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The Woman Inside (1981)
I Actually Liked This
Despite the bad reviews this film got I actually like it. It does start out slow but gets better. I thought Gloria Manon was great as Hollis/Holly, and I must admit I did think she was a real transsexual at first.
I also had the same reaction that another reviewer had being a transsexual myself. Although, I must correct her that not all of the people in the transgender support group were transsexuals. Several of them were actors, like actor/comedian Jackie Vernon. I'm sure the other one was an actor also because they both looked like men in drag despite supposedly being post-op transsexuals that were living their lives as females. I will admit that was rather funny. I laughed out loud when I saw their "group.' No wonder Holly never went back.
Like the other commenter, I too was put off when I met transsexuals that made the transition later in life, like those in the support group. They came off as phony and only pretending to be a woman than actually having a natural feel for it. As they said in the movie, I don't think they were 'classic transsexuals' but heterosexual transvestites instead. Maybe why they used male actors.
I do wish more would have been explained, however, like how was Hollis/Holly's aunt able to live on her own in their house in Hollywood when Hollis was off fighting in a war? She claimed she had to start selling their furniture so she could eat, but how much furniture could she have had really. She does mention she never had a job, so those furniture sells must've gone a long way...
Also the way it ended with Holly in San Francisco but I never heard her say she was going to S.F. to have suddenly ended up there.
Always I was so glad I finally got to see this movie when I've wanted to see it for so long. But as someone on YouTube said, "I only wish making the transition was that easy," as Holly makes it seem. Ain't that the truth.
I Don't Play Anymore
I remember Mackenzie Phillips talking about this part when she was once on a daytime talk show. What I remember was her saying they weren't sure which way they wanted to go with the character and they first chose Peggy Lee to play the part of the transsexual. I hadn't seen the episode at that time but I wondered exactly who Peggy Lee would play since she was too old to be Gopher's college roommate, like Mackenzie was. The only thing I can guess is they were going to make Peggy Lee, Gopher's college football coach who had a sex-change instead of his roommate. That would've been good if they had gone that way.
The problem with Mackenzie is she was too feminine with a small bone structure like a female to really have been Gopher's former football buddy. Her backstory would have had to have been more like Jazz Jennings today where she started puberty blockers to transition at around 13 to have looked that much like a female at 27. The football player angle was ridiculous because you could never see Mackenzie passing for a male football player.
For it's time the story was very much ahead of the curve. I still wish they would have gone with Peggy Lee because you might actually believe she was a former man.
I first heard about Renee - and transsexuals in general - back in the '70s when she hit the tennis courts and fought to be allowed to play on the women's circuit. I didn't pay much attention to the tennis part of her story only the transgender part. I read her book 'Second Serve' some years later to learn more about her.
I found this documentary so interesting, but yet so sad too. Her son still has a lot of issues with her and what she did by abandoning him to go off and play women's tennis. Her sister says she still feels what Renee did by changing her gender was a mistake and she should have never done it. That's interesting I thought because I once read an article about Renee and the interviewer said that he felt it was the male, Richard, was the one raging to come out not the female, Renee. I assume this meant that she still talks and acts stereotypically like a male. So obviously it's not only her sister that feels that way. Pretty much the same thing that people are now saying about Caitlyn Jenner.
I must admit some of the things Renee said was rather bizarre or maybe you would call it delusional. At one point she mentioned how when she would return home to New York to visit her son when he was young she would wear a cheap wig and try to look male. Saying how ridiculous she thought she looked and people would notice this too and apparently stare because of her appearance. It's weird because she never says that about attempting to 'pass' as Renee even when it was stated by the reporter, Dick Carlson, who outed her that he, and a neighbor of his, saw Renee playing in a tennis match on T.V. and thought immediately she was a man wearing a tennis dress. He did a little investigative work and discovered what they already suspected being true. Renee seems to ignore all of this and continues to speak as if people would never guess that she's biologically a male despite what happened to her.
As someone else stated the ending was so very said. After visiting her son, Nicky, it's mentioned he got evicted from his apartment and he appears to be homeless but nothing else was ever said about that. I was curious enough that I looked him up on Facebook and he supposedly is now living in south Florida selling real estate (I believe he was doing that in New York too, so I'm not sure why he lost that job and was homeless other than the drug problems he has). I would highly recommend this doc for everyone despite how they feel about the subject. Renee's life was fascinating for sure.
Snapped: Vonlee Nicole Titlow (2014)
I saw this program this morning. I had heard of the story before where Vonlee, a male-to-female transsexual, goes to live with her aunt to ostensibly get money for her sex-change operation, but instead gets involved with murder (her uncle). Though I read other stories that said she had operated a successful escort service in Denver, and I think in Chicago too, and even lived in a Penthouse. None of this was said in this episode, but if this is true why couldn't she have paid for the surgery herself? That was strange. Somehow she got the money to pay for breast implants, hormones, and a name change so she wasn't exactly penniless. I wish they would've filled in all the blanks.
It is very sad she got sentenced to so many years in prison and her aunt was acquitted. Terrible legal defense she had.
Foxes....Cherie Currie's first film
I saw this when it came out at a Beaumont, Texas drive-in. I have always been a huge fan of The Runaways, so I couldn't wait to see it. All I really remember back then - other than it being on a double-bill with the Blue Lagoon - is it rained half way through it so I had to keep putting on the windshield wipers, LOL.
It was so worth it then luckily I was able to record it off of cable a few years later so I got to really see it without interruptions.
My favorite scene is when they are cruising down Hollywood Blvd. looking for Annie and we get a glimpse of all the oddball characters: the Mary Weirdo, the dog smoking a pipe, etc.
I only wish that I could now get this on DVD. Great, great film.
"Get Out Your Wang Dang Doodle..."
I first saw this movie on cable back in the '80s, but first heard of it when it played at the local drive-in in the '70s.
The one song I could never get out of my head is when Penelope is dressed up like Marilyn Monroe in the famed Seven Year Itch scene with her dress blowing up in the air. The song says something about "Get out your doctor-ordered wang dang doodle." Penelope, of course, is totally embarrassed to be seen and exploited this way but it's a rather classic scene.
Candace Rialson was exceptionally beautiful and it is so sad to hear she died at such a young age. I'm sure this film would not be on the top of her list as one of her favorites, but it does have it's moments.
Did Gabi De-transition?
I first saw this when it came on P.O.V. It's about 37 year old Gary, an animator in Los Angeles, becoming Gabi through hormones and cosmetic surgery. I always remembered this documentary and have wondered what happened to her. From viewing her Facebook and other YouTube videos I do wonder if she still lives as a female or returned to a male again. It's quite possible she just decided to be happy with herself and stop the fronting and dressing that she was doing in the doc. If no one told you, however, you would simply believe she is a male with no question. I'd be curious if she went ahead and had genital surgery or either decided against it.
It would be interesting if they did an update as to how her life is today. She doesn't say much on the Facebook page, so no clues there.
My 600-lb Life: Chay and Pauline (2016)
Chay Transformation to Lola
This was an interesting episode featuring Chay's gender transition from male to female, but I kept losing track about when Chay/Lola was in Houston, and when she was in Louisiana. I was also wondering how Chay/Lola was driving several new cars throughout. I suspect these are rentals provided by the show. I only wish it would of shown more of Lola's life as a female in the real world of employment. It simply ended with her performing in a gay bar which I seriously doubt is a paying gig. I say this because I know that a lot of transsexuals are unable to get or keep jobs so they end up managing to get on disability, or SSI, that they remain on throughout their life. It would have been interesting to see Lola working as a female and how things would go for her, or what is referred to as the real-life test in the transgender world. I am aware that they would probably not be allowed to film this, depending on the business, like they've done with other patients on this show when they returned to the work force.
Ensalada Baudelaire (1978)
It Was Called 'Andrea' in the States
I wish this was released on DVD. Hopefully it will be one day and I can purchase it.
I saw 'Andrea' years ago at the local drive-in and never forgot the premise. A young couple enjoying their time on their yacht invite another couple on board who are stranded. It turns out the other lady of the group is not a lady at all but a drag queen or perhaps a transsexual. They proceed to terrorize the owners of the yacht. It was a very unique drama.
I know this was a European movie but I'm not sure what country that it was filmed in.
Good Riddance (2011)
"The Most Hated Woman in America (to some)!"
I was so thankful to see this on DVD (unfortunately, no EXTRAS!). It is very good, but I feel a few inaccurate points are within.
ONE; There is a scene when Madalyn is on stage and is insulting a largely Christian audience - calling them 'witless' and 'very rude'..... Well, you do have to wonder why so many Christians would show up in an auditorium to be berated like this. According to Madayln's son, Bill Murray - in his 'mommie dearest' book - this was a staged event. She appeared with the Rev. Bob Harrington, the so-called 'Chaplain of Bourbon St.' in these shams to receive large donations from the mostly Christian audience members. It was later exposed by a newspaper reporter and the 'debates' eventually ended. Even in this documentary it sounds like Madalyn is reading a script (acting for effect, In order to raise the take!) in these segments, and why did they never show Rev. Harrington that was connected to this? I can only guess because he is now old and ailing, so they didn't want to drag him into the picture. Too bad because that would have been an important factor.
Regarding her son, Bill Murray, however, I was amazed how he seems so emotional-less regarding his daughter, Robin, who was brutally murdered. He doesn't shed a tear while talking about her gruesome death. I cried more for my sweet cat when she died. Maybe this isn't his personality, but it is very bizarre regardless.
Well, one thing about Robin, she did seem to have a brilliant mind, but I suspect this had more to do with her Jewish mother (I still wonder whatever became of her? This is never mentioned.), and to Madalyn, than to absentee-father, Bill
Also, normally I like Phil Donahue, but I'm surprised how misogynistic he comes off (typical Catholic, I guess. I bet he raved about Bill Maher's 'Religulous' documentary...who basically did the same job as Madalyn at criticizing religion) as mercilessly badmouthing Madalyn. He constantly used her for his ratings, and then his comment (ridiculing her) of Madalyn with her using the word, GAAWD!, but Bill Murray said the word the same way. Perhaps it's simply their Baltimore, Maryland accent and not a condescending remark? Just Sayin!
Also, while being deposed in a lawsuit with 'The Truth Seeker' publication, this is where Madalyn says something about, "hiring dancing boys in sequin jockstraps...Is that a living?" (a great sound bite) when lawyer, Roy Withers, asks where she gets her money to live. A fair question, but you soon learn Madalyn can hold her intellectual own!
My only wish is the entire documentary of Madalyn being interviewed back in 1970 (I think it is) when she speaks about how much she hated her mother (a Bob Elkins film, I believe)...and The Truth Seeker deposition, would have been included in its entirety as DVD extras!
Sulka's Wedding (1983)
Sulka....in her prime, I suppose
I only purchased this movie because of Miss Sulka, as I'm not really a fan of XXX-rated films. Years ago she was in all the transsexual fanzines, like "LeFemme, F.M.I. and TRANSSEXUALS." I agree with the other reviewer that she is noticeably surgically constructed (back-in-the-day it was rumored she had lost all feeling in her body due to the extensive surgery she had. I don't know if this was true or not, however). Although, she had silicone implants ~ or maybe injections ~ in her hips and buttocks, not from any hormone injections as the previous reviewer said. I'm not really sure where she 'purchased' her genital surgery, either (I assume it was the famed Dr. Biber, though), but it didn't look at all real or nature. At least not compared to the genetic women in the movie.
But regarding the movie itself. I assume it's the typical fare, but probably with a better production value than most in the genre. There was some great scenes of San Francisco which were beautifully shot. I will admit I started fast-forwarding through some of the sex scenes because ~ as with typical hard-X ~ the sex scenes went on and on and on..... You get the picture!
Almost Myself (2006)
Stories of Male-to-Females Over 40
I had purchased this documentary after hearing and reading about Judy/Josef's website a few years prior. His/her full story was told as well as about 6 or 8 other male-to-female transsexuals from different backgrounds. To listen to all of their stories does indicate that the life of transsexuals is not all the same as many people would like to believe. One of the most refreshing things is that NONE of these ladies present the stereotype of male-to-females working in the sex-industry or prostitution for creepy 'straight' guys porn-induced sexual fantasies. On a side Note, though, I would have been curious what a few of them did for a living since it was never discussed by them.
However, I do understand the 'complaint' by some transsexuals who were always feminine, knew they were female from day one, and made the transition at a young age - I'm in this category myself - that most of the transsexuals interviewed were so-called 'truck driving Sallys' who had lived for years as heterosexual males, and some had even fathered children as husbands. I, too, do not totally understand this, but their stories were interesting enough to keep one clued to the tube. Especially a male-to-female named, "Beth," who told a heartrending story about losing her (ex) wife and her son: who died of a heart-attack in her front yard after having an angry confrontation with her (his father) prior to this. Although, I only wish they would have explained what the ex-wife died of. We were only left to guess that it may have been a suicide after a mental breakdown when her husband ('Beth') left her. Very Sad! One thing, it did make me wonder if Beth didn't now regret coming out and going through with the transition as Judy/Josef had regretted.