‘Queen of the Deuce’ Trailer: Chelly Wilson’s Porn Empire Inspired the HBO Series of the Same Name

Sure, HBO series “The Deuce” may have piqued some interest in the history of classic porn cinema, but now the outrageous true story of Times Square staple Chelly Wilson is getting the spotlight.

Documentary “Queen of the Deuce” centers on Wilson’s personal history before building a porn theater in the notorious Times Square vicinity known as the Deuce. Wilson’s reign ranged from the late ’60s to the mid-’80s as she earned a reputation as one of the savviest and most enigmatic figures on the scene.

More from IndieWire

Greek-born Wilson escaped the Holocaust in WWII, emigrated to the U.S., and married a slew of men while being openly gay. Her legacy in the world of adult cinema is examined by filmmaker Valerie Kontakos (“Mana”), who has written, directed, and produced the documentary.

“Queen of the Deuce” is further produced by Ed Barreveld and Despina Pavlaki, who also co-wrote the documentary along with director Kontakos and Christos Asteriou. Don Walters and Bondi Wilson Walters executive produce.

Kontakos said of subject Wilson, “Chelly was a quintessential New Yorker who loved the thrill of taking risks. She was an example of a woman with a strong sense of self. And proud of it! I am thrilled to have the film showing at the IFC.”

“Queen of the Deuce” is the latest documentary reexamining feminist icons in the 20th century sex industry space. “The Disappearance of Shere Hite” premiered at Sundance 2023 and was written and directed by Oscar-nominated “Crip Camp” filmmaker Nicole Newnham and narrated by executive producer Dakota Johnson. The documentary captured the backlash to Shere Hite’s bestselling 1976 book “The Hite Report,” which liberated the female orgasm by revealing the private experiences of 3,000 anonymous survey respondents.

“Carol Doda Topless at the Condor” focused on the topless dancer who became “two of San Francisco’s most famous landmarks.” Marlo McKenzie and Jonathan Parker direct the documentary that “debates whether Doda surrendered to the male gaze or if she hijacked it for her own purposes of self-expression,” according to the IndieWire review.

“Queen of the Deuce” premieres May 24 in theaters and on Prime Video and Apple TV+. Check out the trailer below.

Best of IndieWire

Sign up for Indiewire's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.