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A mysterious client of private eye Don Strachey pays him cash to tail a woman who turns out to be an undercover officer; an older lesbian couple are victims of threats and vandalism; an old flame of his lover Tim shows up to support the older couple; neighbors are angry at the couple for refusing to sell out to a developer; and, parents are angry at one of the couple, Dorothy, for being a good guidance counselor to gay teens. Her partner, Edith, wants to move away; Dorothy is adamant about staying. When someone dies in a fire in their barn, the stakes get higher. Don, who does not believe in coincidence, gives the police enough information to stay on their good side as he pursues the truth. Written by
Chad Allen who faced and weathered a scandal about outing a prominent gay actor has once again brought to cinematic life, gay private detective Donald Strachey. In On The Other Hand Death, Allen is working two cases and then realizes just how much they are connected. Not unlike the classic Farewell My Lovely from the hand of Raymond Chandler.
On The Other Hand Death, has Strachey brought in for questioning after it's found out he's been hired to trail an undercover cop working an assignment. At the same time Allen's partner Sebastian Spence's ex Daman Runyon asks that Allen look into some bias related incidents involving a long time lesbian couple, Margot Kidder and Gabrielle Rose.
Kidder and Rose leave way out in the rural part of Albany county and when Kidder who is a school guidance counselor finally came out of the closet, several of the neighbors became pretty hostile. Especially one whose son is experiencing those same sex urges. It would make things more convenient all around if Kidder would sell the family farm which has been in her family for generations.
Maybe a little too convenient as Allen investigates and finds more than just your garden variety homophobia at work here.
On The Other Hand Death will never approach Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler's work in the genre, but why does it have to? If the protagonist was straight this would just be another routine detective story that got a good film made from it. But Allen has done four Strachey stories and may yet do more if the demand is there.
Hopefully the demand will be there.
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