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Terence Rattigan On Film: The Browning Version

I. The Rattigan Version

After his first dramatic success, The Winslow Boy, Terence Rattigan conceived a double bill of one-act plays in 1946. Producers dismissed the project, even Rattigan’s collaborator Hugh “Binkie” Beaumont. Actor John Gielgud agreed. “They’ve seen me in so much first rate stuff,” Gielgud asked Rattigan; “Do you really think they will like me in anything second rate?” Rattigan insisted he wasn’t “content writing a play to please an audience today, but to write a play that will be remembered in fifty years’ time.”

Ultimately, Rattigan paired a brooding character study, The Browning Version, with a light farce, Harlequinade. Entitled Playbill, the show was finally produced by Stephen Mitchell in September 1948, starring Eric Portman, and became a runaway hit. While Harlequinade faded into a footnote, the first half proved an instant classic. Harold Hobson wrote that “Mr. Portman’s playing and Mr. Rattigan’s writing
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Top 100 Greatest Gay Movies

  • The Backlot
Brace yourselves. This list of the Top 100 Greatest Gay Movies is probably going to generate some howls of protest thanks to a rather major upset in the rankings. Frankly, one that surprised the hell out of us here at AfterElton.

But before we get to that, an introduction. A few weeks ago we asked AfterElton readers to submit up to ten of their favorite films by write-in vote. We conducted a similar poll several years ago, but a lot has happened culturally since then, and a number of worthy movies of gay interest have been released. We wanted to see how your list of favorites had changed.

We also wanted to expand our list to 100 from the top 50 we had done previously. We figured there were finally enough quality gay films to justify the expansion. And we wanted to break out gay documentaries onto their own list (You'll find the
See full article at The Backlot »

Thumbs Down! "At The Movies" Ends Its Run. How Did Gay Movies Fare?

This week is the final airing of the syndicated movie review program At The Movies, marking a true end-of-an-era for those of us who grew up eagerly anticipating the weekly thumb wrestling of critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.

In September of 1975 Chicago Tribune writer Gene and Chicago Sun-Times writer Roger were reluctantly paired for the monthly PBS show Opening Soon at A Theater Near You, which ran for two seasons before being renamed Sneak Previews.

The show became a huge hit for PBS, which decided to syndicate it with Gene and Roger remaining as hosts until 1982, when contract negotiations fell through. They were replaced by liberal commentator Neal Gabler and human block of wood Jeffrey Lyons, who would become best known for siring a quote whore (more on that later.)

Gabler left after three years, unhappy with the direction of the show, and was replaced by Michael Medved, who
See full article at The Backlot »

Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival 2009

The 4th Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, which runs April 23-30, will kick off with a screening of Joshua Sinclair’s Jump, starring Ben Silverstone (of the coming-of-age gay drama Get Real) and Patrick Swayze. Jump will screen on Thursday, April 23, at 8:00 pm at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills. Based on a real story, the film (co-written by Sinclair and Ryan James) follows the biased murder trial of the young Jew and future celebrity portrait photographer Philippe Halsman (Silverstone), who was accused of murdering his father in late 1920s Austria. Swayze plays the young man’s Jewish attorney. Also in the Jump cast: Martine McCutcheon, and veterans Stefanie Powers, Richard Johnson, and Sybil Danning. Among the La Jewish film festival’s other scheduled entries are: Eran Riklis‘ David di Donatello nominee The Lemon Tree (above), the story of a Palestinian woman’s fight to preserve her lemon
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Film review: 'Get Real'

Film review: 'Get Real'
Although its gay coming-of-age theme is familiar by now, this debut by British director Simon Shore is a sweetly affecting tale displaying a canny mixture of raucous comedy and sensitive drama.

A well-acted audience pleaser, this small-scale effort could find an appreciative Stateside audience when Paramount Classics releases it in the spring. Previously seen at the Sundance and Toronto fests, "Get Real" was recently showcased at the Miami Film Festival.

The film concerns the teenage angst of Steven Carter (Ben Silverstone), a 16-year-old attempting to get through high school, not an easy task when you're gay and your parents and friends don't know it. Steven has a crush on the school dreamboat, tall, good-looking athlete John Dixon (Brad Gorton), who is the object of lust and adulation by the entire student body; one lovestruck girl describes him as "sex on legs."

Much to Steven's amazement, John, who has previously barely acknowledged Steven's existence, suddenly becomes quite friendly. After a series of awkward encounters in which his ambivalence over his sexuality is revealed, John eventually admits that he indeed returns Steven's affections. The two begin a freewheeling and secret affair, in which they become more and more reckless in their public displays of affection.

Becoming increasingly frustrated by the constraints of their secret relationship, Steven pens an anonymous essay for the school yearbook in which he details the problems of growing up gay. The school begins to buzz as to the identity of the essay's author, and when it comes time for Steven to address the entire school during the commencement, he takes the opportunity to come out.

Steven, who handles his gayness with self-assurance and a refreshing degree of humor, is one of the more unusual and appealing screen characters in quite a while. As beautifully played by the talented Silverstone, he's likely to win audience hearts.

The other character who truly shines is Steven Best's friend Linda, a frank-speaking and tough girl who doesn't let her overweight status prevent her from enjoying life and who has a tart-tongued quip for every occasion. Charlotte Brittain, delivering a hilarious performance in her screen debut, all but steals the film. Gorton delivers a sensitive portrayal as the sexually confused school hunk.

The film is not without its missteps, including a second act that becomes a repetitive series of near misses in which the teen lovers are nearly found out time and time again. And the climax is more than a bit heavy-handed, with Steven's coming out rather melodramatically treated as a momentous event. But mostly, "Get Real" sparkles with an utterly appealing low-key warmth and humor.

GET REAL

Paramount Classics

Director: Simon Shore

Screenplay: Patrick Wilde

Producer: Stephen Taylor

Executive producers: Anant Singh, Helena Spring

Director of photography: Alan Almond

Editor: Barrie Vince

Music: John Lunn

Color/stereo

Cast:

Steven Carter: Ben Silverstone

John Dixon: Brad Gorton

Linda: Charlotte Brittain

Jessica: Stacy A. Hart

Wendy: Kate McEnery

Mark: Patrick Nielson

Running time -- 110 minutes

No MPAA rating

See also

Credited With | External Sites