Homosexuality in Film Essay

929 Words Oct 31st, 2006 4 Pages
Homosexuality in Film When sultry, womanly JoAnn steps into the five and dime, rarely would a viewer automatically leap to the conclusion that twenty years prior, that gorgeous she had been a he. Ed Graczyk and Robert Altman pushed the envelope when they so blatantly portrayed homosexuality and trans-genderedness in a movie in 1982. They were not, however the first to choose to display homosexuality in movies. "In fact, homosexuality, or the idea of it, has been with [the viewer] since movies were born." During the hundred years of movie history, there is a startling lack of representation of gay, lesbian, and transgendered persons, and when it does appear it is often feared or laughed at. Hollywood, as a universal influencer, has …show more content…
Under these censorship rules, director Joe Breen had the authority to change characters, words, and even plots. Following the censorship laws, in order to portray and type of homosexuality one had to be subtle, but it was very much a possibility. There were hints of homosexuality in many films during these years such as "Ben Hur" and "Rebel." In "Dracula's Daughters," Hitchcock's "Rebecca," and "The Maltese Falcon," subtle hints of homosexuality were used to make villains more intimidating and threatening. There was still a great deal of stereotypes, and in addition to many characters being sissy, lesbians and gays were often depicted as troublesome and neurotic. At this time many jokes were around about cross-dressing for personal gain—not out of sexual desire—and all of these comic plot lines were accepted, (think "Some Like It Hot") but if it became serious and any type of sex was implied the censorship crew came in again. As Hollywood was trying to get rid of the oppressive laws, the first gay (really bisexual) hero was created in Great Britain. "Victim" addressed the oppression of homosexuals and was a hit. This became the new MO for getting a movie about homosexuals to pass what censorship laws hadn't already been whittled away. For many years, homosexual characters that were portrayed as heroes and villains alike were acceptable and even sometimes loved but inevitably were "punished" in

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