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Myra Breckinridge (1970)

R | | Comedy | 24 June 1970 (USA)
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 him. ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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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
...
Kid Barlow
Robert P. Lieb ...
Charlie Flager Sr. (as Robert Lieb)
Skip Ward ...
Chance
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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 him. 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, RavenGlamDVDCollector ElectricLadyLand

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet Myra Breckinridge. You'll Never Forget Her! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Upon its release the film was virtually universally condemned by reviewers. Most critics didn't just criticize the film but actually savaged it, with many reviews crossing the line into outright moral indignation. The review in the July 6, 1970, edition of "Time Magazine" was entitled "Some Sort of Nadir" (referring to the scene where Myra anally rapes Rusty with a strap-on dildo). The review became famous for its opening line: "Myra Breckinridge is about as funny as a child molester." 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

Edited from This Is Cinerama (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Chica Chica Boom Chic
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Performed by Carmen Miranda
From That Night in Rio (1941)
See more »

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User Reviews

This movie (was) a slap in the face of America's sexual dysfunction!
20 March 2001 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

I read "Myra Breckinridge" in 1969 when I was riding a bus from St. Louis to San Antonio, and I fell in love with everything about the book. I saw the movie when it first came out (even though I was not, legally, old enough) and had a blast. This film (I do NOT use that term loosely) had so much going on and not going on between pretty people and not so pretty people who were acting badly and beautifully while doing evil and funny and disgusting and sweet things to each other in the most vicious and caring ways possible, I was overwhelmed by it all. It had more to say in its heaving breast about the cruel and elevated ways in which man treats his fellow man than every Oscar-winning picture since...and all while telling its story in the most absurd and drug-inducing manner possible.

But what adds even more to the meaning of the film is how it destroyed the career of not just its director (who probably deserved it) but also ruined any chance of a career for Roger Herren solely because he played a character who was raped by a woman. Men can play rapists and women can be raped and gang raped and even play lesbians, and they receive Oscars for their performances and no one thinks the worst of them. But let a man get sodomized and suddenly everyone questions his masculinity and ability to relate to the opposite sex. And THAT is where MYRA BRECKINRIDGE stands tall.

Yes, the movie is a smash-up of styles and insane casting choices and baldly ludicrous dialogue and unintentionally funny acting, but so were more recent idiot movies like THE ROCK and TITANIC and SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, and look how successful they became...and how quickly they will be forgotten. At least MYRA BRECKINRIDGE, the movie (maybe even moreso than the book), worked as a slap in the face of America's sexual dysfunction and hypocrisy...and I believe THAT is what bothers so many people about it. And that is why it remains a movie worth watching,


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