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Some new topics

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I feel like there are many potential topics that are waiting to be explored on this sub-forum.

 

Last night I found a very obscure film on Hulu about two men who meet in Palm Springs and have an affair. The plot was rather simple, but there was a lot of depth and insights contained within the dialogue. 

 

I felt while watching the film that there is a lot going on in current LGBT filmmaking (the picture I watched was produced in 2010) that is quite revolutionary. Like it is right there and yet it is somewhat overlooked and perhaps a discussion on these boards should occur about it.

 

Also, I think there are gay and lesbian actors who worked in the golden age of Hollywood that need to be more openly discussed. I know there have been books and some documentaries about these representations, but I do feel we need to keep redefining their roles at that point in the industry. And it applies to off-camera talent too, like choreographers, set decorators, wardrobe people and directors or producers.

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I'm all for discussing new topics. I just haven't thought of any outside of what has already been discussed here. 

 

I would love to talk more about closeted Hollywood, and how people still cling to stereotypes when talking about those publicly closeted GLBT classic movie stars, and even the assumed. 

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I'm all for discussing new topics. I just haven't thought of any outside of what has already been discussed here. 

 

I would love to talk more about closeted Hollywood, and how people still cling to stereotypes when talking about those publicly closeted GLBT classic movie stars, and even the assumed. 

Yes, I think discussing the closeted stars is important, not for outing them necessarily (most have long since been outed anyway)-- but to look at how representations even if indirectly are present in these films.

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I feel like there are many potential topics that are waiting to be explored on this sub-forum.

 

Last night I found a very obscure film on Hulu about two men who meet in Palm Springs and have an affair. The plot was rather simple, but there was a lot of depth and insights contained within the dialogue. 

 

I felt while watching the film that there is a lot going on in current LGBT filmmaking (the picture I watched was produced in 2010) that is quite revolutionary. Like it is right there and yet it is somewhat overlooked and perhaps a discussion on these boards should occur about it.

 

Also, I think there are gay and lesbian actors who worked in the golden age of Hollywood that need to be more openly discussed. I know there have been books and some documentaries about these representations, but I do feel we need to keep redefining their roles at that point in the industry. And it applies to off-camera talent too, like choreographers, set decorators, wardrobe people and directors or producers.

 

The L.A. Times just had an article about Tab Hunter.   Reading this I found out that Hunter did an autobiography with Eddie Muller,  the noir guy.    

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Yes, I think discussing the closeted stars is important, not for outing them necessarily (most have long since been outed anyway)-- but to look at how representations even if indirectly are present in these films.

Well there IS something to be said for subtlety- America's favorite way of talking about things it doesn't want to talk about without actually talking about it, and calling it "mature." 

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The L.A. Times just had an article about Tab Hunter.   Reading this I found out that Hunter did an autobiography with Eddie Muller,  the noir guy.    

There's a new documentary film based on Tab's 2006 Tab Hunter Confidential. It's been in some festivals and is now going into release. I haven't seen it, but there are interviews with Hollywood contemporaries like Debbie Reynolds and Clint Eastwood and, even more interestingly, Venetia Stevenson, who was often Hunter's "beard" for public events. The book was very informative and it sounds as though the film would shed some additional light on Hollywood life on the "down low".

 

I agree with TB that it would be good to hear about industry professionals other than the stars. The problem may be that many of them would have been telling their stories at a time when our society was still working its way out of its fog about all things gay. Many of the best stories were probably never recorded, or at least not published. I just finished reading Sarah Churchill's The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe (2005) in which her approach to biography was to look at all the other major biographies and zero in on the major points of agreement and disagreement. As well as those biographies, she referenced material from unpublished writings of professional associates of Marilyn from the various universities and institutions to which they were donated. If this sort of thing exists for people who were gay or associated with people who were gay, it could be a good source for someone trying to put together a fuller picture of that era. I'm an old man so it won't be me, but the time has certainly come when someone could do it in a way that wouldn't be as "unthinkable" and sensational as it once might have been. We've finally entered an era when people can look at this sort of thing with real interest, rather that titillation.

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There's a new documentary film based on Tab's 2006 Tab Hunter Confidential. It's been in some festivals and is now going into release. I haven't seen it, but there are interviews with Hollywood contemporaries like Debbie Reynolds and Clint Eastwood and, even more interestingly, Venetia Stevenson, who was often Hunter's "beard" for public events. The book was very informative and it sounds as though the film would shed some additional light on Hollywood life on the "down low".

 

I agree with TB that it would be good to hear about industry professionals other than the stars. The problem may be that many of them would have been telling their stories at a time when our society was still working its way out of its fog about all things gay. Many of the best stories were probably never recorded, or at least not published. I just finished reading Sarah Churchill's The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe (2005) in which her approach to biography was to look at all the other major biographies and zero in on the major points of agreement and disagreement. As well as those biographies, she referenced material from unpublished writings of professional associates of Marilyn from the various universities and institutions to which they were donated. If this sort of thing exists for people who were gay or associated with people who were gay, it could be a good source for someone trying to put together a fuller picture of that era. I'm an old man so it won't be me, but the time has certainly come when someone could do it in a way that wouldn't be as "unthinkable" and sensational as it once might have been. We've finally entered an era when people can look at this sort of thing with real interest, rather that titillation.

I love that kind of approach (re: the Monroe biography) and I think it would work very well about this topic. However, would it focus on a group of stars or other studio employees from a certain time period, under a certain mogul? Or would it be more about the stars that managed to find their way out of the closet during their lifetime..? Lots of directions this type of research could go.

 

When I created this thread, I was thinking of it as a launching point for new threads on this sub-forum. I believe in addition to looking at people from the golden age of Hollywood film, we have to look at people from the golden age of television too..and older generation folks who are still working in the industry today that have gone through several eras of representation in Hollywood, before/during and after the age of AIDS. 

 

The film I watched on Hulu recently had JM J Bullock in it...his role is a lot like the old character actors (like he's channeling Edward Everett Horton). He plays a very flaming agent who keeps calling his client at a Palm Springs hotel. Bullock is doing the comic relief in a film that is mostly a romantic drama. And when I watched him, I was thinking of interviews I read about him where he said his sexuality on Too Close for Comfort was an open secret but that he never directly addressed it with the sitcom's star, Ted Knight, out of fear of being fired. He also discovered he was HIV positive during that time. So here we have him in this movie, made in 2010, and he is clearly an industry survivor, and he is bringing all that he represents into this low-budget independent film...but do we talk about guys like him (not very much). There are stories of survivors that seem to get downplayed. Yet at least they manage to continue finding work...apparently, there is still a place for them in the business. I guess that's why they're survivors. 

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There are so many interesting books on closeted Hollywood:

 

1. Behind The Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood by William J. Mann

 

2. Conversations With My Elders by Boze Hadleigh

 

3. Hollywood Gays by Boze Hadleigh

 

4. Hollywood Lesbians by Boze Hadleigh

 

5. Cary Grant by Marc Eliot

 

6. Live Fast, Die Young: Remembering The Short Life of James Dean by John Gilmore

 

7. The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson: The Pretty Boys and Dirty Deals of Henry Willson by Robert Hofler

 

8. Tab Hunter Confidential by Tab Hunter with Eddie Muller

 

9. Howard Hughes: Hell's Angel by by Darwin Porter

 

10. Sal: A Biography by Michael Gregg Michaud 

 

11. Full Service by Scotty Bowers

 

and, of course, this list is merely the tip of the iceberg 

 

Tab-Hunter-and-Anthony-Perkins.jpg

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Interesting photo, Ray. I wonder if the girls on the side knew they were being used for publicity purposes. Kinda sad.

 

Thanks for providing the list of reading material! :)

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Interesting photo, Ray. I wonder if the girls on the side knew they were being used for publicity purposes. Kinda sad.

 

Thanks for providing the list of reading material! :)

Of course, they knew, Jarrod, you can see that they are only "arm candy".

 

In "Tab Hunter Confidential", Tab confessed that he was crazy about Tony.

 

They made such a beautiful couple.

 

But, getting together for them was usually a very difficult process, because Tony was alarmed that he might be "outed" by Confidential Magazine.

 

As I said, my list is merely a partial list.

 

I put "Behind The Screen" at the top of the list, because that one is really an eye-opener.

 

And I put "Full Service" at the bottom of the list, because that one is an eye-opener, too - but in an entirely different way.

 

Tab embraced his homosexuality, but, unfortunately, Tony did not.

 

As Tab said in his book, women of their day would never have thought that Tab and Tony were gay, because they were so well-mannered and polite.

 

And people in the industry did not speak openly of "homosexuality".

 

5f7bbe1380eba0be8994e5fdfa63d21a.jpg

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Some of these gals might have thought the guys were bisexual. Isn't that what Rock Hudson's wife believed? She knew it was an arranged marriage, she worked for Rock's agent if I am not mistaken, but she also had the idea that Rock could get over liking guys and be faithful to her. He tried for awhile, but wasn't able to stay committed to her or the marriage.

 

These females often wound up as collateral damage in an industry worried about maintaining certain images and careers.

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Some of these gals might have thought the guys were bisexual. Isn't that what Rock Hudson's wife believed? She knew it was an arranged marriage, she worked for Rock's agent if I am not mistaken, but she also had the idea that Rock could get over liking guys and be faithful to her. He tried for awhile, but wasn't able to stay committed to her or the marriage.

 

These females often wound up as collateral damage in an industry worried about maintaining certain images and careers.

Phyllis Gates, Rock Hudson's wife, is such a liar.

 

She worked for Henry Willson, the notorious gay Hollywood agent and knew that many of his clients were gay.

 

Henry Willson arranged that marriage between Phyllis Gates and Rock Hudson, because he wanted to stop the spreading of gay rumors about Rock Hudson.

 

Reportedly, she had to stay in the marriage for three years and then would make herself $1 million.

 

She later wrote a book about her marriage that was titled, "My Husband, Rock Hudson" that was a total piece of fiction.

 

I recently watched her on youtube.com doing an interview on "The Larry King Show" in which she told one lie after the other.

 

She was totally unconvincing - the poor woman had never heard the word, "homosexual".

 

rock-hudson-768.jpg

 

Rock Hudson's agent, Henry Willson, took the wedding photos.

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My understanding is that Hudson did try to make the marriage work (his mother who was still alive could have been a factor)...but when he went to Europe to make A FAREWELL TO ARMS he took up with an Italian male, which means he probably wasn't trying too hard to stay married!

 

There is a transcript online somewhere that quotes a detective that was hired to follow Hudson. I can't remember if he was hired by a tabloid or by Gates when she caught wind of his affair in Italy. She needed proof of adultery to obtain a favorable divorce settlement. That's likely why she was paid off...if she went into court and named a man as a third party that surely would have ended Hudson's movie career.

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My understanding is that Hudson did try to make the marriage work (his mother who was still alive could have been a factor)...but when he went to Europe to make A FAREWELL TO ARMS he took up with an Italian male, which means he probably wasn't trying too hard to stay married!

 

There is a transcript online somewhere that quotes a detective that was hired to follow Hudson. I can't remember if he was hired by a tabloid or by Gates when she caught wind of his affair in Italy. She needed proof of adultery to obtain a favorable divorce settlement. That's likely why she was paid off...if she went into court and named a man as a third party that surely would have ended Hudson's movie career.

Well, supposedly, Rock Hudson did have some heterosexual experiences.

 

Reportedly, he might have fathered a child in his early years back home.

 

And he did want to marry Marilyn Maxwell.

 

He asked her to accept his homosexuality, too, and she said that she couldn't live with it.

 

4bduunnasi4ynnsd.jpg

 

Mamie Van Doren claims a one-time sexual encounter with him.

 

Yes, Rock Hudson might've been forced into trying to make his arranged marriage with Phyllis Gates work.

 

But he could not have had an easy time of it.

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