Thursday, January 28, 2010

Myra Breckenridge (1970)

Dir: Michael Sarne
20th Century Fox DVD

An infamous fiasco based on the Gore Vidal novel of the same name. Raquel Welch stars as the post-op tranny mentioned in the title. She shows up at her Uncle's (John Huston!?!) acting school to... well, I'm not quite sure. In fact that's just one of the many problems you're confronted with sitting through this one. It appears to be a satire, but is never funny. Not once did I have to hold back a chuckle or concede to a genuine laugh. It's supposed to take shots at the film industry but just comes across as downright hateful. It constantly cuts to classic film clips, often featuring Laurel and Hardy or Shirley Temple, that are used to emphasize a double entendre. The material would appear to lend itself to an open minded stance on homosexuality but the film comes across as extremely homophobic and the two sides of the Breckenridge character are completely at odds. The supporting cast shows off a plethora of embarrassed aging celebs, like; Mae West, Jim Backus, John Carradine, and film critic Rex Reed appears as the pre-op version of Myra, Myron.
Extras on the disc include a 20 minute episode of "Back story" all about the contentious making of the film and some pretty honest testimonials about how hated it was. Welch gives audio commentary where she sighs heavily at the on-screen depression.


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