.
The X-rated movie — eventually recut to an R rating — was made for $120,000, saw a great return on its investment, was name-checked in a John Grisham novel and spawned quick features including The Swinging Cheerleaders (1974), directed by Jack Hill, and Revenge of the Cheerleaders (1976), helmed by Richard Lerner, a co-writer and producer on Glickler’s movie.
Glickler described The Cheerleaders as “suburban absurd” and noted that its underage sexual antics initially offended its distributor, Cinemation. He said he had to threaten to sue the company to get money owed him.
Born in Philadelphia on Feb. 13, 1941, and raised in the suburbs, Glickler graduated from Cheltenham High School in 1958 and Princeton University in 1962.
He moved to New York and worked in the theater before becoming an assistant to producer Arnold Michaelis, accompanying him to the filming of interviews with prime ministers Mohammed Ayub Khan of Pakistan and Jawaharlal Nehru of India.
He served as a production manager on Gauguin in Tahiti: The Search for Paradise, a 1967 CBS documentary narrated by Michael Redgrave about painter Paul Gauguin’s travels.
With his then-wife, Cabell Smith, Glickler drove across the U.S. for a documentary about Native American tribes, but the project was never completed. He then relocated to California and co-directed and co-wrote with Lerner the X-rated film Hot Circuit (1971).
Later, Glickler directed and co-wrote Running Scared (1980), starring Ken Wahl and Judge Reinhold, and served as an adviser to Wendy Apple on her 2004 documentary, The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing.
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