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Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

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Gay Bait and Switch


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#1 DougieB

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 06:52 AM

There's a similar situation in a John Wayne Western, "Chisum" between John Wayne and Ben Jonson.

 

Interestingly, John Wayne is named "Chisum" and Ben Jonson is named "Pepper".

 

There's a terrific documentary by Mark Rappaport from the late 1990's called ​Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender. ​He covered how Hollywood both dealt with and managed not to deal with homosexuality and one of the sections was about what he called "the Walter Brennan Syndrome", in which the hero's sidekick (usually an older man) did everything he could to steer the hero away from women and back to the old life they had when it was just the two men. He used lots of clips to support his ideas. There's also a very interesting section about male screen teams like Hope and Crosby and Martin and Lewis.


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"When Fortuna spins you downward, go out to a movie and get more out of life."...Ignatious J. Reilly, A Confederacy of Dunces


#2 rayban

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 02:22 PM

Desert Fury​ was a Paramount release, so it could eventually be part of the slow drip drip drip of Paramount films to TCM. Someone in the comments section of the TCM database said that it was available on Criterion, but that no longer seems to be the case. It was one of Wendell Corey's first roles (maybe the first) and he got the wounded, jealous lover just right. It's never clear whether the relationship was situational and casual on John Hodiak's part, but there's no question that Wendell Corey's character was all in. He was all raw nerves, begging Hodiak to go away with him so it could be just the two of them again. Before I saw this I'd felt Wendell Corey was pretty bland and interchangeable as an actor, but this performance really opened my eyes to his talent.

There's a similar situation in a John Wayne Western, "Chisum" between John Wayne and Ben Jonson.

 

Interestingly, John Wayne is named "Chisum" and Ben Jonson is named "Pepper".


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"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".


#3 DougieB

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:48 AM

Desert Fury​ was a Paramount release, so it could eventually be part of the slow drip drip drip of Paramount films to TCM. Someone in the comments section of the TCM database said that it was available on Criterion, but that no longer seems to be the case. It was one of Wendell Corey's first roles (maybe the first) and he got the wounded, jealous lover just right. It's never clear whether the relationship was situational and casual on John Hodiak's part, but there's no question that Wendell Corey's character was all in. He was all raw nerves, begging Hodiak to go away with him so it could be just the two of them again. Before I saw this I'd felt Wendell Corey was pretty bland and interchangeable as an actor, but this performance really opened my eyes to his talent.


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"When Fortuna spins you downward, go out to a movie and get more out of life."...Ignatious J. Reilly, A Confederacy of Dunces


#4 rayban

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:37 AM

I transferred it to DVD from a VHS I recorded off of AMC many years ago. It hasn't been on TCM since I've been a subscriber, so I'm not sure why it's not out there. Rights issues?

You are one lucky dude!


"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".


#5 DougieB

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:11 AM

I must see this movie. 

 

Is it ever on TCM?

 

I transferred it to DVD from a VHS I recorded off of AMC many years ago. It hasn't been on TCM since I've been a subscriber, so I'm not sure why it's not out there. Rights issues?


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"When Fortuna spins you downward, go out to a movie and get more out of life."...Ignatious J. Reilly, A Confederacy of Dunces


#6 rayban

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:02 AM

This is a classic situation in Hollywood films- a woman is used to straighten out the relationship between bromantic partners.

And none morseo than the fairly recent comedy, "I Love You, Man".


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"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".


#7 rayban

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:59 AM

Right. So Gilda​ is an example of "straight" bait and switch. Even though the atmosphere may have seemed a little murky and sleazy, the audience had the reassuring presence of one of the premiere female sex symbols of the day. She was an alternate lens through which most of the audience would have viewed the proceedings. I've mentioned ​Desert Fury ​before in another thread, and Lizabeth Scott had a similar function in that movie. Small-time hood John Hodiak returns to town with Wendell Corey in tow, whom he met late at night in some dive, went home with and has been with ever since. Lizabeth is the old flame and starts hovering around, which p-isses Wendell Corey off big time. She insinuates herself into their digs where we learn that Wendell is the "housekeeper", but not very good one. (The one bed is very much in disarray.) Mary Astor does a kind of Sidney Greenstreet turn as the local mover and shaker who fancies herself as the boss of everybody. Burt Lancaster is the local lawman and acts as a reassuring straight presence who's above these tawdry goings-on. Like Gilda​, it's a hot gay mess with a straight overlay and it was the bait and switch of having the sexy femme fatale at the center which helped it go over with audiences.

I must see this movie. 

 

Is it ever on TCM?


"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".


#8 jaragon

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:58 AM

Right. So Gilda​ is an example of "straight" bait and switch. Even though the atmosphere may have seemed a little murky and sleazy, the audience had the reassuring presence of one of the premiere female sex symbols of the day. She was an alternate lens through which most of the audience would have viewed the proceedings. I've mentioned ​Desert Fury ​before in another thread, and Lizabeth Scott had a similar function in that movie. Small-time hood John Hodiak returns to town with Wendell Corey in tow, whom he met late at night in some dive, went home with and has been with ever since. Lizabeth is the old flame and starts hovering around, which p-isses Wendell Corey off big time. She insinuates herself into their digs where we learn that Wendell is the "housekeeper", but not very good one. (The one bed is very much in disarray.) Mary Astor does a kind of Sidney Greenstreet turn as the local mover and shaker who fancies herself as the boss of everybody. Burt Lancaster is the local lawman and acts as a reassuring straight presence who's above these tawdry goings-on. Like Gilda​, it's a hot gay mess with a straight overlay and it was the bait and switch of having the sexy femme fatale at the center which helped it go over with audiences.

This is a classic situation in Hollywood films- a woman is used to straighten out the relationship between bromantic partners.


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#9 DougieB

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:26 AM

Rita Hayworth of course is a great advertisement for heterosexuality ;).    

 

Right. So Gilda​ is an example of "straight" bait and switch. Even though the atmosphere may have seemed a little murky and sleazy, the audience had the reassuring presence of one of the premiere female sex symbols of the day. She was an alternate lens through which most of the audience would have viewed the proceedings. I've mentioned ​Desert Fury ​before in another thread, and Lizabeth Scott had a similar function in that movie. Small-time hood John Hodiak returns to town with Wendell Corey in tow, whom he met late at night in some dive, went home with and has been with ever since. Lizabeth is the old flame and starts hovering around, which p-isses Wendell Corey off big time. She insinuates herself into their digs where we learn that Wendell is the "housekeeper", but not very good one. (The one bed is very much in disarray.) Mary Astor does a kind of Sidney Greenstreet turn as the local mover and shaker who fancies herself as the boss of everybody. Burt Lancaster is the local lawman and acts as a reassuring straight presence who's above these tawdry goings-on. Like Gilda​, it's a hot gay mess with a straight overlay and it was the bait and switch of having the sexy femme fatale at the center which helped it go over with audiences.


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"When Fortuna spins you downward, go out to a movie and get more out of life."...Ignatious J. Reilly, A Confederacy of Dunces


#10 jaragon

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 08:27 PM

Right at the beginning, Ford says to Macready, down at the docks, after Macready unsheathes the blade on his walking stick, "You must lead a gay life."  This is a gay movie through and through -- text, not subtext!

 

And look at this shot, just before Ford says (interior monologue) "I know about American sailors..."

 

7225-2.jpg

Rita Hayworth of course is a great advertisement for heterosexuality ;).    


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#11 Swithin

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 07:39 PM

The relationship between the two men in "Gilda" has a very strong gay subtext

 

Right at the beginning, Ford says to Macready, down at the docks, after Macready unsheathes the blade on his walking stick, "You must lead a gay life."  This is a gay movie through and through -- text, not subtext!

 

And look at this shot, just before Ford says (interior monologue) "I know about American sailors..."

 

7225-2.jpg


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#12 jaragon

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 06:22 PM

"Gilda" - 1946 - King Vidor

 

Glenn Ford acknowledged that he and George Macready played their roles as a pair of infatuated gay lovers - Ballin and Johnny - but the film insists on the overlay of a failed heterosexual romance - Gilda and Johnny - but Ballin is a bisexual man with a hurtful streak - he likes to torture others - and Johnny is a drifter who's found a savior in Ballin - he'll push Gilda out if he can.

 

movie-scene1.jpg

The relationship between the two men in "Gilda" has a very strong gay subtext


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#13 rayban

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 04:15 PM

"Gilda" - 1946 - King Vidor

 

Glenn Ford acknowledged that he and George Macready played their roles as a pair of infatuated gay lovers - Ballin and Johnny - but the film insists on the overlay of a failed heterosexual romance - Gilda and Johnny - but Ballin is a bisexual man with a hurtful streak - he likes to torture others - and Johnny is a drifter who's found a savior in Ballin - he'll push Gilda out if he can.

 

movie-scene1.jpg


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#14 jaragon

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 05:19 PM

"Alien Covenant" does have a gay coded character but he is a android https://youtu.be/w_U4Uh_oJls

His creation even looks like a Madonna video ;)


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#15 jaragon

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 04:59 PM

Well, we don't know how much was shot for the gay storylines and how much of the footage hit the cutting-room floor.

 

For these sci-fi films that are marketed to teen males and twenty-somethings, I'd use three words - box-office receipts.

 

But how many of these guys (teens plus) know more than a little about gay sex?

 

I'd say that the filmmakers are deceiving themselves. 

The online prologue was directed by Ridley Scott's son so maybe the older director might have an issue with gay characters (?!)


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#16 jaragon

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 04:57 PM

I don't know the reason in the case of"Alien Covenant" which was co written by John Logan a gay man seriously I don't think it would have affected the box office. It's a bloody action sci fi horror movie- the two men are supporting characters- what I find interesting is that in on line prologue, the novelization of the script and in making off books the characters romantic-sexual relationship is clearly stated.


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#17 rayban

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 03:58 PM

Talking about "Deathtrap", Christopher Reeve said that the kiss between Michael Caine and himself, as reported in "Time" magazine, thus, ruining the plot surprise, was referred to as "the ten million dollar kiss", which was an estimate of what the kiss cost them in local ticket sales.

 

deathtrap.jpg


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#18 rayban

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 03:46 PM

And what was that film that showed Kevin's bacon? I think that helped with the box office as well, though I don't remember the name of it.

The name of that film was "Wild Things".

 

And "Kevin's bacon" looked like it could become a wild thing.

 

kevinbaconwildthings.jpg


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"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".


#19 Swithin

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 02:15 PM

 

I remember in the 90s I read that the producers of a Mel Gibson movie said because he showed his naked backside, the film automatically brought in $10 million extra at the box office. And so that's what he did in many of his subsequent films, because they had hit on a "formula" that they were sure to get $10 million back right off the top if he showed his derriere.

 

 

And what was that film that showed Kevin's bacon? I think that helped with the box office as well, though I don't remember the name of it.


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#20 TopBilled

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 11:23 AM

Well, we don't know how much was shot for the gay storylines and how much of the footage hit the cutting-room floor.

 

For these sci-fi films that are marketed to teen males and twenty-somethings, I'd use three words - box-office receipts.

 

But how many of these guys (teens plus) know more than a little about gay sex?

 

I'd say that the filmmakers are deceiving themselves. 

 

Yes, I think it's financially motivated. They probably have formulas at the studios that films with gay references or explicit gay storylines only average so much at the box office.

 

I remember in the 90s I read that the producers of a Mel Gibson movie said because he showed his naked backside, the film automatically brought in $10 million extra at the box office. And so that's what he did in many of his subsequent films, because they had hit on a "formula" that they were sure to get $10 million back right off the top if he showed his derriere.

 

By comparison, they probably know what things cost them $10 million (or more)-- and I'd say two men kissing in a mainstream blockbuster might cost them that much. Since it will automatically cause some people not to go watch it if they hear from others that such a scene is in the movie. So we have producers ever mindful of the box office and it determines content, the risks that are taken and what is left on the cutting room floor.


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