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RoonShark Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 02:46 PM
Original message
Was John Wayne Gay?
Stephan Cohan's book Masked Men discusses the definition of masculinity in the movies, especially those movies which are so stridently heterosexual that they raise doubt about what is really going on. Cohan argues that the Howard Hawks western Red River is a gay love story between John Wayne and Montgomery Clift. Clift later starred in films like Suddenly Last Summer in which his gay sexuality was actually a thematic element.

If Red River is a gay love story, how about Sands of Iwo Jima? In both of these films, women come on to John Wayne and he pushes them away. In Wayne's personal life he was not the swaggering macho man he presented himself to be. Dominated by his mother as a child, he married dominating women as an adult. He even claimed to be the victim of spousal abuse.

Is is possible that the "chemistry" between openly gay Montgomery Clift and macho man John Wayne reflects post-war ambivalence about alternative sexuality? Red River ends with an embrace between John Wayne and Montgomery Clift, while Joanne Dru, the female whom they have both spurned, scolds them. This is a departure from the book the film is based on. In the book, Clift gets the girl when Wayne dies. In the movie, the boys get each other.

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oldleftguy Donating Member (419 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. I really don't know.
But for some reason you just made my day! :bounce:
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Chovexani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
2. Wouldn't surprise me
Those swaggering hypermasculine types usually behave that way to hide something. Thou dost protest too much, and all.

I will have to check out that book though, since I love searching for homoerotic subtext in movies, tv shows, etc. Hell, I'm a Smallville fan. (It's not even subtext on that show)
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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yes. I thorougjly believe he was.
He used to spend summers on a Columbus, Georgia farm owned by one of the "confirmed batchelors" in the area. Occasionally, he would talk to a local cub scout group - the extent of his socializing with the locals.
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
4. I Don't Believe So
One of his sons' played the Aussie Lt. in 'Donavan's Reef."
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Chovexani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Gays have kids
And closeted gays are no different. Beards are not hard to find.
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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. then he would be bi
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RoonShark Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. Not Necessarily
How does the as-yet-undiscovered gay gene get transmitted? Gay men can father children, and gay women can bear them. In fact, straight men and women can carry gay genes as recessive.

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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. hell if I know
:shrug:
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Throckmorton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #8
16. John
Edited on Mon Oct-13-03 03:20 PM by Throckmorton
There is greater spectrum of human sexuality than Straight, Gay and Bi.
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Chovexani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #16
32. There sure is
Hell, I've been all over the map myself. I've identified as bi for a while now, but that could very well change. :)

I find the Klein Scale to be more helpful than the Kinsey Scale that most people talk about. I'm about a 5 on that one.

http://www.samabhavana.org/kline_scale.html
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #8
22. Isn't It More Likley
That the Director and producer were gay? After all, they have a major influence on the script and what they're getting the actor to convey.
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RoonShark Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Howard Hawks
Howard Hawks was both the producer and the director of Red River. I don't know if he was gay or not.

Cohan's book says about "Suddenly Last Summer" that Clift's off-screen identity was incorporated into the movie. Fans knew he was gay, and that lent plausibility to a plot that otherwise wouldn't have made sense.

I'm speculating that Wayne's real sexuality was part of his appeal. If at some level Wayne's movie fans knew his swagger was just an act, it tends to make gender roles arbitrary.
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #24
34. There was certainly something going on with Howard Hawks
I don't know if it adds up to "gay," but there's some sort of complex gender-bending going on in Hawks' films. I just Googled "Howard Hawks" "strong women" and came up with a couple of indicative quotes:

Hawks's films are about: people who take their work with absurd seriousness because their self-respect depends entirely on it (e.g. Cary Grant's charismatic, crazed flier in Only Angels Have Wings or John Wayne's besieged, stoic sheriff in Rio Bravo); strong women completely antithetical to the Hollywood stereotype of the secondary, subservient female character (e.g. Rosalind Russell's fiery star reporter in His Girl Friday or Lauren Bacall's tough and sexy foil to Bogart in To Have And Have Not); and men who find themselves repeatedly humiliated, paired with women who are blithe, self-assured and always three steps ahead of their male partners (Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby, Grant and Ginger Rogers in Monkey Business, Grant and Ann Sheridan in I Was A Male War Bride).

http://www.24framespersecond.com/writings/writing.php?w...

Hawks' personality was expressed "through gestures and characters and movement," says Carpenter. "He dealt with specific themes in his films, and that's what his interest was. He would interpret every story in a very specific way as he saw it." A Hawks' theme usually involved male bonding, the combative interplay between resolute men and independent strong women, and grace under pressure in dire situations.

http://www.dga.org/news/v26_3/news_carpenter.php3

Come to think of it, I've seen it claimed that the first recorded use of "gay" was in "Bringing Up Baby," when Cary Grant yells, "I've gone gay!" when asked why he's running around in a woman's bathrobe. There's probably some significance to that.
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RoonShark Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. Sands of Iwo Jima
I thought "Sands of Iwo Jima" had homoerotic content when I was watching it, but I was flattened by one scene towards the end of the film. A pretty boy Marine lies dead and the camera closes in to show the paperback book he'd been reading. The title of the book: "We Were Young and Gay".

Oh, but the word "gay" didn't mean that at the time, you say? Oh yes it did! Its latter day meaning escaped ordinary audiences, but it was easily decoded by people within the homosexual subculture.

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nedlogg Donating Member (294 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
5. I've always felt that the super macho types . . .
are really just over compensating for feelings of you know what.
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CaptainClark23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
7. He was too, you boys...
I installed a two-way mirror in his pad in Brentwood. He came to the door in a dress....


(with apologies to Repo Man, sorry, carry on)
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frylock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #7
26. LOL.. i was gonna post that!!
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Wickerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #26
37. me three!
one of my personal favorite movie lines, right next to:

How do you know if a woman loves you? If she'll have your dog.
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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
9. Well...did he give himself the nickname "The Duke"
Or doid someone else?
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patdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
10. FOOTBALL..hulks of men (when not patting each on the rear)
batteling hulks of men...since lesbians are more acceptable it seems when hulks of women battle hulks of women, at least 50% of them are gay??? I don't know...I just know that those wrestling fans are over the top because it is all pretend and the only way they can make it 'feel' real is if they shout louder and rage harder and just go over the top in every thing a sports fan is expected to do??? Who knows? :shrug:
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CMT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
11. Red River
which is a great film actually casts Wayne as Clift's adopted father. The sequence which some people claim as having homosexual undertones is between Clift and John Ireland who admire each others guns running there fingers over the shafts and kinda smiling and making remarks such as how smooth it is, ect while doing it.

The main reason why the ending was changed from the book is that Hawks was a director who liked to explore bonding between men in dangerous situations and many of his films--and while he usually pairs them with a strong female--it is the story of the men that he is most interested in.

I don't know if Wayne was homosexual or not, but he certainly was a major chicken hawk. While actors of his age such as Clark Gable, Henry Fonda, Robert Montgomery, James Stewart went to war--the Duke ducked out--yet went on to make many war films casting himself as the hero. Jimmy Stewart when he returned from the war a true decorated hero rarely spoke of his exploits and was said to avoid doing war films.
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RoonShark Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. Clift and John Ireland
That scene was so brazen it makes you wonder how it got past the censors. It includes the line, spoken suggestively: "Two things I admire - a woman from anywhere, and a Swiss watch .... ever have a Swiss watch?" No doubt about what's going on there!

BTW, the term "chicken hawk" in the context of gay sexuality refers to a male who chases boys.
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StaggerLee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #11
20. Did he duck or was he 4-F?
I thought he injured himself in college (surfing accident I believe) and he wasn't able to play football anymore. If the injury was bad enough then maybe he was unfit for military duty.



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RoonShark Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. He Was Too Old to Be an Officer
Wayne was too old to be an officer, and he declined to enlist. Perhaps he was homoerotic at a time when gays were thought to be effeminate.
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CMT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. Wayne was born in 1907
Fonda in 1905 and had two children and a wife as well and still enlisted.
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SiobhanClancy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. And Jimmy Stewart was born in 1908
and it obviously didn't keep him serving with great distinction. Even Clark Gable(b.1901) enlisted,although he was certainly beyond the draft age.
A bit about Gable:
Clark Gable (Mega-Movie Star when war broke out) Although he was beyond the
>draft age at the time the U.S. entered WW II, Clark Gable enlisted as a
>private in the AAF on Aug. 12, 1942 at Los Angeles. He attended the
>Officers' Candidate School at Miami Beach, Fla. and graduated as a second
>lieutenant on Oct. 28, 1942. He then attended aerial gunnery school and in
>Feb. 1943 he was assigned to the 351st Bomb Group at Polebrook where flew
>operational missions over Europe in B-17s. Capt. Gable returned to the U.S.
>in Oct. 1943 and was relieved from active duty as a major on Jun. 12, 1944
>at his own request, since he was over-age for combat.
>
There doesn't seem to a very good reason for Wayne not to have served...especially considering his incredible hawkishness during Vietnam.
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
12. Ratso Rizzo said that he was
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RoonShark Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #12
25. Outing Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise never says yes, never says no. He's like the guy from Menudo, what's his name?
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Chovexani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #25
33. Ricky Martin
My favorite Ricky Martin comment was from a hilarious gay comedian named Gavin Crawford, who quipped in one of his routines: "You don't spend 5 years in Menudo and come out straight". :evilgrin:

I think Ricky bats for both teams, myself.
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Jeff in Cincinnati Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
13. He just walked that way...
according to Robin Williams in "La Cage aux Folles"
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AntiCoup2K4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
17. Just because the guy's name was "Marion"
Doesn't make him a flaming queen.....

Although it IS funny that Pat Robertson AND John Wayne both were born with the first name "Marion"
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hadrons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
19. I read that John Wayne and Montgomery Clift didn't like each other ....
while filming the movie

first Rush and now John, who's the next right-wing "moran" numbnut icon going to get dissed?
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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Reagan?
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joeybee12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
28. Oh, God, NO!
Reading too much into this.

John Wayne's on-screen persona was a Hollywood myth to sell tickets.
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RoonShark Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Masked Men
The book "Masked Men" makes a convincing argument that a lot of movies in the 40's and 50's had gay themes that are visible to us today because we're not so uptight about homosexuality. Back then, according to author Stephan Cohan, people watched gay love stories and were completely clueless.

Another interesting book on the same subject is "Celluloid Closet". Was Zorro gay before George Hamilton camped it up? Quite possibly!
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
31. John Wayne was a faaaaaaaaaaag


I know 'cause I installed some mirrors for him...two way mirrors...
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FlashHarry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-13-03 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #31
36. "He came to the door in a dress!"
I was wondering when somebody would post that!
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