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Fortune and Men's Eyes (1971)

R | | Drama | 15 June 1971 (USA)
The young, naive Smitty is sent to prison for six months; Cathy, his girlfriend, watches as he disappears behind the bars and barbed wire. He's assigned a cell with Queenie, a balls-out ... See full summary »

Directors:

Harvey Hart, Jules Schwerin (uncredited)

Writers:

John Herbert (play), John Herbert (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wendell Burton Wendell Burton ... Smitty
Michael Greer ... Queenie
Zooey Hall Zooey Hall ... Rocky
Danny Freedman Danny Freedman ... Mona
Larry Perkins Larry Perkins ... Screwdriver
James Barron James Barron ... Holy Face Peters
Lázaro Pérez Lázaro Pérez ... Catso
Jon Granik Jon Granik ... Sgt. Gritt
Tom Harvey Tom Harvey ... Warden Gasher
Hugh Webster Hugh Webster ... Rabbit
Kirk McColl Kirk McColl ... Guard Sullivan
Vance Davis ... Sailor
Robert Goodier Robert Goodier ... Doctor
Cathy Wiehl Cathy Wiehl ... Cathy
Georges Allard Georges Allard ... Fiddler
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Storyline

The young, naive Smitty is sent to prison for six months; Cathy, his girlfriend, watches as he disappears behind the bars and barbed wire. He's assigned a cell with Queenie, a balls-out drag queen, Rocky, a quiet but cocky con, and Mona, a young gay man who ministers to Rocky. Smitty watches in horror as gangs of inmates brutalize prisoners who lack protection. Those who complain risk beatings or murder at the hands of unsympathetic guards: all cries are bootless. Mona offers poetry - Shakespeare's sonnet XXIX; Queenie and Rocky offer Smitty advice, and Rocky offers protection for a price. Smitty's choices and their consequences are the film's main subjects. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What goes on in prison is a crime.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 June 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Al sordo cielo See more »

Filming Locations:

Québec, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 1,109,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sal Mineo directed the 1969 Los Angeles production "Fortune and Men's Eyes and played the role of Rocky, a prison bully, who rapes a naive young prisoner, Smitty (played by Don Johnson in the L.A. production). Mineo's staging emphasized violence and sexuality. He added a scene to the play, staging Rocky's rape of Smitty in the prison shower, an event that had been kept off stage in earlier productions. The Los Angeles production, which was eventually moved to New York (without Mineo as an actor) featured full frontal nudity. Mineo also directed a subsequent San Francisco production. Although playwright John Herbert did not initially object to Mineo's alterations, he vociferously criticized Mineo's Los Angeles and New York stagings. (Being a convicted felon, the Canadian Herbert was unable to enter the U.S. to actually see the productions.) Herbert refused to sell him the film rights to his play, and the estrangement obviated any chance of Mineo being involved in the 1971 movie version of the play. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Come of Age (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Appallingly crude and tasteless
25 April 2016 | by Martin BradleySee all my reviews

Although a lot of prison films allude to homosexuality very few actually take it as the main theme. Jean Genet's "Un Chant D'Amour" isn't just the best of them but arguably the most poetic gay movie ever made. You certainly couldn't say the same for Harvey Hart's film of John Herbert's play. I've never seen it on stage but if it was anything like this I'm glad I didn't . This is an appallingly caricatured account of men 'forced' together by circumstance with the emphasis very clearly on sex. If it were better acted it might have been tolerable but the largely unknown cast can do nothing with the mediocre material. In 1971 this might have seemed 'daring'; now it just seems crude and tasteless.


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