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Straight Films That Are Actually Gay.

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Often cited as a subversive example of a young man's homosexuality, "Equus" is one of those films that should not have been made.

 

The play by Peter Shaffer belongs on the stage.

 

When it is opened up for the screen - and made visual (a lot of it) - it loses its' impact.

 

But Mr. Shaffer did the screenplay himself.

 

The boy's problem - that he has fallen in love - with horses (?!) - is generally believed to be a veiled reference - to homosexuality.

 

Mr. Shaffer was a gay man.

 

At the end, the psychiatrist believes that he can eradicate "the problem".

 

Of course, today, that particular ending does not work.

 

The film, which is made much too literal by the gifted director, Sidney Lumet, has two very strange and very creepy performances from its' stars, Richard Burton and Peter Firth.

 

The psychiatrist, Martin Dysart, envies the PASSION that the boy experiences - with horses (?!).

 

However, on stage, this very material, which leaves a lot more to the imagination, has both power and mystery, which the film dissipates with its' constant visualization.

 

Perhaps Mr. Shaffer was pushed too far by Mr. Lumet.

 

(There's a great deal of full-frontal nudity with Mr. Firth - and the horses!  Again, it is "a visualization" that we don't really need.)

 

sddefault.jpg

 

And, again, more fully -

 

http://worldcinemaparadise.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Equus-2.png

I never thought the horse were a metaphor for homosexuality but that reading makes sense.  " Equuss" is one of those plays or books which does not work on film.  They were never going to show the boy having sex with the animals.  A more imaginative director than Lumet might have found a way to do it ( imagine Ken Russell's version of the material ?!)  On stage the boy-horse scene have a clear homoerotic vibe.

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At the time of the original Broadway production, there was a great deal of press about the fact that Peter Firth was "staying" with Peter Shaffer at the time of the "official opening" - this fact seemed to validate somehow "a gay reading" of the play's intriguing text. 

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" 2001 A Space Odyssey" (1968) what were Dave and Frank up to during that long long trip?  And was Hal jealous of Dave because he could not physically have Frank.  Kubrick does use the two young men as sex object that long tracking running shot and the sun tan bed scene. Kubrick was straight but Arthur C Clarke was gay.  I wonder if he conceived Dave and Frank as couple?https://youtu.be/-GVDBatf8EU

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" 2001 A Space Odyssey" (1968) what were Dave and Frank up to during that long long trip?  And was Hal jealous of Dave because he could not physically have Frank.  Kubrick does use the two young men as sex object that long tracking running shot and the sun tan bed scene. Kubrick was straight but Arthur C Clarke was gay.  I wonder if he conceived Dave and Frank as couple?

 

... and wasn't it ssssoooo convenient that the only woman astronaut in Planet of the Apes died in her "sleep" state? Then Charlton Heston and his buddies could have much needed bro-bonding swimming au naturel before meeting the apes. Of course, Heston still needed a woman later, as one of the captives born on Monkey Planet.

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... and wasn't it ssssoooo convenient that the only woman astronaut in Planet of the Apes died in her "sleep" state? Then Charlton Heston and his buddies could have much needed bro-bonding swimming au naturel before meeting the apes. Of course, Heston still needed a woman later, as one of the captives born on Monkey Planet.

 

I really don't see that much gay vibes in "Planet of the Apes"-apart from the male nudity.  Heston after flirting with ape lady scientist ends up with Nova now if he had bro bonded with Roddy McDowell.... ;)

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I really don't see that much gay vibes in "Planet of the Apes"-apart from the male nudity.  Heston after flirting with ape lady scientist ends up with Nova now if he had bro bonded with Roddy McDowell.... ;)

 

Oh... you know I was always joking because Heston himself certainly thought Ben Hur had no gay text as well. Even my inclusion of it on my June TCM made up schedule was a joke.

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Oh... you know I was always joking because Heston himself certainly thought Ben Hur had no gay text as well. Even my inclusion of it on my June TCM made up schedule was a joke.

It's hard to believe that man who looked like Heston did not have a least one gay encounter in his life- specially when he was starting out- in bio he goes out of his way to insist that even when he was working a nude art model- there was never any type of "homosexual" activity- hard to believe that  a young man working in the theater did not meet at least one gay actor-director-designer?!!!

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It's hard to believe that man who looked like Heston did not have a least one gay encounter in his life- specially when he was starting out- in bio he goes out of his way to insist that even when he was working a nude art model- there was never any type of "homosexual" activity- hard to believe that  a young man working in the theater did not meet at least one gay actor-director-designer?!!!

 

By the time Heston was a huge star in The Greatest Show on Earth, nobody in Hollywood was gay, just as nobody in Hollywood was a Commie. Just like nobody in Chicago was a witness to the St. Valentine's Day Massacre decades before unless they were part of a girl's band dressed in drag.

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Heston might have always traveled in very conservative circles so perhaps the gay men that he encountered were deep in the closet. 

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"Arrow" the tv series is not specially "gay"  but gays might be the target audience .  Oliver Queen/Arrow played by the very hot Stephen Amell seems to have at least one shirtless scene per episode.  The male villains sometimes played by gay actors like John Barrowman love to chain him up so that we can see his bulging muscles better as he struggles to break free from bondage.

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"Anchors Away" (1945) Clarence ( Frank Sinatra) and Joe ( Gene Kelly) waste too much time in this movie looking for girls when it's quite clear that this bromantic pair only need each other.  I mean is there any better sign of true love like saving your bud's life? Kelly is clearly the lust object here- love the way Sinatra watches over him as he sleeps in his underwear.   In the scene in which the adorable Dean Stockwell meets the cop - I noticed the navy recruiting poster by Mclelland Barcaly in the background -a  male pin up which must have enticed a lot of lonely small town guys to join the navy. ;)

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Don't get me started on Anchors Aweigh... and On the Town, for that matter. While Kelly's Gabey is seeking Miss Turnstyle, Frankie (a "Chip" on Gabey's shoulder) is completely exhausting Betty Garrett's Beunhilde (whom, as Elmer Fudd would sing, is so wuvely) because he wants to hang out with Gabey in his great search instead of going to HER place and making whoopee

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The sailor theme musical from "Anchors Aweigh" to "South Pacific" seem to share a strong homoerotic subtext- not too mention plenty of male eye candy.  Sailors and their tight pants seem better suited for song and dance numbers-as Mr Channing Tatum  and company clearly illustrate in this  production number from "Hail Caesar"

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"A Yank At Oxford" - 1938 - strong homoerotic subtext -

 

An American student, Lee Sheridan (Robert Taylor) is granted a year at Oxford University - he experiences the usual "culture clash" - there is a strong anti-American sentiment at Oxford - there is the usual "girl trouble" - Lee is attracted to an English student, Molly (Maureen O'Sullivan) and Paul, her brother, (Griffith Jones) is having an affair with Elsa, the wife of the local bookshop owner - but the true crux of the film is "the troubled relationship" between Lee and Paul - they are constantly at each other's throats (although the actors - Taylor and Jones - do seem attracted to each other) in that usual early film way - "I do want you, believe me, but I can't have you, but, by harressing you constantly, you'll always be a part of my life" -

 

the plot explodes when Lee decides to save Paul by admitting to an affair with Elsa, who's having a rendezvous with Paul in Paul's room and, then, is "sent down" and sent home -

 

Paul is finally bowled over by Lee's "sacrifice" -

 

of course, it's love, nothing more -

 

the matter is "resolved" when another student takes the blame because he has always wanted to be "sent down" (but finally isn't) -

 

Lee is allowed to return to Oxford and Paul could not be happier -

 

at the end, when Lee and Paul reconcile - they've reached a greater understanding of their relationship - they are instrumental in winning a rowing competition - 

 

Lee collapses backwards into Paul's lap -

 

a place that he has always wanted to be! -

      

and it is a great underhanded salute to male coupling in the late 30's!

 

a-yank-at-oxford-year-1938-director-jack

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"A Yank at Oxford" was remade as " Oxford Blues" (1984) a Rob Lowe vehicle ( Tom Cruise was too busy?!)  the very 80's trailer promises plenty of bromance with Julian Sands ,  cute guys in shorts ; Rob doing some sort of fashion montage in which his butt is on display and the climax in which he gets a beer shower from the team- " he came to Oxford to meet a girl but he go something more important"!

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"A Yank At Oxford" - 1938 - strong homoerotic subtext -

 

An American student, Lee Sheridan (Robert Taylor) is granted a year at Oxford University - he experiences the usual "culture clash" - there is a strong anti-American sentiment at Oxford - there is the usual "girl trouble" - Lee is attracted to an English student, Molly (Maureen O'Sullivan) and Paul, her brother, (Griffith Jones) is having an affair with Elsa, the wife of the local bookshop owner - but the true crux of the film is "the troubled relationship" between Lee and Paul - they are constantly at each other's throats (although the actors - Taylor and Jones - do seem attracted to each other) in that usual early film way - "I do want you, believe me, but I can't have you, but, by harressing you constantly, you'll always be a part of my life" -

 

the plot explodes when Lee decides to save Paul by admitting to an affair with Elsa, who's having a rendezvous with Paul in Paul's room and, then, is "sent down" and sent home -

 

Paul is finally bowled over by Lee's "sacrifice" -

 

of course, it's love, nothing more -

 

the matter is "resolved" when another student takes the blame because he has always wanted to be "sent down" (but finally isn't) -

 

Lee is allowed to return to Oxford and Paul could not be happier -

 

at the end, when Lee and Paul reconcile - they've reached a greater understanding of their relationship - they are instrumental in winning a rowing competition - 

 

Lee collapses backwards into Paul's lap -

 

a place that he has always wanted to be! -

      

and it is a great underhanded salute to male coupling in the late 30's!

 

a-yank-at-oxford-year-1938-director-jack

Well you know what all that fighting is really all about!

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I watched BIGGER THAN LIFE with James Mason last night and I read the article on the TCM Schedule.  The author said, and I am paraphrasing here, that Walter Matthau's  character may be the most subtle gay character (or subtext) ever on film.  If so, it was so subtle I don't think I picked up on it (I do know that subtlety is key in many 1950's melodramas).  He was a gym teacher and a friend to James' character and his family.  Was it his (non)relationship with the hot lady school teacher?  Is anyone else familiar with this movie and have any thoughts to share?  By the way, I really liked BIGGER THAN LIFE and it reminded me of some of Douglas Sirk's work but was directed by Nicholas Ray.  

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I watched BIGGER THAN LIFE with James Mason last night and I read the article on the TCM Schedule.  The author said, and I am paraphrasing here, that Walter Matthau's  character may be the most subtle gay character (or subtext) ever on film.  If so, it was so subtle I don't think I picked up on it (I do know that subtlety is key in many 1950's melodramas).  He was a gym teacher and a friend to James' character and his family.  Was it his (non)relationship with the hot lady school teacher?  Is anyone else familiar with this movie and have any thoughts to share?  By the way, I really liked BIGGER THAN LIFE and it reminded me of some of Douglas Sirk's work but was directed by Nicholas Ray.  

It's an amazing film

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"Journey to the Center of the Earth" (1959) there is nothing overtly gay about this sci-fi adventure classic well except that Alec (Pat Boone) and Hans ( Peter Ronson) loose most of their clothes on the journey.  Professor Linderbrook ( James Mason) and Carla (Arlene Dhal) are clearly a romantic couple ( there are no women in Jules Verne's novel)  The villain Count Saknussen ( Thayer David) is gay coded who  lusts after the shirtless Alec. Saknussen's man servant got killed on the way and he needs a replacement.   Alec who has a girlfriend Jenny ( Diane Baker) refuses and the count shoots him!   Alec recovers and has more time to bond with Hans who doesn't speak English but I'm sure they understood each other. It gets cold and lonely down in the center of the Earth ;)

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For some reason, a lot of shirts were off in sci fi and fantasy films during the 1953-63 period, ironically the decade when it seemed that everybody was staying in the closet and "lavender marriages" were at their peak (more so than the 1930s). Homosexuality/bisexuality made you vulnerable to blackmail by The Commies and the McCarthy/Eisenhower purge, in the government positions in particular, was in full swing in 1953 and through the decade.

 

Yet it seemed curious that so many were strutting their stuff in a genre that was less popular with women than young man feeling their urges. For example, they all get shirtless in THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND, but there are only two women for.. what? Six guys? Beth Rogen hooks Michael Callen, probably because he is bored with all of the bro-bonding. Very sensuous Joan Greenwood might "convert" better than any Mike Pence "pray away" therapy since she is just oozing with sensuality, even when holding a gun against the Phorusrhacos. Not sure if Michael Craig is taking the bait, since he enjoys micro-managing his guys.

 

Of course, the greatest film of the era was THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN. My only question is how he was able to make clothes so easily with scraps in the basement. Talk about prudishness.

 

Also let's not forget Rod Taylor in WORLD WITHOUT END. Of course, the guys must ignore him, but SHE doesn't.

 

 

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For some reason, a lot of shirts were off in sci fi and fantasy films during the 1953-63 period, ironically the decade when it seemed that everybody was staying in the closet and "lavender marriages" were at their peak (more so than the 1930s). Homosexuality/bisexuality made you vulnerable to blackmail by The Commies and the McCarthy/Eisenhower purge, in the government positions in particular, was in full swing in 1953 and through the decade.

 

Yet it seemed curious that so many were strutting their stuff in a genre that was less popular with women than young man feeling their urges. For example, they all get shirtless in THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND, but there are only two women for.. what? Six guys? Beth Rogen hooks Michael Callen, probably because he is bored with all of the bro-bonding. Very sensuous Joan Greenwood might "convert" better than any Mike Pence "pray away" therapy since she is just oozing with sensuality, even when holding a gun against the Phorusrhacos. Not sure if Michael Craig is taking the bait, since he enjoys micro-managing his guys.

 

Of course, the greatest film of the era was THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN. My only question is how he was able to make clothes so easily with scraps in the basement. Talk about prudishness.

 

Also let's not forget Rod Taylor in WORLD WITHOUT END. Of course, the guys must ignore him, but SHE doesn't.

 

The villain in "World Without End" seems gay coded -maybe he wanted Rod Taylor to himself

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For some reason, a lot of shirts were off in sci fi and fantasy films during the 1953-63 period, ironically the decade when it seemed that everybody was staying in the closet and "lavender marriages" were at their peak (more so than the 1930s). Homosexuality/bisexuality made you vulnerable to blackmail by The Commies and the McCarthy/Eisenhower purge, in the government positions in particular, was in full swing in 1953 and through the decade.

 

Yet it seemed curious that so many were strutting their stuff in a genre that was less popular with women than young man feeling their urges. For example, they all get shirtless in THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND, but there are only two women for.. what? Six guys? Beth Rogen hooks Michael Callen, probably because he is bored with all of the bro-bonding. Very sensuous Joan Greenwood might "convert" better than any Mike Pence "pray away" therapy since she is just oozing with sensuality, even when holding a gun against the Phorusrhacos. Not sure if Michael Craig is taking the bait, since he enjoys micro-managing his guys.

 

Of course, the greatest film of the era was THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN. My only question is how he was able to make clothes so easily with scraps in the basement. Talk about prudishness.

 

Also let's not forget Rod Taylor in WORLD WITHOUT END. Of course, the guys must ignore him, but SHE doesn't.

 

 

I just saw "Mysterious Island" on blu ray- Cy Enfield must have been straight because there are not enough shirtless scenes.  Yes there is a plenty of bromantic potential until the women show up.   Captain Nemo (Herbert Lom) might be gay coded no only is he a scientific genius but has a great sense of style.  He even tries to impress the handsome Captain Harding (Michael Craig) with the Nautilus power - sadly it goes no where. 

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I think that whole cast was straight, at least publicly. One was previously married to Bette Davis, although he looked happier with the dudes than he did with her in All About Eve a decade earlier. (I think the two divorced right about the time it started filming.) I also think the writers over-emphasized the heter-"normality" by making the younger attractive couple hook up, even if he only showed interest in her when they got stuck in the bee hive.

 

Now... the star of that other vintage Harryhausen opus, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, was Kirwin Mathews, who "came out" much earlier than others. One thing I have noticed is that he puts more gusto in his wooing of Bing Crosby's young wife, probably because it all seemed "safe". Like Rock Hudson always wooing Doris Day.

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I think that whole cast was straight, at least publicly. One was previously married to Bette Davis, although he looked happier with the dudes than he did with her in All About Eve a decade earlier. (I think the two divorced right about the time it started filming.) I also think the writers over-emphasized the heter-"normality" by making the younger attractive couple hook up, even if he only showed interest in her when they got stuck in the bee hive.

 

Now... the star of that other vintage Harryhausen opus, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, was Kirwin Mathews, who "came out" much earlier than others. One thing I have noticed is that he puts more gusto in his wooing of Bing Crosby's young wife, probably because it all seemed "safe". Like Rock Hudson always wooing Doris Day.

Kerwin Mathews was gay but he was very good actor who beyond his matinee idol looks was a very convincing "straight" leading man.   In the novel "Mysterious Island" there are no women or giant creatures.  Cute women like shirtless young men never hurt the box office.  ;)

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