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jaragon

Gay Theme Biofilms

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Ramon Navarro another tragic Hollywood figure- I can see Oscar Isaacs playing him.

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10 hours ago, jaragon said:

Ramon Navarro another tragic Hollywood figure- I can see Oscar Isaacs playing him.

Yes, his life would be interesting to dramatize. But he's not very well known by audiences today. He should have at least had a TV movie bio.

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David Kopay- the closeted life of a NFL player would make a good movie- I would cast Chris Pratt

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3 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Yes, his life would be interesting to dramatize. But he's not very well known by audiences today. He should have at least had a TV movie bio.

He was memorable in the silent screen version of "Ben Hur".

Will the supposedly naked version of the silent classic ever see the light of day?

I recently saw him in "The Cat and the Fiddle".

He seemed to have found himself - as an opera singer (?!).

ramon-novarro-naked.jpg

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3 hours ago, rayban said:

He was memorable in the silent screen version of "Ben Hur".

Will the supposedly naked version of the silent classic ever see the light of day?

I recently saw him in "The Cat and the Fiddle".

He seemed to have found himself - as an opera singer (?!).

ramon-novarro-naked.jpg

I would have to find a way to find a positive spin on his story- his death is such a horror show. In the recent TV series "Aquarius" which was set in LA in the late 60s- there was an episode which featured the bizarre death of a Navarro like character.

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I read an interesting bit about George Cukor yesterday. His life would make an interesting film:

It was an open secret in Hollywood that Cukor was gay, at a time when society was against it, although he was discreet about his sexual orientation...His luxurious home was the site of weekly Sunday afternoon parties attended by closeted celebrities and the attractive young men they met in bars and gyms and brought with them.

At least once, in the midst of his reign at MGM, he was arrested on vice charges, but studio executives managed to get the charges dropped and all records of it expunged, and the incident was never publicized by the press.

In the late 1950s, Cukor became involved with a considerably younger man named George Towers. He financed his education. Later Towers married a woman, and his relationship with Cukor evolved into one of father and son.

The rest of it is on wiki.

screen-shot-2017-10-01-at-5-37-30-pm.png

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9 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

I read an interesting bit about George Cukor yesterday. His life would make an interesting film:

That's a fantastic idea! Imagine all the other lives his life touched on. You could take your pick of angles from which to tell the story. Cable TV seems to be the best at this kind of thing these days; I'm thinking Behind the Candelabra, Feud: Bette and Joan, etc. George Cukor's life would be a gold mine for anyone who wanted to look at old Hollywood.   

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7 minutes ago, DougieB said:

That's a fantastic idea! Imagine all the other lives his life touched on. You could take your pick of angles from which to tell the story. Cable TV seems to be the best at this kind of thing these days; I'm thinking Behind the Candelabra, Feud: Bette and Joan, etc. George Cukor's life would be a gold mine for anyone who wanted to look at old Hollywood.   

Yes, seems ideal for cable. Not a theatrical release, since it would not compete well against action flicks with a million explosions. In fact, it could probably be done as a multi-part series since he lived a long and eventful life. He didn't ever go into "artistic exile" like some directors. So he was a mainstay in Hollywood for many decades.

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28 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

I read an interesting bit about George Cukor yesterday. His life would make an interesting film:

It was an open secret in Hollywood that Cukor was gay, at a time when society was against it, although he was discreet about his sexual orientation...His luxurious home was the site of weekly Sunday afternoon parties attended by closeted celebrities and the attractive young men they met in bars and gyms and brought with them.

At least once, in the midst of his reign at MGM, he was arrested on vice charges, but studio executives managed to get the charges dropped and all records of it expunged, and the incident was never publicized by the press.

In the late 1950s, Cukor became involved with a considerably younger man named George Towers. He financed his education. Later Towers married a woman, and his relationship with Cukor evolved into one of father and son.

The rest of it is on wiki.

I recently read the Cukor biography George Cukor: A Double Life by Patrick McGilligan. It's very detailed about his life, and spends a great deal of time on his sexuality, how it influenced his career, and the loosely-knit gay Hollywood community of the day, with its various factions and rivalries. It's interesting without being vulgar or salacious, although it doesn't hesitate to name names. It's a recommended read for anyone with any interest in the subject.

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Ramon Navarro was a very fine actor and great looking young man.  His ending is indeed tragic.  His story would be interesting for a cable multi-part series but, sadly, probably the only people familiar with him are film buffs like us.  Still, a little education for the "masses" is a good thing.  

Maybe a cable multi-episode series about gay life in early Hollywood would work; sort of a Celluloid Closet but dramatized like FEUD?  It could offer film history and be entertaining.

The George Cukor bio looks interesting.  He was such a great director and not just of women but men, too.  His story is uplifting and no sad ending like with Navarro.

Jaragon's clip of David Kopay was bittersweet.  Michael Sam never made it to the NFL although he was drafted in the last round.  He then went to the Canadian Football League but didn't stick there, either (I think he was despondent when he and his boyfriend).  I hope he's doing OK now.  Due to the macho football culture, I still think it'll be a while before we have a gay NFL player who is out during his career but it will happen.  Kopay is right:  there are gay football players and gay players in all the major team sports.  I remember when a female ESPN reporter (she's still on ESPN but I can't remember her name offhand) asked a player on the NFL team that drafted Sam how they felt about being in the shower with him.  I wanted to reach into the TV screen and throttle her and this was just a few years ago.  We have a ways to go...

 

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2 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I read an interesting bit about George Cukor yesterday. His life would make an interesting film:

It was an open secret in Hollywood that Cukor was gay, at a time when society was against it, although he was discreet about his sexual orientation...His luxurious home was the site of weekly Sunday afternoon parties attended by closeted celebrities and the attractive young men they met in bars and gyms and brought with them.

At least once, in the midst of his reign at MGM, he was arrested on vice charges, but studio executives managed to get the charges dropped and all records of it expunged, and the incident was never publicized by the press.

In the late 1950s, Cukor became involved with a considerably younger man named George Towers. He financed his education. Later Towers married a woman, and his relationship with Cukor evolved into one of father and son.

The rest of it is on wiki.

screen-shot-2017-10-01-at-5-37-30-pm.png

 Bringing up Cukor again reminded me of the best film bio of a gay Hollywood Legend that I've ever seen-- "Gods and Monsters", 1998, about James Whale, starring Ian McKellen.

Whale is not  that well known even today and certainly wasn't well-known when this film came out, but the subject matter is so popular, the original movie Frankenstein monsters, it was possible to find a market for this film.

In the film it seems like there was some kind of competition between him and Cukor. Cukor's career continued on a high level right through the 60's, but Whale's career  kind of faded out in the early 40s. His partner David Lewis was a very successful executive at MGM. I can only think that Whale must've been difficult to work with in some way, as people said that he was extremely  detailed oriented and had to have control over the whole production. Whatever it was, I don't think his sex life and had anything to do with his problems with the studios.

And in all fairness to George Cukor, Howard Strickling had to cover up for a great many Metro Hollywood stars including Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Judy Garland, Spencer Tracy and we may never have all the facts about that affair with Wallace Beery.

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I love James Whale and I love GODS AND MONSTERS.  Quite true, Whale didn't have the protection of Strickland and MGM who were most adept at hushing up "scandals." 

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1 minute ago, ChristineHoard said:

I love James Whale and I love GODS AND MONSTERS.  Quite true, Whale didn't have the protection of Strickland and MGM who were most adept at hushing up "scandals." 

You know also being at Universal, they had financial problems,  that may have adversely affected him and his style of directing as well, which may have been considered to be expensive.

I watched Gloria Stuart's interview about him and she said that he had absolute control over very aspect of the production. That really does sound like Alfred Hitchcock, doesn't it? 

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4 hours ago, ChristineHoard said:

Ramon Navarro was a very fine actor and great looking young man.  His ending is indeed tragic.  His story would be interesting for a cable multi-part series but, sadly, probably the only people familiar with him are film buffs like us.  Still, a little education for the "masses" is a good thing.  

Maybe a cable multi-episode series about gay life in early Hollywood would work; sort of a Celluloid Closet but dramatized like FEUD?  It could offer film history and be entertaining.

The George Cukor bio looks interesting.  He was such a great director and not just of women but men, too.  His story is uplifting and no sad ending like with Navarro.

Jaragon's clip of David Kopay was bittersweet.  Michael Sam never made it to the NFL although he was drafted in the last round.  He then went to the Canadian Football League but didn't stick there, either (I think he was despondent when he and his boyfriend).  I hope he's doing OK now.  Due to the macho football culture, I still think it'll be a while before we have a gay NFL player who is out during his career but it will happen.  Kopay is right:  there are gay football players and gay players in all the major team sports.  I remember when a female ESPN reporter (she's still on ESPN but I can't remember her name offhand) asked a player on the NFL team that drafted Sam how they felt about being in the shower with him.  I wanted to reach into the TV screen and throttle her and this was just a few years ago.  We have a ways to go...

 

I agree with you about gays have a long way to go in the still macho sports world but things are changing on the college level- I would love to see an out and proud MLB player.  Navarro life would work as either a film or miniseries about gays in Hollywood Golden Age.  Navarro could also be a good subject for a play- I once wrote a play about a Rock Hudson type character.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I read an interesting bit about George Cukor yesterday. His life would make an interesting film:

It was an open secret in Hollywood that Cukor was gay, at a time when society was against it, although he was discreet about his sexual orientation...His luxurious home was the site of weekly Sunday afternoon parties attended by closeted celebrities and the attractive young men they met in bars and gyms and brought with them.

At least once, in the midst of his reign at MGM, he was arrested on vice charges, but studio executives managed to get the charges dropped and all records of it expunged, and the incident was never publicized by the press.

In the late 1950s, Cukor became involved with a considerably younger man named George Towers. He financed his education. Later Towers married a woman, and his relationship with Cukor evolved into one of father and son.

The rest of it is on wiki.

screen-shot-2017-10-01-at-5-37-30-pm.png

You have to read his biography

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Science fiction author Arthur C Clarke- this could be more like a fantasy than a regular biography- perhaps using the making "2001" as jumping off point.  Clarke served in WW II, and after brief marriage to an American woman he moved to Siri Lanka and lived with a man which he described as his " only perfect friend of a lifetime". 

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10 hours ago, jaragon said:

I really like the sound of this but I imagine it would be a really hard sell theatrically, so probably for cable in this country? Films which are released theatrically abroad sometimes aren't in the U.S. I like that Jake seems to have been very involved in the development and production aspects. The idea of doing it in five "movements" could work as a structural device, sort of like the way the documentary Six by Sondheim organized itself around the periods in which six major songs were written. It's encouraging that in the age of the blockbusters people still want to go with this type of material.

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It looks as if Jake is looking for another Oscar nomination

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There are at least three major biographies covering Ramon Novarro. I have the one that I have mostly, but not completely, read: Andre Soares' Beyond Paradise. It features a detailed filmography that is right up any movie fan's alley.

What is interesting about him is that he was very religious, a devout Catholic, who may have wrestled internally with his same sex attractions, but overall didn't see as much conflict between sex and faith like so many politicians today. Yes, there were plenty of gay men back then who viewed it all sinful and tried to get "converted" to heterosexuality and, yes, the McCarthy witch hunts were ruthless in the fifties especially (although the focus was less on the Hollywood than on the Washington workforce), but the main goal of everybody was to merely keep their bedroom activities private and try not to get arrested in public. Although his family was likely aware of his affairs, they mostly just looked the other way. Obviously, since he was a major money provider. He didn't struggle quite as much as so many others in the closet. Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg had no issues with him since he always reported to work on time and didn't have any scandals to cover up.

Mostly Ramon's problems with the law involved alcohol (DUIs) and these happened mostly in the fifties and sixties. Never sex like, say, William Haines. He started drinking more regularly after one of his brothers died post-The Pagan and it impacted his physical appearance on screen by the time of The Cat And The Fiddle. His departure from MGM was a mutual decision since he did think he had a future as a singer. Made an attempt at independent production and RKO did help distribute Contra la Corriente since the major studios did cater to a Spanish speaking market. He did well as a supporting actor in a few films later on, but you get the impression that he was comfortable enough in his own finances that he didn't need to go back to acting.

Money was ultimately the primary reason he was killed since the Ferguson brothers knew he had plenty of loot... and he did. Just not where they could find it easily. (It was Kenneth Anger who mostly started that silly rumor of a nonexistent art deco "piece" from Rudolph Valentino, but Valentino and Novarro hardly knew each other despite appearing in a film together way, way back.) His murder was pre-Stonewall, but the trial was post-Stonewall and still early enough for the one to use homophobia in his defense.

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Of the few films that I have seen with Ramon Navarro - most recently, "Huddle" - I see him as an exotic presence, hardly ever "masculine" - although he did mange masculinity in "Huddle" - nothing wrong with "being exotic", though.

But in films in which masculinity is very much a part of the plot - like "Laughing Boy" and "The Flying Fleet" and "The Student Prince In Old Heidelburg" - he seems woefully inadequate.

But perhaps it was his lack of masculinity that added to his charm.

And he could be, on occasion, a great beauty.

But, when he sang, he was clearly far from the mark.

His most famous film, the silent "Ben-Hur" -

RamonNovarroBenHur2.jpg

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He certainly looked his best in Ben-Hur (and you can see at least one mismatched scene in which he sports chest hair climbing ropes on the burning ship since somebody forgot to "wax" him) and The Pagan. There is a humorous scene from The Flying Fleet uploaded on YouTube called "1920s Navy physical exam".

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1 hour ago, rayban said:

Of the few films that I have seen with Ramon Navarro - most recently, "Huddle" - I see him as an exotic presence, hardly ever "masculine" - although he did mange masculinity in "Huddle" - nothing wrong with "being exotic", though.

But in films in which masculinity is very much a part of the plot - like "Laughing Boy" and "The Flying Fleet" and "The Student Prince In Old Heidelburg" - he seems woefully inadequate.

But perhaps it was his lack of masculinity that added to his charm.

And he could be, on occasion, a great beauty.

But, when he sang, he was clearly far from the mark.

His most famous film, the silent "Ben-Hur" -

RamonNovarroBenHur2.jpg

It all depends on how you define "masculinity". Compared to today's stars in their looks, obviously Ramon was not Chris Pratt or Zac Efron and even contemporary Valentino who was lifting the weights an awful lot in his final years, gradually resembling Douglas Fairbanks and Ramon's Ben-Hur co-star Francis X. Bushman in "hulk" by Son Of The Sheik. I guess I would see him more as a Shia LaBeouf.

Nonetheless the twenties was an interesting decade when the genders blurred quite a bit. Part of this was due to The Great War and the less than enthusiastic response to its aftermath, as well as women taking on more roles in male dominated industry as a result. Just as the flappers were cutting their hair short and downsizing their cleavage to look more masculine (plus smoking cigarettes), the guys were fussier in their grooming habits. The great dictators in Spain, Italy and Germany would soon fixed that problem in the thirties, among a great many other issues they personally viewed as problems.

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This is perfect movie and HBO really should have given it a theatrical release. It's better than most recent Oscar winners.

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J.J. Abrams, Zachary Quinto Making Film About Tab Hunter, Anthony Perkins Romance

The story of a hidden Hollywood love affair could soon become a biopic.

Producer J.J. Abrams and actor-producer Zachary Quinto are temporarily setting aside working on “Star Trek” to instead focus on Hollywood history.

In a story first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the two showbiz insiders are working on a biopic focused on the secret love affair between actors Tab Hunter and Anthony Perkins in the 1950s. The film is tentatively titled “Tab & Tony.”

Teen idol Hunter and Perkins, best known as Norman Bates in 1960′s “Psycho,” dated for about three years after meeting each at a hotel swimming pool. They often took out female dates to avoid suspicion ― only to go home with each other instead, according to The New Yorker.

Abrams and Quinto are producing the movie along with Allan Glaser, who is also Hunter’s longtime partner.

The producers are looking for a director and for two actors to portray the now-87-year-old Hunter and Perkins, who died of AIDS-related pneumonia in 1992 at the age of 60.

 

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/anthony-perkins-tab-hunter-movie-jj-abrams-zachary-quinto_us_5b186148e4b0599bc6e023f0

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