In the 1950s, Tab Hunter is number one at the box office and number one on the music charts. He is Hollywood's most sought-after star and America's boy next door. Natalie Wood, Debbie Reynolds and Sophia Loren are just a few of the actresses he is romantically linked to. Nothing, it seems, can damage his skyrocketing career. Nothing, that is, except for the fact that Tab Hunter is secretly gay. Now, Tab Hunter's secret is out. In TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL we will meet, for the first time, the real Tab Hunter as he shares with us the whole story of a happy, healthy survivor of Hollywood's roller coaster.
Tab Hunter was almost certainly the best looking actor ever to grace a movie screen and one of the few major players ever to come out as gay. His book, "Tab Hunter, Confidential" is a hugely readable account of Hollywood in the fifties and now it's been turned into a brilliant and moving documentary by filmmaker Jeffrey Schwarz. Watching this, two things struck me about Mr Hunter; on a purely superficial level, for a man in his mid-eighties, he's still incredibly handsome, (and certainly doesn't look his age). Secondly he comes across as one hell of a nice guy, a man to be deeply admired for staying true to himself.
Like Tab's book, Schwarz's film is, of course, a great portrait of Hollywood, (even if there is something gruesome about seeing old movie stars who haven't weathered the years quite as well as Tab has), but it's also refreshing to see these people talk so openly and honestly about Tab's sexuality in the knowledge that Tab is more than happy for them to do so.
Could he act? Most definitely, though he was never given a part that really stretched him, (it's just a pity that "Gunman's Walk" was never taken that seriously). Maybe if he had been more successful it would have been a lot harder for him to be as open but his honesty, and not just about his sexuality, but about his talent, (and he was also a champion show-jumper and a fine figure skater), and his career makes this one of the best films of its kind I've seen.
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