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Posts posted by rayban

  1. For me, "The Navigator" with Buster Keaton is the funniest film that I have ever sat through - happily and memorably.


    Keaton was divine, demented physicality - a genuine force of nature that could not be stopped.


    When I see him - much older - in other, later flicks, i do not really recognize him.


    But his unique greatness lives on.

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  2. "The Hanging Tree" was from Gary Cooper's own production company, Baroda Productions, Inc. and it also happens to be his final film.


    During production, Delmar Daves took sick, one of the actors, Karl Malden, replaced him and Vincent Sherman was involved, too.


    But I just have the feeling that Gary Cooper was planning on a much more subversive Western, but, in the long run, that fact just did not happen.


    The fact that he must've ok'd the casting of Ben Piazza, who is essentially "a love object" is very, very intriguing to me.


    In the film, when his female co-star, Maria Schell, makes a play for him, Gary Cooper is very quick to reject her and wants her to go back to her country.


    In the end, Maria Schell saves his life and he is grateful to her and cradles her face, but Ben Piazza, who has just taken him down from the hanging tree, is obviously not going anywhere.

  3. I really need to check out " The Hanging Tree" but from the trailer the Rune kid is clearly gay ( or at least gay coded)  "Under the Cherry Moon" is pure camp - it's hard to classify it as "straight" movie

    In real life, the actor, Ben Piazza was a bisexual - he was married to a woman (no children) and spent the last 18 years of his life with a man.

  4. "Brokeback Mountain" goes beyond bromance because the two dudes actually have sex- or did you forget the tent scene.   There are a lot of bromantic comedies that have a clear gay subtext just look at "21 Jumpstreet" or "Pineapple Express"

    I agree with you about contemporary comedies like "21 Jumpstreet" and "Pineapple Express".


    But these movies would constitute a much different thread.


    A notorious example of this genre (in its' upfrontness, that is) is "I Love You, Man".




    (Jason Segal and Paul Rudd are much too close.)

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  5. Dougie, again, I really and truly like what you had to say about "Yellowstone Kelly" and "Under The Cherry Moon".


    Very often, in straight films, you will suddenly get "a gay moment" or "a gay sequence" or even "a gay character" that seems to be coming from an entirely different universe.


    Recently, I watched a Sonja Henie skating film, "It's A Pleasure" with Michael O'Shea.


    Mr. O'Shea's character had a gay butler (Gus Schilling) who seemed to service him in every possible way.

  6. The Hanging Tree sounds pretty surreal. It's coming up on March 22, so we can all have a gander. There was also a palpable older guy/young neophyte vibe in Yellowstone Kelly with Clint Walker and Edd Byrnes, complete with a very unsubtle sleeping bag scene.


    The one that jumps to my mind is Prince's 1986 epic, Under the Cherry Moon. Prince plays a pianist/womanizer on the Riviera in some unspecified era that seems to be an amalgam of Art Deco  and Studio 54. He has a best friend, "Tricky", alongside whom he supposedly carouses with all the available women. It's funny how "Tricky" seems to get most of his attention, though, especially in an extended scene with Prince in and out of a bathtub while "Tricky" hovers nearby, alternating between "just us girls" patter and outright leering. Insane. Add to that the costuming, most memorably Prince's rhinestone cloche, and you have a mind-boggling mess with the text going one way and the subtext doing a complete 180. Prince got away with his gender-bending in music, but film is too literal a medium. I haven't dared to revisit this movie in all these years because I'm afraid it would seem even more of an insult to authentically gay people than it did then.

    Since I don't think that I've ever seen a Clint Walker film, I would really like to see "Yellowstone Kelly".


    And, of course, you've made "Under The Cherry Moon" sound so interesting.


    "The Hanging Tree" had three different directors, and I am wondering what ONE strong directorial hand might've made of it.


    The closing scene comes as close to an oral sex moment between two men as you're likely to get in a straight Western.

  7. "The Hanging Tree" has all the makings of a really WILD ROMANCE between a much older man, who does not like women and a much younger man, who has absolutely no support system.


    But the filmmakers are terrified of the content and skip around the whole issue.


    This is also the only supposedly straight film that I know of that makes enthusiastic use of the phrase - "glory hole".


    Here, in this context, a glory hole was a suddenly discovered patch of earth that harbored gold nuggets in large clusters.


    When the "glory hole" is discovered, all hell breaks loose.


    This film throbs with gay imagery that is really and truly priceless - like the scene in the saloon where Dr. Frail goes to play cards and displays Rune in finery that spells out - priceless catch, and you guys should be so lucky.

  8. I don't want to make any kind of substantial case for this one - BUT -




    (Gary Cooper (Dr. Frail) and Ben Piazza (Rune) - Dr. Frail has forced Rune to take care of him.)


    "The Hanging Tree" has such persistent and lingering GAY SUBTEXT that is really impossible to ignore it.


    Would the relationship between Dr. Frail and Rune ever blossom into an actual affair?


    Only time would tell.


    The closing shot is one of the most ambiguous ever.

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  9. I do hate to make lists of the best in any genre, because I might not feel the same way the next year.


    Thanks to TCM, I am just beginning to discover Ernst Lubitsch.


    And "The Shop Around The Corner" and "Ninotchka" seem to me to be romantic comedies that were spun out of air


    "The Lubitsch Touch" is, of course, the lightest - and, yet, it is so persuasive - and so very enchanting, too.


    I recently saw two rather "old" films of his - "The Love Parade" and "The Smiling Lieutenant".


    They did contain romance and they do embody comedy, but they have have songs in them, so they probably don't qualify as romantic comedies.


    But, again, both films seemed to me to be spun out of air (possibly sugar-flavored).


    I envy the man's ability to transform words on the page into such heavenly music.

    • Like 1
  10. Well this is a case where I feel the opposite;   Early MGM Stewart was just too wimpy -  too country boy soap.    


    Of course there are some early pre-WWII films of his I like but the work he did after the war was much stronger IMO.

    As a youngster at MGM, he had so much charm - and genuine charm isn't that easy to achieve on the screen.


    But, I agree with you, I also like his later work, too

  11. Great comments about WRITTEN ON THE WIND. I call it heartache WRITTEN all over. LOL The scene where Malone is on trial, if that isn't a woman's heart ripping to pieces, I don't know what the heck is. This is one of those films where I feel the leads are flat and the supporting characters are more interesting. I love Malone and Stack in this film. And they're great in THE TARNISHED ANGELS, made afterward again with Hudson and Sirk directing.

    Thanks, and I do wish that "The Tarnished Angels" was better-known.  Rock Hudson, Dorothy Malone and Robert Stack were quite a trio.


    By the way, that song to "Written On the Wind", sung by The Four Aces - who could forget it, right?

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  12. I like how you've expanded on this topic to describe other films with a similar theme. 


    TCM could build an evening of films focusing on heartache. Sort of give melodramas the spotlight for once.

    I couldn't agree with you more - melodramas featuring "heartache" - I'd sit through all of them.


    One of the greatest is Douglas Sirk's "Written On The Wind".


    It's blessed with a kind of "craziness" that makes it completely irresistible.


    It is so full of PAIN - and you just know that, at some point, the entire film will explode.


    Might TCM do an entire day that's devoted to Douglas  Sirk?


    This film is full of such quotable lines.



    Above. Marylee and her brother, Kyle:


    Kyle: Why are you putting your two cents in?


    Marylee: Only because of Mitch.  Because I've never had him.  And your wife has.


    As I said earlier, this film is full of pain, but the deepest pain could not be addressed, Douglas Sirk was hampered by the Production Code, and that would be that Kyle Hadley (Robert Stack) was actually in love with Mitch Wayne (Rock Hudson), but Douglas Sirk did his best to suggest it, anyway.



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  13. There are so many films in which "heartache" becomes the dominant tone of the film.


    One of my favorites is "Rhapsody" with Elizabeth Taylor, Vittorio Gassman and John Ericson.


    To be torn between two such charismatic men could not have been an easy experience, to say the least.


    And both men were great talents - Vittorio Gassman played the violin and John Ericson played the piano.


    Personally, I  couldn't have chosen between the two of them.


    Could I have  arranged some sort of threesome arrangement?


    Vittorio might've been agreeable, but John probably would't have.


    Elizabeth chose Vittorio, and her "heartache" might've been only beginning.

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  14. They both could be - each of them had substantial careers.


    And they could move so easily from one genre to the next.


    Strangely enough, whenever I think of Jack Carson, I think of "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof".


    And, whenever I think of Dennis Morgan, I think of him opposite Ginger Rogers in "Kitty Foyle".


    (The fact that Ginger Rogers walked out on Dennis Morgan was a very hard pill to swallow.)


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  15. How would Tony Randall be considered the gay best friend in your mind? It's not like he could state the obvious of his person in his performances.

    In each of these performances in those films, he set off such definite gay vibes.




    Rock and Tony in "Send Me No Flowers".

  16. Regarding the Tony Randall roles in the Doris Day/Rock Hudson films, "Pillow Talk", "Lover Come Back" and "Send Me No Flowers", could all of these roles be regarded as "the gay best friend"?

  17. A film that might be considered a classic is the English film, "Darling", which was made in 1965.


    Diana Scott (Julie Christie) had a gay best friend, the photographer, Malcolm (Roland Curran).

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  18. As Topbilled has pointed out, Rupert Everett played the gay best friend beautifully in "The Next Best Thing".


    He also played the gay best friend - famously - in "My Best Friend's Wedding".


    But would either of these films be deemed classics?


    I think that "My Best Friend's Wedding" could become one.

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