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What unnamed theme do Top Gun, Batman & Robin, and 300 share in common?
December 24, 2013 11:21 AM   Subscribe

What are your favorite unintentionally gay movies?

Nowadays, there are plenty of ordinary films that are gay themed. The Kids Are Alright. Brokeback Mountain. TransAmerica. Were The World Mine. Etc.

Then there are classic movies—like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Superbad, Billy Madison, The Outsiders, Point Break—that have powerful-if-unintentional gay relationship undercurrents.

Call me a romantic, but I love these films.

So this got me to thinking: What other movies fall under the Unintentionally Gay sub-genre heading?
posted by Mike Mongo to Society & Culture (47 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Top Gun?
posted by radwolf76 at 11:24 AM on December 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Many John Woo films, specifically Broken Arrow.
posted by jessamyn at 11:26 AM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe Interview with a Vampire -- it's sooo not unintentional in the book but I can't remember if that was the case in the movie?
posted by sm1tten at 11:29 AM on December 24, 2013


Nightmare on Elm Street 2
posted by klangklangston at 11:31 AM on December 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I've seen arguments of varying weight for the star wars prequels, the first matrix, fight club, pulp fiction, and even Rocky...
posted by Jacen at 11:32 AM on December 24, 2013


Spartacus is the classic example.
posted by mochapickle at 11:38 AM on December 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Casablanca.
posted by Melismata at 11:40 AM on December 24, 2013


Since I had missed that you already mentioned my last suggestion in the title, I'll throw out another one: Star Trek, the ones with the original TOS Kirk/Spock/McCoy.
posted by radwolf76 at 11:41 AM on December 24, 2013


Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:44 AM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Princess Bride (Humperdink and Count Rugen)
posted by bleep at 11:47 AM on December 24, 2013


Oh, and Lost Boys is delightfully homoerotic, and in fact plays much better with this reading.
posted by mochapickle at 11:54 AM on December 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


Tom and Lorenzo make a good case for White Christmas
posted by janey47 at 11:58 AM on December 24, 2013


Nightmare on Elm Street 2

I have to contest this one on intentionality grounds. The actor who played Jesse and, I believe, one of the writers were both gay themselves and got the subtext in intentionally. So it's more 'undercover gay' than 'unintentionally gay.'
posted by griphus at 12:06 PM on December 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Robert Downey Sherlock Holmes movies. Maybe not so unintentional, in fact.
posted by adamrice at 12:06 PM on December 24, 2013


Whoops, just saw the title: Same thing with Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. Schumacher is openly gay and there's nothing unintentional about how gay/camp the films are.
posted by griphus at 12:12 PM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


While I definitely subscribe to the 'born this way' theory of homosexuality, I also believe that no motion picture has turned more boys gay than Auntie Mame.
posted by sexyrobot at 12:14 PM on December 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


mochapickle: "Oh, and Lost Boys is delightfully homoerotic, and in fact plays much better with this reading."

I totally agree with this, to the point where I joked with my wife when it was on the other week that it was "actually a tender, coming-of-age gay love story". I mean, come on- no one actually seems all that interested in Jamie Gertz, and the "twist" is that Edward Hermann was after Jason Patrick all along instead of Ellen Burstyn. And then there's that poster of Rob Lowe in Corey Haim's room...
posted by mkultra at 12:27 PM on December 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Jesus Christ Superstar (1977).
posted by Snarl Furillo at 12:37 PM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was recently introduced to the 1964 Rudolph Christmas special. The internet corroborates the allegory here, here, and here.
posted by casualinference at 12:50 PM on December 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


Lord of the Rings trilogy ... that have powerful-if-unintentional gay relationship undercurrents.

There is no gay relationship undercurrent in that movie. It is very, very explicitly about the platonic love that two heterosexual men can share. This really frosts my cookies when it comes up.

However, to be more on-topic:

I'd agree that Fight Club has some (un?)intended homoeroticism in it. School Ties, also.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:54 PM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
posted by rue72 at 12:57 PM on December 24, 2013


The Room. It's not a good movie by any means, but it's definitely a cult favorite with plenty of subtext due to terrible writing.
posted by cobaltnine at 12:57 PM on December 24, 2013


Someone mentioned Robert Downey's Sherlock -- uh, does Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock count? It's TV but whoaaa....

Also, Supernatural, if you don't mind your homoerotic slash fiction being a little bit incestuous.

Dr. Who / Torchwood have a sort of silent theme about The Doctor and Jack Harkness, although Harkness's sexuality is anything but implied.

As for movies . . . Pirates of the Caribbean (Jack / Will) (Cap'n Jack seemed like he'd be sooo disappointed if Will were a eunuch), Harry Potter (Harry / Ron).

Finally: American football. (I can watch it for much longer periods of time if I pretend that the fans and announcers also acknowledge the relentless homoerotic undertones).
posted by mibo at 1:39 PM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Master and Commander:The Far Side of the World. THis is the best movie ever: major gay undertones and full of shipboard surgery without anesthetic and awesome English sailor slang and underage drinking. Criminally underrated.
posted by genmonster at 1:44 PM on December 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Rope? As I recall it's never spelled out that the two guys are lovers.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:45 PM on December 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


There was a recent BBC spy film called Legacy, which you can find if you look hard enough. The scriptwriter seems to be under the impression that the main characters are straight but I don't think the actors agree.
posted by emilyw at 1:49 PM on December 24, 2013


Clarification, please: by "unintentional" do you mean that the director didn't realize that he or she was making a movie with (possibly) gay characters?
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:51 PM on December 24, 2013


A great early example is Bride of Frankenstein. The director was gay. Today the film reads as wonderfully camp, even though camp wasn't a thing yet (1930s).
posted by Comet Bug at 2:12 PM on December 24, 2013


I highly recommend the documentary The Celluloid Closet, which has many examples of coded and semi-coded homosexuality in film. The first half of the movie shows lots of instances of the 'undercurrents' you refer to. It's brilliant.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:15 PM on December 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Fight Club
I still remember the epiphany when I realised - the Narrator had beaten up Angel Face, because he was jealous of the attention Tyler Durden was paying him, but since he is Tyler, suddenly it looked like internalised homophobia, angry at his attraction to Angel Face, especially with the whole making him 'less beautiful' line.
And that was point I wondered if Chuck Palahniuk was gay, and turned out, he was.


Are we counting the X-men movies, or is that practically textual? Professor X and Magneto have an intense ex-boyfriend vibe in all the x-men movies, but First Class kind of really hammered it home (especially the beach divorce).


For less well known movies, there's heaps of them that are a little bromantic. The Forsaken was very much in the Lost Boys, there is a romantic female interest you will never see much, and then the boys drive off into the sunset together, etc.
posted by Elysum at 2:41 PM on December 24, 2013


Cool Hand Luke.

The classic John Wayne 1948 western "Red River" is cited in "The Celluloid Closet" as a prime example of how a very obvious gay insinuation could go unnoticed by the censors of the time. ("You know," Cherry says, handling Matt's gun, "there are only two things more beautiful than a good gun: a Swiss watch or a woman from anywhere. You ever had a Swiss watch?")
posted by Melismata at 2:46 PM on December 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Are we counting the X-men movies, or is that practically textual? Professor X and Magneto have an intense ex-boyfriend vibe in all the x-men movies, but First Class kind of really hammered it home (especially the beach divorce).

That's a fully intentional theme in the X-Men movies. They even had Sir Ian provide his input on how to make the scene where Bobby reveals to his parents that he's a mutant feel like "coming out".

But if you're going to go to First Class, the deleted scene with Fassbender in drag in bed next to McAvoy is the real treasure of the series.
posted by radwolf76 at 2:51 PM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
posted by signondiego at 5:15 PM on December 24, 2013


Obligatory TV Tropes link (though they cast a pretty wide net, and I've always hated the term they use to name the trope).
posted by thesmallmachine at 7:17 PM on December 24, 2013


Watching Rocky 3 decide to come out is a powerful experience.
posted by greenland at 9:03 PM on December 24, 2013


Surprised that no one has mentioned Ben Hur!
posted by skye.dancer at 10:50 PM on December 24, 2013


Yeah do you mean movies that can be read with having gay themes, have undercover gay themes, or movies that can now in retrospect be taken as grayish?

Like above, there's no real sex or sexuality in Auntie Mame, but it's the most outright queer film I can think of.
posted by The Whelk at 11:13 PM on December 24, 2013


How has no one mentioned The Fast and the Furious yet? HOW? So gay that there's even a joke about it in an Easter egg on the Fellowship of the Rings disc.
posted by emcat8 at 12:34 AM on December 25, 2013


Point Break: An undercover fed and a surfer are thrown together by fate, but a dark secret tears them apart. There's even a finale on a beach, in the rain!

And Hot Fuzz -- which was first written with a female lead playing Danny. They took a lot her dialogue and gave it to Nick Frost verbatim. As a result, the there's a kind of romantic friendship between the two male leads as Danny fulfils many of the usual tropes of a romantic interest.
posted by NoiselessPenguin at 12:40 AM on December 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fast Furious 6 has at least one "OMG, those guys should totally just kiss already" moments. I mean, the one I'm thinking of is staged and shot just like an almost-kiss between two characters in a "will they or won't they, they're in love and their faces are so close together, now's the time!" kind of way you'd see in a rom-com.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 10:16 AM on December 25, 2013


Did we really get this far in this thread without mentioning the (imho) best? The original FRIGHT NIGHT (not the recent, terrible remake) is the most festive thing ever.

Oh, and of course, two hours of cute men trying to shove things up each other's asses - JACKASS 2.
posted by Gucky at 12:00 PM on December 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just watched The Highlander for the first time and, man, is that movie chock full of homoerotic subtext! The swords! The dandified Sean Connery mentor who clearly outshines the lackluster female romantic leads! The bondage-y villain! But best of all is that weirdly orgasmic ritual that happens every time one of them kills a fellow immortal. C'mon, how could anyone NOT think that movie was one long gayfest?
posted by platinum at 12:43 PM on December 25, 2013


The Slumber Party Massacre.
posted by St. Sorryass at 1:09 PM on December 25, 2013


I can't find a source for this quote, but I seem to remember that Irving Thalberg once explained that the secret of successful commercial filmmaking was that every movie is a love story, adding, "but sometimes the lovers are Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable."
posted by La Cieca at 2:22 PM on December 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gonna be all crazy here and nominate Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Lots of hotel room bonding and the obligatory touching return-to-the train-station-belatedly-realizing-the-depth-of-your-feelings.
posted by purenitrous at 10:50 PM on December 25, 2013


Always thought "American History X" was very gay, but I haven't seen it all the way through so how intentional it is or not I couldn't tell you.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 6:59 AM on December 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Muppets (the most recent movie).
posted by Melismata at 11:52 AM on December 26, 2013


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