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TCM spotlight on 'gay hollywood'-- June 2017


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#21 TopBilled

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 05:24 PM

I don't think it's tacky if it's not used in a malicious way.  Yes there is an element of speculation like with James Dean but there is also well documented gay lives like Porter or Albee. 

 

I think it's tacky if done in a catty way. Or done in a weird way to increase the world's gay population. I remember once in college a guy asked me if I was bilingual. But he put a pause between bi and lingual. He probably just wanted to ask me if I was bi, but because I gave him a strange look, he added lingual instead of sexual. He thought he was being clever, but it seemed like a trap, a way for him to include me in his group of people who are gay or swing that way sometimes. My personal proclivities were really none of his business. And I feel this way about movie stars. What they do in their personal lives is not our business unless it directly affects us. The speculation might stem from curiosity, but often it's a trap to ensnare others, because someone wants to make it seem like everyone is gay, and of course, we know not everyone is.  


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#22 TopBilled

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 05:16 PM

Jarrod, but, in so many instances, the facts are already there - for example, William Haines was a gay man and Cole Porter was a gay man and Lorenz Hart was a gay man.

 

In talking about how the movies "disguised" their homosexuality, Dave Karger and Wiliam J. Mann presented us with very enlightening commentary.

 

Also, where the playwrights were gay, why not discuss their homosexuality - for example, Edward Albee and Tennessee Williams, who were both openly gay?

 

Whereas a man's homosexuality is not the sum of his parts, it is an important ingredient in his make-up.

 

Why should it be Not Discussed?

 

I don't think the movies disguised homosexuality as much as society did. If you went to see a movie and saw William Haines or Franklin Pangborn acting a bit effeminate, you knew they were probably gay, but you saw it as comedy and didn't consider it a very serious subject. The movies were presenting types we find in society, and moviegoers reached their own conclusions. 

 

Nobody is saying a performer's orientation cannot be discussed. Autobiographies from stars who out themselves (and do not out others) or interviews where someone comes out are generally considered reliable "fact" on the subject. Police records on arrests might be substantial if the individual was convicted based on irrefutable evidence. But other than that, it's mostly hearsay and can be damaging if presented in a careless way. I don't think we need to use classic films to sit around and speculate about one's homosexuality. It's a dodgy practice.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#23 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 03:21 PM

Jarrod, but, in so many instances, the facts are already there - for example, William Haines was a gay man and Cole Porter was a gay man and Lorenz Hart was a gay man.

 

In talking about how the movies "disguised" their homosexuality, Dave Karger and Wiliam J. Mann presented us with very enlightening commentary.

 

Also, where the playwrights were gay, why not discuss their homosexuality - for example, Edward Albee and Tennessee Williams, who were both openly gay?

 

Whereas a man's homosexuality is not the sum of his parts, it is an important ingredient in his make-up.

 

Why should it be Not Discussed?

 

Where Dave Karger and William J. Mann went off the rails was in their memory - suggesting that Farley Granger did not have a film career or telling us that Elizabeth Taylor did not appear in a white swimsuit in "Suddenly, Last Summer".

 

I agree with this and I believe we have a common understanding.    But there is a much larger issue at play here and that is the outing of people who do NOT wish to be.   This is a fairly common topic with the under-40 gay men I know.   E.g. A few moved from areas that were NOT close to being as gay-friendly as Laguna Beach CA.    They meet guys here but ask them NOT to post on social media that they are gay since their family and others in their hometown don't know.     Some have openly said they will post regardless because there is no reason to be ashamed (which of course there isn't but is that up for one to decide for another???).

 

I find outing someone that has expressed they do NOT wish to be so,  malicious,  but the guys doing this say they are just proud and they have no regrets.      


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#24 jaragon

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 01:46 PM

I was thinking more about the gossipy aspects of this series. We have a thread in this forum on tabloid headlines about stars' orientation. When the hosts are making comments where people might not be able to authenticate (or deny) these claims, then it starts to seem like what the tabloids do. 

 

It would be the same if TCM did a series leading into Memorial day and they used war films to talk about whether people were communists or unpatriotic. It's a case of using classic film to speculate about what people did or didn't do off-screen. It's a bit tacky, don't you think?

I don't think it's tacky if it's not used in a malicious way.  Yes there is an element of speculation like with James Dean but there is also well documented gay lives like Porter or Albee. 


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#25 rayban

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 12:18 PM

I was thinking more about the gossipy aspects of this series. We have a thread in this forum on tabloid headlines about stars' orientation. When the hosts are making comments where people might not be able to authenticate (or deny) these claims, then it starts to seem like what the tabloids do. 

 

It would be the same if TCM did a series leading into Memorial day and they used war films to talk about whether people were communists or unpatriotic. It's a case of using classic film to speculate about what people did or didn't do off-screen. It's a bit tacky, don't you think?

Jarrod, but, in so many instances, the facts are already there - for example, William Haines was a gay man and Cole Porter was a gay man and Lorenz Hart was a gay man.

 

In talking about how the movies "disguised" their homosexuality, Dave Karger and Wiliam J. Mann presented us with very enlightening commentary.

 

Also, where the playwrights were gay, why not discuss their homosexuality - for example, Edward Albee and Tennessee Williams, who were both openly gay?

 

Whereas a man's homosexuality is not the sum of his parts, it is an important ingredient in his make-up.

 

Why should it be Not Discussed?

 

Where Dave Karger and William J. Mann went off the rails was in their memory - suggesting that Farley Granger did not have a film career or telling us that Elizabeth Taylor did not appear in a white swimsuit in "Suddenly, Last Summer".


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#26 TopBilled

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 09:46 AM

I was thinking more about the gossipy aspects of this series. We have a thread in this forum on tabloid headlines about stars' orientation. When the hosts are making comments where people might not be able to authenticate (or deny) these claims, then it starts to seem like what the tabloids do. 

 

It would be the same if TCM did a series leading into Memorial day and they used war films to talk about whether people were communists or unpatriotic. It's a case of using classic film to speculate about what people did or didn't do off-screen. It's a bit tacky, don't you think?


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#27 rayban

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 09:41 PM

Yeah, and what about Pier Angeli, the actress Dean was in love with and wanted to marry but couldn't because he wasn't Catholic or something like that?

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Pier Angeli's mother wanted her to marry an Italian, Vic Damone.


"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#28 TopBilled

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 03:34 PM

Yeah, and what about Pier Angeli, the actress Dean was in love with and wanted to marry but couldn't because he wasn't Catholic or something like that?

 

I think he was also involved with Ursula Andress.


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#29 VivLeighFan

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 01:38 PM

Well, labeling James Dean as "gay" last night was probably going overboard, since the man was probably, as Jarrod said, a bisexual man for the duration of his short life.
 
What taints James Dean is that he used a closeted radio executive who was prominent in Hollywood to help him to break into the movies and then to move to New York for a chance at the stage and TV.
 
At that time, James Dean was a "gay party boy".
 
But labeling Evelyn Waugh as "gay" was definitely going overboard, I'd say.
 
Even though, "Brideshead Revisited" is largely autobiographical.
 
As a young man, he was "gay", I think, but, as he grew older, he did decide to marry (a woman) and he did embrace Catholicism.

Yeah, and what about Pier Angeli, the actress Dean was in love with and wanted to marry but couldn't because he wasn't Catholic or something like that?

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#30 Swithin

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 06:06 PM

In Guielgud's case I don't think it "cheapens" his life - this was the way things use to be and I think it's important for people who are not gay or have forgotten history to be remind it there was a reason for gay pride month- and in these dangerous times when our rights are not as safe as we would like to believe.

 

I absolutely agree with you, particularly on this board, in this thread, and during this Pride month. I have a sort of connection to Johnny G. and knew several of his friends. One of them -- Sheridan Morley (son of Robert, grandson of Gladys Cooper) wrote a wonderful biography of Sir John, in which he (Sheridan) gives considerable space to the arrest. I highly recommend the biography and, relative to the subject at hand, Chapter Sixteen: Annus Horribilis (1953).

 

I wish I could type out the whole chapter, but do read the book. I'll just say that people who knew John have told me that, in addition to his greatness as an actor, he was a kind and deeply generous human being. 

 

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#31 jaragon

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 05:00 PM

It wouldn't have hurt for them to repeat some of the earlier spotlight, since it had been quite a few years and TCM has newer viewers. I prefer the more academic research-based approach. 

 

Mentioning Gielgud's arrest is a matter of public record (fact). They could have also mentioned Gene Raymond's arrests if they had chosen to show any of his films. 

 

I just feel the gossipy slant interferes with a legitimate discussion of the films and how a performer or director might have used his/her struggles to shape their work. Basically it cheapens us as viewers. And I think it cheapens gay men and women in Hollywood by referring to their sex lives more than their artistic lives. It's a step backward for gay rights, the way these guys did it. The whole spotlight was an opportunity to bring more legitimacy to the discussion but they didn't exactly do that.

In Guielgud's case I don't think it "cheapens" his life - this was the way things use to be and I think it's important for people who are not gay or have forgotten history to be remind it there was a reason for gay pride month- and in these dangerous times when our rights are not as safe as we would like to believe.


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#32 jaragon

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 04:57 PM

Well, labeling James Dean as "gay" last night was probably going overboard, since the man was probably, as Jarrod said, a bisexual man for the duration of his short life.

 

What taints James Dean is that he used a closeted radio executive who was prominent in Hollywood to help him to break into the movies and then to move to New York for a chance at the stage and TV.

 

At that time, James Dean was a "gay party boy".

 

But labeling Evelyn Waugh as "gay" was definitely going overboard, I'd say.

 

Even though, "Brideshead Revisited" is largely autobiographical.

 

As a young man, he was "gay", I think, but, as he grew older, he did decide to marry (a woman) and he did embrace Catholicism.

Now we have this  sexually fluid term in which people on some kind whim decide from day to day if they are straight, gay , bi or trans but once you cut it off it ain't going to grow back ;)


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#33 TopBilled

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 02:17 PM

We feel the same way;   yea,  I can see mentioning actors like John Guielgud,   Dirk Bogarde,   Granger etc... and showing their films especially ones like The Loved Ones (first time scene and I enjoyed it) or Victim (a film that is very frank and moving)  etc...

 

Like you said,  I understand the need to be "more broadly and less academic than the earlier spotlight",   but they might have gone a little overboard with the gossip.     

 

It wouldn't have hurt for them to repeat some of the earlier spotlight, since it had been quite a few years and TCM has newer viewers. I prefer the more academic research-based approach. 

 

Mentioning Gielgud's arrest is a matter of public record (fact). They could have also mentioned Gene Raymond's arrests if they had chosen to show any of his films. 

 

I just feel the gossipy slant interferes with a legitimate discussion of the films and how a performer or director might have used his/her struggles to shape their work. Basically it cheapens us as viewers. And I think it cheapens gay men and women in Hollywood by referring to their sex lives more than their artistic lives. It's a step backward for gay rights, the way these guys did it. The whole spotlight was an opportunity to bring more legitimacy to the discussion but they didn't exactly do that.


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#34 rayban

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 01:30 PM

We feel the same way;   yea,  I can see mentioning actors like John Guielgud,   Dirk Bogarde,   Granger etc... and showing their films especially ones like The Loved Ones (first time scene and I enjoyed it) or Victim (a film that is very frank and moving)  etc...

 

Like you said,  I understand the need to be "more broadly and less academic than the earlier spotlight",   but they might have gone a little overboard with the gossip.     

Well, labeling James Dean as "gay" last night was probably going overboard, since the man was probably, as Jarrod said, a bisexual man for the duration of his short life.

 

What taints James Dean is that he used a closeted radio executive who was prominent in Hollywood to help him to break into the movies and then to move to New York for a chance at the stage and TV.

 

At that time, James Dean was a "gay party boy".

 

But labeling Evelyn Waugh as "gay" was definitely going overboard, I'd say.

 

Even though, "Brideshead Revisited" is largely autobiographical.

 

As a young man, he was "gay", I think, but, as he grew older, he did decide to marry (a woman) and he did embrace Catholicism.


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#35 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 12:37 PM

You bet I do! That's why I asked Ray what he thought (or anyone else who wanted to chime in). I understand TCM's need not to repeat itself and they tired to do this second gay spotlight more broadly and less academic than the earlier spotlight. But yes, I think they sort of opened things up too much to gossip with these co-hosts.

 

I can imagine how James Dean's family felt if they were watching it. It's one thing to know your famous relative might have experimented, but to see him "outed" as gay on TV might be a lot to handle. From what I read, James Dean was very uncomfortable playing a homosexual on Broadway and he left the production as soon as he could. So even if he was gay (I'd say he was actively bisexual) and if he had lived to 100, I sincerely doubt he would have ever come out of the closet.

 

I don't think TCM's series should have used a batch of films to label famous people in ways they might not have wanted to be labeled. It's spurious. 

 

We feel the same way;   yea,  I can see mentioning actors like John Guielgud,   Dirk Bogarde,   Granger etc... and showing their films especially ones like The Loved Ones (first time scene and I enjoyed it) or Victim (a film that is very frank and moving)  etc...

 

Like you said,  I understand the need to be "more broadly and less academic than the earlier spotlight",   but they might have gone a little overboard with the gossip.     


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#36 TopBilled

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 12:26 PM

I'm curious what you think of these outings especially ones that were NOT made publicly by the person or close friends \ lovers of said person after their death.    Some appear to give off the aroma of idle gossip.    In the past you have made comments about R.O. falling into the gossip trap and I wonder if you feel these two host got close to that swamp.

 

You bet I do! That's why I asked Ray what he thought (or anyone else who wanted to chime in). I understand TCM's need not to repeat itself and they tired to do this second gay spotlight more broadly and less academic than the earlier spotlight. But yes, I think they sort of opened things up too much to gossip with these co-hosts.

 

I can imagine how James Dean's family felt if they were watching it. It's one thing to know your famous relative might have experimented, but to see him "outed" as gay on TV might be a lot to handle. From what I read, James Dean was very uncomfortable playing a homosexual on Broadway and he left the production as soon as he could. So even if he was gay (I'd say he was actively bisexual) and if he had lived to 100, I sincerely doubt he would have ever come out of the closet.

 

I don't think TCM's series should have used a batch of films to label famous people in ways they might not have wanted to be labeled. It's spurious. 


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#37 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 12:18 PM

Are these "outings" news to anyone?

 

I'm curious what you think of these outings especially ones that were NOT made publicly by the person or close friends \ lovers of said person after their death.    Some appear to give off the aroma of idle gossip.    In the past you have made comments about R.O. falling into the gossip trap and I wonder if you feel these two host got close to that swamp.


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#38 TopBilled

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 12:09 PM

Probably not.

 

Their discussion of John Guielgud's "outing" due to an arrest (1953) was kind of heartbreaking, since, at that time in England, homosexuality was a crime and Guielgud was guilty of a criminal offense.  

 

The serial EastEnders is doing a storyline about this right now. We are seeing an older gent who doesn't have enough retirement income to live on trying to get a part-time job. But because he still has an old arrest on his record from being charged with a homosexual offence, the background checks are preventing him from getting hired. On a soap message board, people have been discussing that only the deceased have had their records wiped clean. Those still alive who were arrested for being gay have to apply for pardons (which seems like a rather lengthy process) to ensure these arrests do not pop up on background checks. So it's still being dealt with in England.


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#39 rayban

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 11:03 AM

Are these "outings" news to anyone?

Probably not.

 

Their discussion of John Guielgud's "outing" due to an arrest (1953) was kind of heartbreaking, since, at that time in England, homosexuality was a crime and Guielgud was guilty of a criminal offense.  


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#40 TopBilled

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 09:50 AM

Tonight, in their post "Virginia Woof" discussion, Dave Karger and William J. Mann seemed to have "outed' James Dean.

 

And, in the opening comments for "The Loved One", they seemed to have "outed" Evelyn Waugh.

 

Are these "outings" news to anyone?


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