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After studying literature at the Jesuit University of Fordham in New York and not being able to join the army because of physical limitations, in the early 1960s he worked in the insurance sector and as a social worker.
At that time he began directing independent short films, and was introduced to Andy Warhol in 1965, who asked him for advice for the experimental films he had begun directing shortly before. From that moment Morrissey directed his films together with Warhol, with whom he signed a contract in which Morrissey would be in charge of all the operations of the films of the Factory except for the sales of the works.
The idea of Warhol sponsoring a rock group was also Morrissey, for which they signed a representation contract with The Velvet Underground, also incorporating the band to the German singer Nico. At the same time that Morrissey represented the New York group, he began to direct and coordinate all the experimental films that were part of the “brand” of Andy Warhol, among them My Hustler (1965), Chelsea Girls (1966), Imitation of Christ (1967) ) and Bike Boy (1967).
After Lonesome Cowboys (1967), a film he directed, wrote and produced in its entirety, Morrissey would definitely take control of all the films presented by Warhol. In 1968 the Flesh trilogy would begin with the film of the same title, followed by Trash (1970) and Heat (1972). The three films told the story of a chapero played by Joe Dallesandro, whose naked body appeared in much of the footage including close-ups of his penis, something previously unpublished in a non-adult film. These films became an object of worship in both the gay culture and the hippie counterculture, whose lifestyle was represented in these films, something that has sometimes been interpreted as a critique of the values of this subculture.
In 1974 he would shoot in France and Italy the films Carne for Frankenstein and Blood for Dracula, also starring Dallesandro. Although these films would be part of his collaboration with Warhol, the production was carried out by Carlo Ponti and they were a combination of erotic cinema and B-series horror films that obtained relative success.
A year later Warhol would decide to focus on his paintings, ending his collaboration with Morrissey. In his next films Morrissey would be one of the few American directors who would try to stay away from Hollywood producers, whether they were independent or not. He stopped making films when he found out that the new production companies he was filming for did not allow him the creative freedom he had enjoyed before.In spite of this retreat, in the mid-90s he joined the film movement Dogma 95, made up of directors Younger people who have received a great influence from the Morrissey movies.
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