Jan 8, 2013

Steve Guttenberg


I've never met Steve Guttenberg, but after seeing him in so many movies, tv series, and off-Broadway plays,  he seems more familiar than some of the celebrities that I've actually met.

His physique is especially familiar, since he displays his muscular chest, shoulders, and biceps in nearly every movie, often to indicate confusion or embarrassment.

He's got nothing to be embarrassed about.






At last count, I've seen twenty of his movies, beginning with The Chicken Chronicles (1977), when the 19-year old transformed the teen sex comedy into something more, and The Boys from Brazil (1977), where his character is killed in the first scene.

Comedies like Police Academy (1984), where his Carey Mahoney gleefully pretends that he had sex with the uptight police captain.(For more homoerotic subtexts combined with homophobia, see Bachelor Party, by the same director).









Science fiction like Cocoon (1985), about a group of senior citizens who use alien technology to rejuvenate themselves.








Dramas like The Bedroom Window (1987), where his Terry Lambert has an affair with the boss's wife and becomes the main suspect in a murder.




Not a lot of buddy-bonding roles, but lots of gender transgressions that give his characters a gay-vague subtext even as they pursue women.  And he forms a lot of alternate families, as Short Circuit (1986), 3 Men and a Baby (1987), and Home Team (2000).





And lots of gay-positive roles, like Can't Stop the Music (1980), where he plays the gay-vague manager of the gay-vague Village People (and incidentally wears the tightest shorts known to Disco).

To Home for the Holidays (1995), where a gay couple is invited to the festivities.

To P.S. Your Cat is Dead (2002), where he plays a homeowner who captures -- and kisses -- a gay burglar..

To Mojave Phone Booth (2006), about various people affected by a phone booth in the desert, including a lesbian couple.

In his memoirs, The Guttenberg Bible, Steve talks about his early naivete (he didn't realize that the Village People were supposed to be gay) and about the shock of realizing that some men found him attractive.

He's gotten over it since.