MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,695 this week

Myra Breckinridge (1970)

X  |   |  Comedy  |  24 June 1970 (USA)
4.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 4.3/10 from 2,190 users  
Reviews: 84 user | 43 critic

Myron Breckinridge is waiting for her sex-change operation while a stoned surgeon stumbles into the operating room. Before the drugged doctor begins Myron's operation, he counsels her. ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Family Entertainment Guide

Check out IMDb's comprehensive Family Entertainment Guide for recommendations for movies and TV series for every age and every viewing platform.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 14 Feb 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 07 Apr 2012
 
a list of 42 titles
created 30 Jun 2013
 
a list of 48 titles
created 27 Sep 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 11 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Myra Breckinridge (1970)

Myra Breckinridge (1970) on IMDb 4.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Myra Breckinridge.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Sextette (1978)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.1/10 X  

Marlo Manners is enjoying her honeymoon with Sir Michael Barrington, husband number 6. As luck would have it, an international conference is taking place in the same hotel and the Russian ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Hughes
Stars: Mae West, Timothy Dalton, Dom DeLuise
Flareup (1969)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Psycho stalks go-go dancer from Las Vegas to L.A.

Director: James Neilson
Stars: Raquel Welch, James Stacy, Luke Askew
The Punk (1993)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

David, a London street kid falls in love with little rich girl Rachel, but their romance is frowned upon by their parents and peers. When David kills a man in self-defence, he goes on the ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Sarne
Stars: Charlie Creed-Miles, Vanessa Hadaway, David Shawyer
Fathom (1967)
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In Southern Spain with a U.S. team, skydiver Fathom Harvill is approached by a Scottish colonel working for a top-secret Western agency. He's after a vital lost atomic device, and wants her... See full summary »

Director: Leslie H. Martinson
Stars: Anthony Franciosa, Raquel Welch, Ronald Fraser
Crime | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After she is raped and her husband murdered a woman hires a bounty hunter to instruct her in the use of a gun so she can get her revenge on the 3 outlaws responsible.

Director: Burt Kennedy
Stars: Raquel Welch, Robert Culp, Ernest Borgnine
The Heat's On (1943)
Musical | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

When his biggest star joins a rival's show, a Broadway producer bluffs and schemes to get her back.

Director: Gregory Ratoff
Stars: Mae West, Victor Moore, William Gaxton
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Mae West plays Rose Carlton, the kept woman of Chan Lo (Harold Huber), who takes her from walking the streets to pacing the floors of her high rent apartment... See full synopsis »

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Mae West, Victor McLaglen, Phillip Reed
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Robinson, Welch and some incompetent european gangsters kidnap an American gangster who they think has a lot of money.

Director: Ken Annakin
Stars: Vittorio De Sica, Raquel Welch, Robert Wagner
The Beloved (1971)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Yanni returns to his homeland, on a Greek island, after several years in London. Soon he is searching for his teenager passion, Elena. She is a married woman now, and adultery leads to ... See full summary »

Director: George P. Cosmatos
Stars: Raquel Welch, Richard Johnson, Jack Hawkins
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A movie star, stranded in the country, trifles with a young man's affections.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Mae West, Warren William, Randolph Scott
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Set in New York City, Mae West is Peaches O'Day, a con artist who befriends Captain Jim McCarey (Edmund Lowe), a cop who must turn her in unless she leaves town. The clever Peaches returns ... See full summary »

Director: A. Edward Sutherland
Stars: Mae West, Edmund Lowe, Charles Butterworth
Comedy | Crime | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  
Director: Eduardo De Filippo
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Raquel Welch, Guido Alberti
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Leticia Van Allen
...
Buck Loner
...
Rex Reed ...
Myron
...
...
Dr. Randolph Spencer Montag
Roger Herren ...
...
Charlie Flager Jr.
...
Irving Amadeus
...
Doctor
...
Surgeon
...
Coyote Bill
Grady Sutton ...
Kid Barlow
Robert P. Lieb ...
Charlie Flager Sr. (as Robert Lieb)
Skip Ward ...
Chance
Edit

Storyline

Myron Breckinridge is waiting for her sex-change operation while a stoned surgeon stumbles into the operating room. Before the drugged doctor begins Myron's operation, he counsels her. Myron persists and the doctor goes through with it. An enthusiastic audience observing the operation applauds the medical achievement and rises in a standing ovation. After the operation, Myron arrives in Hollywood as Myra while in the rest of the film Myron pops up from time to time as Myra's alter ego. Myra goes to an acting academy owned by her uncle, Buck Loner, a former cowboy star. The real reason for Myra's arrival is to claim her half of Uncle Buck's estate, which she says she's entitled to. Buck Loner stalls by giving her a job teaching the history of motion pictures. Buck Loner has several friends. One of them is Letitia Van Allen, an ancient Hollywood talent scout. The sex-starved septuagenarian runs an acting agency "for leading men only." Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the book that couldn't be written comes the motion picture that couldn't be made! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

X | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 June 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gore Vidal's Myra Breckinridge  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$3,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (alternate)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The part of the sex-change surgeon eventually played by John Carradine was originally intended for Walter Pidgeon. See more »

Goofs

When Myra begins preparations to trace Rusty's spine, she uses a buckled strap to keep him from moving - yet strap becomes considerably longer between shot where she anchors his left wrist and shot where she tightens strap on his right wrist. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Myron: [sings to himself] A secret place known to none but me. And in my secret place, you can beg and torture me. I wouldn't tell you where to go. 'Cause in my secret place, secret place, a secret you know. Secret place, a secret you know.
[Surgeon enters to applause]
Surgeon: You realize, once we cut it off, it won't grow back. I mean, it isn't like hair, or fingernails, or toenails, you know.
Myron: What do you think I am, some kind of idiot? I know that!
Surgeon: [shrugs] Eh - how about circumcision? It'd be ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: Episode #3.25 (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Hard to Handle
(uncredited)
Written by Otis Redding
Performed by Mae West
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Cinematic Debacle of Legendary Proportions
28 March 2005 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

Seldom seen since theatrical release in 1970, MYRA BRECKINRIDGE has become a byword for cinematic debacles of legendary proportions. Now at last on DVD in an unexpectedly handsome package, it is as unlikely to win wide audiences today as it was when first released.

Gore Vidal's 1968 bestseller was a darkly satirical statement. Most filmmakers felt that the novel's story, structure, and overall tone would not translate to film, and industry insiders were surprised when 20th Century Fox not only acquired the rights but also hired Vidal to adapt his novel to the screen. But studio executives soon had cold feet: Vidal's adaptations were repeatedly rejected and novice writer-director Michael Sarne was brought in to bring the film to the screen.

Studio executives hoped that Sarne would tap into the youth market they saw as a target for the film, but Sarne proved even more out of synch with the material than the executives themselves. Rewrite upon rewrite followed. The cast, sensing disaster, became increasingly combative. In her DVD commentary, star Raquel Welch says that she seldom had any idea of what Myra's motives were from scene to scene or even within any single scene itself, and that each person involved seemed to be making an entirely different film. In the accompanying "Back Story" documentary, Rex Reed says that MYRA BRECKINRIDGE was a film made by a bunch of people who hid in their dressing rooms while waiting for their lawyers to return their calls.

The accuracy of these comments are demonstrated by the film itself. The basics of Vidal's story are there, but not only has the story been shorn of all broader implications, it seems to have no point in and of itself. Everything runs off in multiple directions, nothing connects, and numerous scenes undercut whatever logic previous scenes might have had. And while director Sarne repeatedly states in his commentary that he wanted to make the film as pure farce, the only laughs generated are accidental.

Chief among these accidents is Mae West. It is true that West is unexpectedly well preserved in appearance and that she had lost none of her way with a one-liner--but there is no getting around the fact that she is in her seventies, and her conviction that she is the still the sexiest trick in shoe leather is extremely unsettling, to say the least. But worse, really, is the fact that West is outside her era. Her efforts to translate herself into a hip and happening persona results in one of the most embarrassing self-caricatures ever seen on film.

The remaining cast is largely wasted. Raquel Welch, a significantly underestimated actress, plays the title role of Myra very much like a Barbie doll on steroids; non-actor Rex Reed is unexpectedly effective in the role of Myron, but the entire role is essentially without point. Only John Huston and cameo players John Carradine, Jim Backus, William Hopper, and Andy Devine emerge relatively unscathed. Yes, it really is the debacle everyone involved in the film feared it would be: fast when it should be slow, slow when it should be fast, relentlessly unfunny from start to finish. It is true that director Sarne does have the occasional inspired idea--as in his use of film clips of everyone from Shirley Temple to Judy Garland to create counterpoint to the action--but by and large, whenever Sarne was presented with a choice of how to do something he seems to have made the wrong one.

The how and why of that is made clear in Sarne's audio commentary. Sarne did not like the novel or, for that matter, the subject matter in general. He did not want to write the screenplay, but he needed the money; he emphatically did not want to direct the film, but he need the money. He makes it very clear that he disliked author Gore Vidal and Rex Reed (at one point he flatly states that Reed "is not a nice person"), and to this day he considers that Vidal and Reed worked in tandem to sabotage the film because he refused to play into their 'homosexual agenda'--which, when you come right down to it, seems to have been their desire that Sarne actually film Vidal's novel rather than his own weirdly imagined take-off on it.

Although he spends a fair amount of commentary time stating that the film is widely liked by the gay community, Sarne never quite seems to understand that the appeal of the film for a gay audience arises from his ridiculously inaccurate depiction of homosexual people. When taken in tandem with the film itself, Sarne emerges as more than a little homophobic--and quite frankly the single worst choice of writers and directors that could have been made for this project.

In addition to the Sarne and Welch commentaries and the making-of documentary, the DVD release includes several trailers and two versions of the film: a "theatrical release" version and a "restored" version. The only difference between the two is that the final scene in the "restored" version has been printed to black and white. The edits made before the film went into general release have not been restored, but the documentary details what they were. The widescreen transfers of both are remarkably good and the sound is quite fine. But to end where I began, this is indeed a film that will most interest film historians, movie buffs, and cult movie fans. I give it three out of five stars for their sake alone, but everyone else should pass it by.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


42 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why is this film not a Cult Classic? drexlermcstyles
Who would be perfect in a Myra Breckinridge remake? darkness_chylde
Herren: Rape Scene Will Be Excplicit mnowl
R-version on DVD Godard-7
A Cult Film? hustedt
the politics of 'Myra Breckinridge' jgepperson
Discuss Myra Breckinridge (1970) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?