rayban

Straight Films That Are Actually Gay.

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 "Love Has Many Faces" (1965) is a glossy melodrama about Acapulco beach boys and the rich women who lust after them which must  have been inspired by " Sweet Bird of Youth".  The movie opens with the discovery of the dead body of  a young man  by a group of street urchins who wondered off the set of " Suddenly Last Summer"  Lana Turner ,who looks fabulous in her million dollar costumes by Edith Head. is Kit . She  was "dating" the dead guy even though she is married to Pete ( Cliff Robertson) Hank ( Hugh O'brien) is a sleazy gigolo who want's to be Kit's next husband but  passes the time by sleeping with American tourist Margot (Ruth Roman)   Stephanie Powers shows up as the dead guy's girlfriend seeking the truth about his "suicide".  O'brien spends most of the movie in speedos. He also has a young sidekick Chuck who he is training to be a male hooker. They live together and share their clothes- Chuck prefers white boxers - but there is nothing gay about them. There is plenty of campy moments my favorite is the beach boy funeral and Kit's over produced party.  The film is can be seen in a gorgeous print on Amazon Prime.

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I'm also a huge fan of this movie. You were right to emphasize the over-the-top ridiculousness, but it's also a fairly brave film for the time in which it was made. The amorality of most of the people involved, Stephanie Powers being the obvious exception, makes it stand out among American movies of that time, when the Production Code was on the wane but still in effect. It has a very European feel to it, like Godard's Contempt, in its unapologetic sleaze. It's also one of my favorite Lana Turner performances, very less-is-more from an actress who could chew scenery with the best of them. The scene where she sits, motionless and icy behind her sunglasses, while the cop interrogates Cliff Robertson on their yacht doesn't involve a lot of acting per se, but the effect is mesmerizing. In most of her scenes she has the world-weariness of a bored socialite down pat. (I always wondered how much of her own life she was drawing on there.) I also admire Ruth Roman for taking the role of a rich tourist on the make, who knows her good reputation is a thing of the past and won't apologize for anything she does. ("I'm blackmail-proof.")

Anyway, you were spot on to point out the ridiculously obvious "gayness" of Hank and Chuck's relationship and living situation. (I'm assuming you were joking when you said there was nothing gay about them.) If the movie had been slightly more courageous they could have actually "gone there", given the groundwork that had already been laid in the rest of the movie. Instead, they tried to have it both ways.

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7 hours ago, DougieB said:

I'm also a huge fan of this movie. You were right to emphasize the over-the-top ridiculousness, but it's also a fairly brave film for the time in which it was made. The amorality of most of the people involved, Stephanie Powers being the obvious exception, makes it stand out among American movies of that time, when the Production Code was on the wane but still in effect. It has a very European feel to it, like Godard's Contempt, in its unapologetic sleaze. It's also one of my favorite Lana Turner performances, very less-is-more from an actress who could chew scenery with the best of them. The scene where she sits, motionless and icy behind her sunglasses, while the cop interrogates Cliff Robertson on their yacht doesn't involve a lot of acting per se, but the effect is mesmerizing. In most of her scenes she has the world-weariness of a bored socialite down pat. (I always wondered how much of her own life she was drawing on there.) I also admire Ruth Roman for taking the role of a rich tourist on the make, who knows her good reputation is a thing of the past and won't apologize for anything she does. ("I'm blackmail-proof.")

Anyway, you were spot on to point out the ridiculously obvious "gayness" of Hank and Chuck's relationship and living situation. (I'm assuming you were joking when you said there was nothing gay about them.) If the movie had been slightly more courageous they could have actually "gone there", given the groundwork that had already been laid in the rest of the movie. Instead, they tried to have it both ways. 

Turner looks great and she actually does give a good performance.  But I found the film a bit tame even thought you are right that is does deal with amorality. Roman is very good too.  The film also is not shy of using the men as sex object specially O'brien in those colorful speedos and his handsome sidekick Chuck.  There is a definite gay vibe about those too. If the film had been European I think it might have gone deeper into their daddy-boy bromance

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3 minutes ago, rayban said:

The director should have made more films.

Alexander Singer became a very prolific tv director

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22 hours ago, rayban said:

9ff42db60957d74d35255adfc4bc6da9.jpg

The photo really captures the gay subtext of their relationship- if you did not know the plot of the movie is looks as if O'brien is seducing the younger guy- which in a way he is.

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Lauren Bacall plays Sally Ross an Broadway star which is stalked by Douglas ( Michael Biehn) her deranged admirer in "The Fan " (1981) this is another one of those films like the superior "Eyes of Laura Mars" with gay characters whose sexuality is never acknowledge until it leads to death.  Bacall is playing herself but at times she seems a bit old to be the subject of an erotic obsession- curiously there is no footage from her films which might have at least given the psycho inspiration perhaps Bacall did not want to compete with her alluring younger self. Biehn is not too frightning even when wielding a razor blade- but he does look handsome and takes at least two showers.  The film features James Garner, Maureen Stapleton and Hector Elizondo who never gives a bad performance.  The camp highlight are scenes from the musical that Bacall is suppose to be starring in.  Sad footnote Kurt Johnson who plays a dancer died in 1986; he was only 33.

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23 hours ago, rayban said:

9ff42db60957d74d35255adfc4bc6da9.jpg

That towel is so provocatively tied.

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Ken Russell"s "Women in Love" (1969) is an extraordinary work of cinema- adapted by Larry Kramer from the novel by DH Lawrence ; both intellectually and erotically stimulating. Has anyone else used sex in film this way- the characters really seem to be passionately seeking a connection through their love making.  And yes at it's heart there is a homosexual love story.  Rupert (Alan Bates) is in love with Gerard (Oliver Reed) but Rupert refuses to go there even after their erotically charged nude wrestling match. That scene is still something to watch and much hotter than any x rated gay porn.  Rupert seems to be happy with Ursula (Jenni Linden) but Gerard is unable to find true satisfaction with Gundrun( Glenda Jackson). She might be a force of nature but can anyone be sexier than Alan Bates? .  He is the films most sensual character.  And who doesn't want to wake up next to Mr Bates.  The film is out on a first rate blu-ray from Criterion

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On 2/9/2016 at 4:49 PM, Jlewis said:

Both this thread and the Brokeback Mountain one force me to make another umpteenth trip to Midnight Cowboy again. (Everybody roll their eyes now... lol!)

 

When the one film lost to Crash in 2006, Time magazine had an opinionated column about how paranoid the Academy was despite choosing a much more provocative Best Picture 36 years earlier.

 

Why was Midnight Cowboy a "safe" film back in the sixties, but not Brokeback Mountain? Probably because the main character Joe Buck (Jon Voight) was doing everything possible not to be called "gay" (or the three letter F-word) even though he had no problem with the physical act itself. Had Rico not stopped him, he would have been OK hanging out with the cross-dresser... then he tells Rico how happy he is to have "protection". ("You sure know the ropes.") He had no problem going to a Times Square theater... until the closeted teenager (who didn't want his folks to know) couldn't pay for his services. Yet Joe had issues with Rico calling out his cowboy get-up by the three letter F-word and being appropriate only for gays (referencing John Wayne at one point). Later he has to "prove" to Brenda Vacarro the paying female customer that he isn't "gay", an actual word discussed while they played scrabble. He would have been OK satisfying the closeted businessman, but when he used religion as an excuse "not to" and didn't pay him actual money, Joe got upset and, eventually, strangled him. Bottom line, The Act wasn't the issue. Just The Word Usage... as if being called "gay" meant that you are less of a man. ("I ain't no real cowboy, but I'm one hellavah a s**d!")

 

It is also interesting that this film was released in May 1969, roughly one month before the Stonewall riots and the start of the Ferguson brothers trial over the murder of Ramon Novarro, which... despite exposing the star's private life, also marked one of the first times there was any sort of sympathy towards gay victims. Therefore, this Best Picture winner arrived a special turning point in American history... the end of an era when something was viewed as simply "bad" and a "mental condition" and the beginning of an era when people fought to be treated as equal human beings under the law. This makes Midnight Cowboy all the more interesting: this is a "gay" movie that keeps trying to prove it is a "straight"... even though it makes little difference. Time magazine stated (and I can't remember how they worded it exactly) that Joe was forced against his will to be something he was not (or didn't want to be identified as such), while the two leads in Brokeback were not feeling any guilt or shame as the conservative members of the Academy wanted them to.

You make some very interesting points

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