Nov 19, 2015

Michael Sarrazin: In the Most Homophobic Movie of All Time?

Handsome "new sensitive man" Michael Sarrazin was a reliable source of beefcake and bulges through the 1970s; unfortunately, you had to look past an endless series of naked ladies to see him.

Born in 1940, he spent the 1960s miscast in Westerns before starring with Jane Fonda in the misnamed They Shoot Horses, Don't They (1969), which is not about shooting horses; it's about the angst-ridden, desperate lives of contestants in a Depression-era dance marathon.





He had found his niche: New Sensitive Men, quirky, sometimes amoral, sometimes criminals, who have lots of sex with The Girl en route to the denouement: Barbara Hershey in The Pursuit of Happiness (1971), Jacqueline Bisset in Believe in Me (1971), Trish Van Der Vere in Harry in Your Pocket (1973).  

Spoiler alert: in The Reincarnation of Peter Proud (1975), which was a big hit in my high school, he makes out with Jennifer O'Neal, only to discover that he's the reincarnation of her father!





By the 1980s, Michael was getting a little long in the tooth for playing quirky young men, and his projects became increasingly sleazy.  But in those days "sleaze" included "gay," so there was a bit of LGBT content:

The Seduction (1982): tv reporter is stalked by a one-night stand.

Mascara (1987): crossdressing police officer has a thing for his sister.

The Phone Call (1989): straight guy calls the wrong phone sex line and is stalked by a gay queen, in what has been called the most homophobic movies of all time.

Not a lot of buddy-bonding, with all that heterosexual sex going on, but there are some glimmers of a homoromance between Michael and Tim Henry in Eye of the Cat (1969).

I'm still going with Chuck and Buck as the most homophobic movie of all time.