Hi, Mom! (1970): De Palma’s Follow-Up to Greetings, Starring De Niro

The mad, disarming, but inoffensive, Greetings was followed by a more skillful sequel, Hi, Mom! also by De Palma. In this one, the De Niro character is back from Vietnam, attempting to pursue his “Peeping Tom” art career with a new kind of porno film. Unsuccessful, he gets an acting job in a “total theater” production about the black experience–as interpreted by white suburbia.

The film’s black humor concerns the art of making and selling pornography–its sharpest jabs were about sex. But the film also explores the militarization of Washington Square; some viewers criticized dynamiting in light of the recent self immolations in the Village.

There are other insights, such as one about the white “black power” activist who demurs before painting his body entirely black.

Or the pornographic impresario, who wants to make “the first children’s exploitation film, but nothing dirty, nothing smutty.”

Made independently on a shoestring budget, by the then unknown De Palma and De Niro, and lacking the sponsorship and advertising of a major studio, both Greeting and Hi, Mom! had limited commercial appeal.