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The one where the men have more chemistry than the men and women


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It's going to seem like I am picking on James Stewart here but the first two examples that came to mind were films where he is in a lead role, and I think these are good examples to use.

1ajim2.png

Today TCM aired NAVY BLUE AND GOLD. As charming as Jimmy Stewart is in this early role, I just do not buy him as a romantic interest for Florence Rice. She doesn't show up until at least 45 minutes into the 94-minute film and by that point, he has gelled so well with Robert Young that I find myself rooting for them and not really caring if anyone hooks up with Rice.

1ajim.png

Similarly in BROKEN ARROW: Jimmy and Jeff Chandler (playing Cochise) radiate a ton of on-screen chemistry and their scenes together, alone in the great west, are fascinating and more compelling than the scenes Jimmy has with Debra Paget who plays his supposed love interest. In this case, I think there is quite a bit of sexual tension going on between the men, whether it is intended or not by the scriptwriter and director. Certainly, Jimmy and Debra generate no real sparks together, so by comparison the legitimate 'love story' of BROKEN ARROW comes off flat and not nearly as interesting as the relationship between the men.

 

Now I think there are different factors why this happens in movies. In some cases, it is because the script is written to showcase the men more prominently (like in NAVY BLUE AND GOLD) and most of the plot revolves around the men interacting. In other cases, we have bisexual actors and the sexual tension is palpable and finds its way into the subtext of the story no matter what. Smart casting usually takes this into account when roles are assigned and an added layer can be brought to the story, even with the production code in full force.

 

Maybe in Jimmy Stewart's situation, it was because he did not get married until he was 41 years old and he was just more naturally comfortable with guys.

 

Thoughts...?

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Thoughts...?

 

Yeah, here's MY thought here, TB...

 

I can't WAIT 'til "riverrock" sees THIS thread o' yours here!!! LOL

 

That guy IS still around here somewhere, isn't HE?! LOL...some more!

 

(...tell ya what...as soon at I stop doin' a Red Skelton here and laughin' at my own joke, I'll try to think of another example of your premise and post it) 

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Okay...okay. I think I'm settled-down enough now....

 

The first one that comes to my mind is the movie where ya have Newman and Redford runnin' from those Pinkerton men out West. I mean, here ya have Katharine Ross parkin' her lovely behind on the handlebars of that bicycle while Newman is pedalin' away(and to those strains of "everybody's favorite" Academy Award winning song!!! LOL), and yet I always got the feelin' that Butch would've rather had Sundance sittin' on these handlebars!

 

(...though I know I'm not the first person to have ever mentioned this)

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Ben Hur and Messala in Ben Hur (1959)

 

The whole cast of The Guns of Navarone. 

 

The WHOLE cast of The Guns of Navarone, ya say hep?!

 

(...and here I thought Anthony Quinn was the only one playin' a Greek guy in that one!!!) 

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The WHOLE cast of The Guns of Navarone, ya say hep?!

 

(...and here I thought Anthony Quinn was the only one playin' a Greek guy in that one!!!) 

 

You're one funny lad today, Dargo.   Only Greek guy!   But the Guns of Navarone is a great example.   They take the hotest girl on their team and shoot her dead.    Ok, she was a traitor but still.  When did making war become a higher priority than making love? 

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The WHOLE cast of The Guns of Navarone, ya say hep?!

 

(...and here I thought Anthony Quinn was the only one playin' a Greek guy in that one!!!) 

LOL, well, it seems that in every war film that is older than my foot is less about romance between men and women and more about romance between men and men, be it "friendship" or something else. 

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You're one funny lad today, Dargo.   Only Greek guy!   But the Guns of Navarone is a great example.   They take the hotest girl on their team and shoot her dead.    Ok, she was a traitor but still.  When did making war become a higher priority than making love? 

David Nivien seemed to always have "she's always in the way look" about him in that film, even in that scene. Subtlety speaks volumes apparently, his character was seriously mackin' on Gregory Peck. 

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The first one that comes to my mind is the movie where ya have Newman and Redford runnin' from those Pinkerton men out West. I mean, here ya have Katharine Ross parkin' her lovely behind on the handlebars of that bicycle while Newman is pedalin' away(and to those strains of "everybody's favorite" Academy Award winning song!!! LOL), and yet I always got the feelin' that Butch would've rather had Sundance sittin' on these handlebars!

 

 

I agree. And Newman and Redford repeat the same chemistry in their follow-up hit THE STING.

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Yeah, here's MY thought here, TB...

 

I can't WAIT 'til "riverrock" sees THIS thread o' yours here!!! LOL

 

That guy IS still around here somewhere, isn't HE?! LOL...some more!

 

(...tell ya what...as soon at I stop doin' a Red Skelton here and laughin' at my own joke, I'll try to think of another example of your premise and post it) 

 

Well since you opened the window;   How about Marty and every guy in that film!  

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An early, obvious choice: the first Oscar winner for Best Film:

 

Wings1927.jpeg

Buddy Rogers - KANSAS boy!!

 

Oldest - Wayne & Carradine in 'Stagecoach' - they had rest area encounter written all over them

Older - Heston & Derek in 'Ten Commandments' - steamy chemistry in robes

Newer - Lemmon & Matthau in 'The Odd Couple' - they were so gay regardless of Pigeon sisters

Newest - Carrey & Daniels in 'Dumb and Dumber' - getting off the bus at the end NOT normal behavior

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Sometimes the problem is that the lead female is miscast and the hetero romance angle sort of fizzles on screen. 

 

Then there's something like THE NAKED SPUR (Jimmy Stewart again) where the lead female is made to look very unfeminine (like Janet Leigh in this movie) and it's as if the men are fighting over a boy.

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Then there's something like THE NAKED SPUR (Jimmy Stewart again) where the lead female is made to look very unfeminine (like Janet Leigh in this movie)

 

Janet Leigh sure didn't seem very unfeminine to me in that movie.  I don't think you can expect a woman riding on horseback through the 19th century West to be able to look like Kay Francis in Trouble in Paradise, but she still looks very much like a woman.

 

6320848_4_l.jpg

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Then there's something like THE NAKED SPUR (Jimmy Stewart again) where the lead female is made to look very unfeminine (like Janet Leigh in this movie)

 

Janet Leigh sure didn't seem very unfeminine to me in that movie.  I don't think you can expect a woman riding on horseback through the 19th century West to be able to look like Kay Francis in Trouble in Paradise, but she still looks very much like a woman.

 

You are posting a publicity shot. She did not look like that in the movie. This is how she looked in the movie, quite boyish:

images-11.jpg

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It's going to seem like I am picking on James Stewart here but the first two examples that came to mind were films where he is in a lead role, and I think these are good examples to use.

1ajim2.png

Today TCM aired NAVY BLUE AND GOLD. As charming as Jimmy Stewart is in this early role, I just do not buy him as a romantic interest for Florence Rice. She doesn't show up until at least 45 minutes into the 94-minute film and by that point, he has gelled so well with Robert Young that I find myself rooting for them and not really caring if anyone hooks up with Rice.

1ajim.png

Similarly in BROKEN ARROW: Jimmy and Jeff Chandler (playing Cochise) radiate a ton of on-screen chemistry and their scenes together, alone in the great west, are fascinating and more compelling than the scenes Jimmy has with Debra Paget who plays his supposed love interest. In this case, I think there is quite a bit of sexual tension going on between the men, whether it is intended or not by the scriptwriter and director. Certainly, Jimmy and Debra generate no real sparks together, so by comparison the legitimate 'love story' of BROKEN ARROW comes off flat and not nearly as interesting as the relationship between the men.

 

Now I think there are different factors why this happens in movies. In some cases, it is because the script is written to showcase the men more prominently (like in NAVY BLUE AND GOLD) and most of the plot revolves around the men interacting. In other cases, we have bisexual actors and the sexual tension is palpable and finds its way into the subtext of the story no matter what. Smart casting usually takes this into account when roles are assigned and an added layer can be brought to the story, even with the production code in full force.

 

Maybe in Jimmy Stewart's situation, it was because he did not get married until he was 41 years old and he was just more naturally comfortable with guys.

 

Thoughts...?

THE FORTUNE COOKIE. Lemmon and Matthau had great chemistry. Lemmon had little chemistry with his wife, who was kind of a Kim Novak lookalike..

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Sometimes the problem is that the lead female is miscast and the hetero romance angle sort of fizzles on screen. 

 

Then there's something like THE NAKED SPUR (Jimmy Stewart again) where the lead female is made to look very unfeminine (like Janet Leigh in this movie) and it's as if the men are fighting over a boy.

 

I can't imagine ANY guy mistaking Janet Leigh for a BOY!  Any boy looks like THAT wouldn't make it alive out of my eighth grade GYM CLASS!

 

Sepiatone

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Frederick March and Gary Cooper had much more of a relationship than either of them had with Mariam Hopkins in Design for Living. Certainly not a sexual-tension one  in my view. but as a buddy-buddy situation. Is that covered under the topic, or are we talking about sex here? Poor Mariam didn't really have much time for developing chemistry with anyone as she bounced seamlessly from boyfriend to boyfriend, including someone other than the two leading men.

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"Design for Living" was written by a gay man- so I imagine the attraction between the two male leads makes sense or at least as much as they could suggest when the movie was made. I know some recent productions have made that subtext more explicit.  

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Frederick March and Gary Cooper had much more of a relationship than either of them had with Mariam Hopkins in Design for Living. Certainly not a sexual-tension one  in my view. but as a buddy-buddy situation. Is that covered under the topic, or are we talking about sex here? Poor Mariam didn't really have much time for developing chemistry with anyone as she bounced seamlessly from boyfriend to boyfriend, including someone other than the two leading men.

 

I think Design for Living is a great example related to the topic.  The buddy-buddy relationship is so strong that they agree to "share" the girl and remain friends.    If either of them felt the need for a relationship with Mariam (or love for her) was more important than their buddy-buddy friendship,  they wouldn't have agreed to the arangement the 3 end up making.

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