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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

entry arrow11:29 AM | Cut from 'Making Love'

This is a clip from Arthur Hiller's Making Love (1982), the groundbreaking gay movie that preceded Brokeback Mountain by 25 years. A controversial movie when it was first released, it died a quick death at the box office, but is now regarded as a queer classic, the first Hollywood studio movie to tackle a gay theme -- and shockingly, a tender love scene between two men. How groundbreaking is that? In the early 1980s, somewhere in the heart of the Reagan years, gay characters in Hollywood movies were either cardboard cut-out best friends, or people who had to "off themselves at the end of the picture." (Usually the latter. The quote is from Mart Crowley's equally pathbreaking play and movie The Boys in the Band.) Says Barry Sandler, its screenwriter: "Liz Smith summed it up ... in the New York Daily News, as fine a movie as Brokeback Mountain is, Making Love is a more positive and encouraging movie. But it didn't make any money, and she suggested that maybe that was the reason why." (The full interview can be found here in AfterElton.)

In this scene, Zack (Michael Ontkean), a young and married doctor, succumbs to the charms of novelist Bart (Harry Hamlin), who becomes his catalyst of discovery and coming out. Bart, however, seems content to keep Zack -- or any man for that matter -- at arm's length.

Zack knocks persistently. Bart stands up from writing to open the door.

Zack: (Entering in a rush.) I have a question to ask. I’m only asking you once. Are you ready?

Bart: Shoot.

Zack: Do you walk in your sleep?

Bart: (Confused.) What?

Zack: (Angry.) Walk in your sleep! Do you sleepwalk? Does anybody know—does anybody get a chance to find out?

Bart: Hey, wait a—wait a minute. What do you want from me anyway? Do you know that there are forty million guys out there, and they’re all just waiting for you?

Zack: Oh, that’s it, huh? One night per person—and those are the rules.

Bart: That’s right. Those are the rules.

Zack: (Sarcastic.) Well, those are the words of a well-traveled visionary. You don’t get points by playing by the rules.

Bart: Oh boy, talk about visionaries... You want to see something badly, you will see it, whether it’s there or not. (Pause.) You were probably shattered to find out that the tooth fairy was really your mother.

Zack: (Takes his time.) Yes, as a matter of fact, I was.

Bart: (After a beat.) ... So was I.

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