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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
According to the 1978 book "Flesh and Fantasy", Mae West had stipulated in her contract that only she would be allowed to dress in black and white in the film. Costar Raquel Welch showed up to shoot their first scene together in a black dress with an enormous white ruffle, and West threw a fit. When the film's producers sided with West, Welch had the ruffle on the dress dyed a very, very pale blue... which ultimately photographed as white. See more »
Apparently pieced together from different takes, Myra's blouse collar alternately appears fully outside, partially inside/outside and fully outside her jacket during the scene in which she "depantses" Rusty in her office. See more »
[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]
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.
What do you think I am, some kind of idiot? I know that!
Eh - how about circumcision? It'd be ...
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A man who wishes to become a woman wants to show the world that men are not the superior beings that they have been made out to be. To in fact do to men what men have been doing to women since the beginning of time. Is it surprising that this film is despised by so many people - especially men? The fact that this film is so threatening is a good sign that it is right on track. A handsome idiot "stud", an over-the-hill sexist cowboy wannabe and a whole stable of dumb gorgeous guys (including Tom Selleck!) show what all those fun, sexist sixties movies look like in the mirror image. For here it is the women (Myra and an elderly Mae West) who throw out the sexist innuendo and treat men like fresh meat that have little value other than what they can offer women with their bodies. The sight of an unattractive and elderly Mae West always gets the shaft by the film's critics, yet they rarely comment on the appearance of her male counterpart (played with great relish by John Huston) who also seduces (and I might add verbally abuses) women one-third his age. Hmmm. The fact that this film is so hated shows how far men still have to go before opening up their minds and really seeing the double standards that they adhere to when it comes to sex comedies. It's only when the tables are turned that one can truly perceive this - and this film does this beautifully. It is after all a satire and commentary on Hollywood (as well as on the cheesy camp classics from everyone from Roger Corman to Russ Meyer). The interspersing of classic Hollywood movies depicting this seems to have eluded many viewers since they're so used to taking such images for granted. They don't question them or even see what those classic images are really projecting.
Anyway, this is the most brilliant example of camp cinema to date. The hilarious sabotaging of scenes with reaction shots from various movie stars reflects the so-called innocence of the audience (no wonder so many people find that uncomfortable!), and the film is also choked full of famous faces parodying the very images that made them famous. It has all the camp and surreal qualities of Gore Vidal's book, and it retains most of his incredible dialogue. It is also one of the best movies about Hollywood and the jerks who work there. And last but not least, Raquel Welsh should be most proud of her performance. I cannot imagine anyone else in this role because she is not only wonderful, she completely turns the tables on the stereotypes she personified to men throughout her career. She was a wonderfully cheesy sex goddess, and here she finally has a chance to ahem, be in the driver's seat. It's all just in fun, and that's what the movie is saying. If treating women like they are just a pair of boobs is entertainment, then why can't treating men like they are just a pair of bullocks be the same?
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