It's Christmas Eve 1971 in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, and the regulars of the local gay bar "The Blue Jay" are celebrating. Not much has changed since the Stonewall riots, and while the... See full summary »
Cindy, a sweet-young-thing being raised in the suburbs with her half-sister Donna, is shyly undergoing a sexual awakening. Fifteen-year-old Cindy and 17-year-old Donna share the same mother... See full summary »
In 1969, Taylor Mead complained to his friend artist Wynn Chamberlain that Andy Warhol had never paid him for any of the work he had done for him and Wynn said he would make a film ... See full synopsis »
NOT about Mae West, NOT campy - and be SURE you get the 2010 Kit Parker DVD!
First, this movie has nothing AT ALL to do with Mae West. It is not even a veiled story of her life, and she did NOT "force the studio to pull it out of distribution and burn all the copies." Whoever made up that tale was an idiot. The East/West surname coincidence is ONLY a coincidence. You might as well say that East of Eden is about Mae West as say it about this movie. It's just stupid. This movie owes more to A Star Is Born than to anything involving Mae West.
Second, this movie also is not meant to be campy or any of the other dumb adjectives people try to apply to it. Maybe campy people see themselves in it, but that's in THEM, not in the movie.
True: it was made with very little money and with no talent AT ALL, anywhere, either before or behind the camera. But it was made with a huge amount of heart, and its sincerity, its openness and generosity of spirit are what make Dinah East well worth watching.
This is a love story about two misfits, and despite all its flaws it is sweet and moving and honest. It's not a joke. Laugh at if you want to, but if you do you're depriving yourself of something a lot better than a good laugh.
But if you do want to watch it, be VERY DILIGENT about which of the two DVD releases you buy. The DVD most earlier reviewers saw is a semi-pirated 2006 release of ABOMINABLE quality in a chopped-off 3:2 full-screen (old TV) format, almost surely copied from a VHS tape released briefly in the 1980s.
It has a rather dull cover, with a photo of Diana East at the bottom and "A superstar actress is really a man... Hollywood's strangest story! DIANA EAST" at the top. That is the DVD you DO NOT want to buy. It's nearly unwatchable. Amazon in the US says it's currently unavailable, and let's hope it stays that way. But Amazon in the UK still sells that version; and it is the version the large American DVD-by-mail renter has, so don't bother putting it in your queue.
There is a MUCH better 2010 DVD from Kit Parker Films, distributed in the US by VCI Entertainment and possibly other distributors in other markets. It has remastered video and audio and is in the original 16:9 wide-screen format. It has a more modern, glitzier cover, with "UN-CUT THEATRICAL VERSION" in a black banner across the top and "KIT PARKER FILMS" in a black banner across the bottom. That is the DVD you MUST buy if you want to see this movie. Amazon sometimes groups the two very different versions (and their reviews) together, so you have to be diligent about buying the right one.
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