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The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender (1997)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History | November 1997 (USA)
A film scrapbook, images, phrases from our past, hiding their meanings behind veils. Let's lift those veils, one by one, to find how images, at one time seeming innocent, have revealed, after decades, to have homosexual overtones.

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Storyline

Filmmaker Mark Rappaport cleans out the proverbial closet of Hollywood and film history and unearths a veritable treasure of homo-erotic and gay subliminal gems, including everything from comedies to westerns, film-noir to musicals, and everything in between. Host/narrator Dan Butler leads us through a fun, but extensively documented, exploration of gay film history, from subliminal subtext to clearly visible. Included are many film clips of classic films and golden age stars. Written by trivwhiz

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Trivia

Even though this film is about gay subtexts or undercurrents in movies of the 1930s-1960s, there are no references or clips from movies which were specifically, or at least more overtly, about gay subject matter, even for comparison, such as Victim (1961), The Children's Hour (1961), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969), Staircase (1969), or Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971), all of which were early mass market gay films. See more »

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Features Stalag 17 (1953) See more »

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Another excuse for a film
12 December 2007 | by (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

Director Mark Rappaport, abetted by smug-perfect actor-narrator Dan Butler ('Frasier'), presents a myriad of film clips from a myriad of films, and manages to find 'hidden gayness' in every one of them.

The whole film is reminiscent of social scientists who stubbornly hold to certain theories, and, using questionable methods, painstakingly set out to prove them.

This flick tells us that those 'buddy' movies (Hope-Crosby, Martin-Lewis et al) were reflections of repressed homosexuality. Heterosexual affection between men is a myth: they're all hiding something.

The Walter Brennan Syndrome, as Rappaport preciously and pretentiously calls it, is really the story of those many trusted movie 'sidekicks' who secretly harbour homoerotic fantasies about their heroes. This extends to great cinematic 'sidekicks' like Brennan, Millard Mitchell, Andy Devine, Walter Huston and many others.

This is amazing arrogance, and it's stitched together here in an effort to imitate an actual documentary.

If you follow the relentless drumbeat of the Rappaport-Butler conspiracy theory, huge numbers of screenwriters and directors are or were gay, closeted or no. Why? Because they reveal themselves in their dialogue. Those double entendres and nuances are nothing more than confirmation of secreted homosexuality. Case closed. Alas, human discourse, developed over many thousands of years, is just slightly more complicated than that.

This flick deliberately tries to be sensational, and fails miserably. There is very little sensationalism to be found, unless you think 'outing' Rock Hudson, Randolph Scott and Sal Mineo is sensational. Those guys were 'outed' decades ago.

If you're looking for a truly stupid and boring fake documentary, this is for you. And it's smug; oh, is it smug. Insufferably, intolerably smug.


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