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Author Topic: Homosexual overtones  (Read 11704 times)
Man with no dame
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« Reply #45 on: May 25, 2007, 11:33:25 AM »

I've watched last year Oscars and Jon Stewart said joke about Brokeback Mountain. Something like; there were no Westerns with man to man love. And then they showed inserts from Shane, from Big Country " Gregory Peck to Charlton Heston; this room is not big enough for what I'm gonna do to you. I was thinking, they could easily put this scene from OUATITW; Frank; "Future doesn't matter to us now. Not a money not the land, not the woman. I came to see you. And CUT after thiese words. I think out of context, this is preety funny love sentence. What do you think?
   Actually , the first official homosexual western, to my knowledge is Andy Warhol's Lonesome Cowboys. Along with Brokeback Mountain, hopefully they will remain an aberrition and not a growing trend. I look at these movies as another attempt at "revisionist history", kind of like walking past the graves of our ancestors and spitting on them because you can. This has been going on for some time now, with films like Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, McCabe and Mrs. Miller and The Last Picture Show portraying cowboys as, well, basically jerks. I will never waste my time or money watching this style of western, no matter how many people rave about it! Angry Angry Angry

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drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #46 on: May 16, 2017, 01:10:08 AM »

I just happened to come across this thread for the first time while doing a search for one of the movies mentioned herein. The last post here was made a decade ago, before I even joined the SLWB! this thread must have been DJ's version of heaven for a while  Evil

I've always been very reluctant to read queer meanings into films,  I could never stand how some people want to read homosexuality into just about every movie - anytime someone doesn't spend a movie banging chicks, or anytime two men are friends, there's someone out there saying it's a queer movie. If some idiot wants to say TMWNN is queer because we don't see him banging chicks (he's too tough or too focused on money or whatever), that's stupid  Roll Eyes

But truthfully, I'm probably too much of a wholesome, naive boy; plenty of filmmakers during the censorship era snuck in queer themes, sometimes in obvious ways.

Here are the films that IMO have queer characters:


Casablanca (1942) - Roger Ebert (in)famously said that Captain Renault in Casablanca is gay. He got lots of flak for saying that, but I agree with him. (Of course, anytime here I say a character is gay, of course I don't always mean totally gay; many characters are bi-sexual. Point is, they are at least also interested in men. Renault bangs any girl who wants a visa, but) the conversation he has about how if he was a girl he's want Rick, and about how a girl looked at Rick in a way that made him jealous; yeah, you can definitely say Renault is interested in men.

Now, some of you may find this crazy, but I don't think it's that off-the-wall to say that Rick and Sam have some sort of queer relationship. There's a scene early on - the first night of the movie - where Rick walks out of the gambling room and into the dining room, as Sam is playing, he just taps Sam on the arm. For no particular reason. Not to get his attention or whatever. Just taps his arm as he walk by. Like I may pet a dog or a girl. Not a buddy. Then of course, Sam is always there with Rick, in Paris and following him to Casablanca; and when Ilsa shows up, Sam feels threatened, and wants Rick to leave town until Ilsa goes away. That does not necessarily indicate homosexuality; that could just be as he says, that Sam thinks Ilsa is bad luck (during this time period, black characters in movies were often depicted as being superstitious). But that tap on the arm ... weird.

Red River(1948) - the famous scene with Montgomery Clift and John Ireland feeling up each other's pistols. "I like his gun" .....  Grin


Little Caesar (1931) - this one for me is no doubt. Ricoshows zero interest in women. His only interest is in his buddy, Joe Massara (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.) He is furious when Joe meets a girl. Of course, the movie shows it as him being furious because Joe is leaving the gangster life and going legit (going "straight," eh?  Wink ) When Rico is getting dressed, his underling Otero (George E. Stone) jumps on the bed, talks about how good Rico looks

 Then, at the end, Rico he should kill Joe, camera moves in, slowly, he is looking at Joe, lovingly; he can't shoot. And he says something like, "That's what you get for liking a guy too much."

No doubt Rico is queer. And he is 100% stone queer, no interest in women at all.

---

Smart Money (1931) - Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney eating breakfast together in pajamas  Evil Evil


---


Touchez Pas au Grisbi (1954) - Gabin has a young babe just waiting to bang him, but he prefers to spend the night with his buddy, give him his pajamas, talks about how it's too much of a chore to have sex with women ....

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« Reply #47 on: May 16, 2017, 01:32:28 AM »

Now, about Sam: that touch could mean "Hi, bud, I'm here, all's fine". Can't see any queer meaning behind it. I should rewatch the movie, but I don't think that gesture carries much meaning.

Little Caesar: I read the novel in the early '70's and can't remember anything about Rico's sexuality. I'll read it again, in case, and report.

Smart Money: So evident (we both wrote it) that Cagney's gay  impersonation embarrassed me.

Grisbi. No, not in the movie and not in the novel. If there weren't a strong buddy tie between the two, Gabin's decision to sacrifice his grisbi to save his friend wouldn't be comprehensible.

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« Reply #48 on: May 16, 2017, 02:05:57 AM »



Grisbi. No, not in the movie and not in the novel. If there weren't a strong buddy tie between the two, Gabin's decision to sacrifice his grisbi to save his friend wouldn't be comprehensible.

being buddies certainly does not mean being homosexual. It's declining the girlfriend's invitation to spend the night, in favor of spending the night with the man

RE: Smart Money: yeah, I see we discussed this here http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=11394.msg187000#msg187000

Also, in The Public Enemy, the tailor's assistant is a flaming fruitcake; he's a minor character, just one scene. And there's no "subtext" about it, nothing hidden. he is as explicit a queer character as you'll find in the "Golden Age" period. Only in the pre-Code days could they get away with that.

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« Reply #49 on: May 16, 2017, 02:21:20 AM »

It is apparent in Grisbi, all the more so in the movie, that Gabin is old and that he's not able to keep pace with the younger girlfriend: he doesn't have to do sex with his buddy, that's why he prefers to spend the night with him. 

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« Reply #50 on: May 17, 2017, 06:57:36 AM »

It is apparent in Grisbi, all the more so in the movie, that Gabin is old and that he's not able to keep pace with the younger girlfriend: he doesn't have to do sex with his buddy, that's why he prefers to spend the night with him. 
Drink isn't old enough to understand such things yet.

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« Reply #51 on: May 17, 2017, 08:20:25 AM »

Drink isn't old enough to understand such things yet.

Talk about you, you. Angry

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« Reply #52 on: May 17, 2017, 11:12:37 AM »

Yes, I'm old enough to understand how one can feel tired all the time.

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« Reply #53 on: May 17, 2017, 11:29:44 PM »

Of course, the reason Gabin gives is that he is tired and it's too much of a chore. But movies in those days could not make someone openly queer (I don't know if French films were different) ; they had to stick it in subtly. So, having the guy say that turn down his babe's request to spend the night with her, saying it's toi much of a chore to make love to a girl, and instead choose to spend the night with his male friend, lend him his pajamas ... if this was 2017, when  nothing has to be subtle, you could take it literally. 60 years ago, that's code for homosexuality. Or at least, open to interpretation ....

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