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Ballet Down the High Way (1975)

X | | Adult | 1975 (USA)
Directed by Jack Deveau, here is the pre-condom classic sexual comedy of manners about a crazed horny truck driver (Hunt) who crashes in on the budding relationship of a ballet star (Van Dijn) and young dancer (Sullivan).

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(screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Hunt ...
Joe
Henk van Dijk ...
Ivan Hogan
Jeff Sullivan ...
John
Tom DeMastri ...
Waiter
Tony Duva ...
First Trucker
Charles Drucker ...
Second Trucker
Joe Mayor ...
Third Trucker
Gene Kelton ...
Bartender
Helen Morganstory ...
Waitress
Jim Delegatti ...
Dresser (as Jimmy Dellegatti)
Jaap Penraat ...
Ralph
Frank Loscalzo ...
Stage Manager (as Frank LoScalzo)
Haynes Owens ...
M. Balmain
Robert Alvarez ...
Sylvester
Dick Backass
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Storyline

Directed by Jack Deveau, here is the pre-condom classic sexual comedy of manners about a crazed horny truck driver (Hunt) who crashes in on the budding relationship of a ballet star (Van Dijn) and young dancer (Sullivan).

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Adult

Certificate:

X
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Release Date:

1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ballet Down the Highway  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Gay Sex in the 70s (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Improvisations on a Theme by Bach
Composed and Performed by Stan Freeman, piano
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User Reviews

 
The US gay male, first and second class
25 January 2011 | by (England) – See all my reviews

An intriguing Hand-in-Hand production from the golden age of porn, this tells the story of a successful ballet dancer, Ivan Hogan (Henk Van Dijn) and the two men in his life, fellow ballet dancer John (Jeff Sullivan) and working class trucker Joe (Gary Hunt). It is a supposed truism that, historically, homosexuality allowed the classes to mingle in ways which were not possible in rigidly class-bound societies; Ballet Down the Highway impressively suggests that the story is more complicated.

Ivan meets ballet newcomer John and the two go swimming at the YMCA before decamping to Ivan's swank, concierge-protected apartment to get down to some action. John had invited Ivan to his room in the Y, but Ivan isn't keen as it reminds him of his sordid past of poverty. The two shag then go their ways; it seems to have been a fairly emotionless transaction, although perhaps John has feelings for Ivan - he certainly wants to see the star again but Ivan is busy, off to his retreat outside of the city where he is taking delivery of a music box.

Ivan's car breaks down whilst he is out of town but, as luck would have it, the music box's delivery guy, Joe, is attracted to him and Ivan ends up getting a ride back to New York in Joe's truck. The early relationship between the men is interestingly developed: Joe complains about the weight of the music box but Ivan doesn't help him move it into the house, more interested in doing some exercises on the lawn. When Joe arrives, Ivan is naked and the free-living, middle-class city dweller has no issue with parading about and exercising nude in from of Joe. Not that Joe minds – having moved the music box indoors, he jerks watching Ivan from a window. Later, the two men bump into each other at the local greasy spoon (Joe has a fry-up whereas Ivan wants something not greasy). Joe discovers that Ivan is a dancer ("don't only fags do ballet?") and offers him a lift. Once Ivan is in Joe's truck, Joe is waving his cock around, encouraging Ivan to go down on it. They go to a motel where Joe tops Ivan and get on enough for Ivan to invite Joe to the ballet. Joe wants to attend but his pride means he wants to pay his way.

Joe suits himself up and attends the ballet but a mix up means the two men don't meet. Ivan goes home and invites John (who's been chasing him) around. Before John can arrive, Ivan turns up drunk. A threesome ensues. What is interesting here is the gauche desperation of Joe – stripping off and stumbling around Ivan's apartment, demanding sex and expressing violent jealousy (which Ivan soon stamps on). Clearly, Joe has very confused feelings for Ivan, whose fit body he is sexually obsessed with but whose cultural milieu he is alienated from; Joe dimly understands this but thinks that last night's good sex means that the two now get it on regularly.

John's reaction to the threesome is odd. He has thrown himself into the sex but at the end he goes home, confessing that he feels upset; Joe stays the night. In the morning, Ivan pleasures himself in the shower whilst Joe jerks over Ivan's framed picture in the bedroom, a poignant expression of their differing views of the relationship. Ivan simply wants Joe when he feels like a bit of rough; Joe is obsessed by Ivan's image.

Joe spends a scene before and a scene after this encounter with Ivan and John at a trucker's bar, where his friends mock his suit and accuse him of being a fairy as he's been to the ballet. Joe disavows his homosexuality but on the second occasion is outed when a mate overhears him talking to Ivan on the phone. It comes out that Joe has serviced the truckers in the bar on a previous occasion; now three of them drag him round to Ivan's and an orgy ensues. The truckers' and Ivan's attitudes to sex are very different: Ivan is easy about his gay identity and willing to get down to it when he wishes (but not when he doesn't); the truckers disavow their homosexuality with the idea that sex is something they inflict on weaker "fags". Yet the truckers are politeness itself to the high-class Ivan, whereas their own fellow working class trucker is humiliated and sexually used for daring to be queer. Ivan has no interest in these men and their muddled predicament and unceremoniously chucks them all, including Joe, out at the orgy's close. The next thing we see is John moving in with Ivan, the two dancers becoming lovers and practising moves together. The film ends with a beautifully filmed image of the two dancers silhouetted against the New York skyline, pirouetting in harmony. Neither they nor the film are interested in what has happened to Joe.

The film is okay technically, with basic set-ups and execrable diegetic sound. Yet the story is sophisticated in the ways in which it delineates the different approaches to homosexuality of middle and working class men. It affirms that, when it comes to relationships, the middle classes will settle down with each other; it is surely no coincidence that Ivan and John's first sexual encounter is by a mirror and the film ends with them reflecting each other's moves in a shared environment. Joe, with his gauche eagerness and naivety, has no place in Ivan's controlled world. Rough trade is there to be used and discarded; the working classes serve their social betters and, if they dare to dream of anything better, get put right back in their place. The striking thing is that in this film (which perhaps accurately reflects US society of the time), the working class men meekly accept this.


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