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Male Gay Sex Film

The first notable suggestion of homosexuality on film was in 1895, when two men were shown dancing together in the William Kennedy Dickson motion picture The Dickson Experimental Sound Film, commonly labeled online and in three published books as The Gay Brothers. At the time, the men were not seen as queer or even flamboyant, but merely as acting fancifully.[1] However, film critic Parker Tyler stated that the scene "shocked audiences with its subversion of conventional male behavior".[2] During the late nineteenth century and into the 1920s and 30s, homosexuality was largely depicted through gender-based conventions and stereotypes. Oftentimes male characters intended to be identified as gay were flamboyant, effeminate, humorous characters on film.[3] The terms "pansy" and "sissy" became tagged to homosexuality and described "a flowery, fussy, effeminate soul given to limp wrists and mincing steps".[3] Because of his high-pitched voice and attitude, the pansy easily transitioned from the silent film era to the talking pictures where those characteristics could be taken advantage of.[3] Gay male characters were depicted as having stereotypically feminine jobs, such as a tailor, hairdresser, or choreographer; reinforcing the stereotype that gay men were limited to certain careers. Lesbian characters did not have a title like gay men, but were still associated with crossdressing, a deep voice, and having a stereotypically masculine job.[4]

male gay sex film

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The first erotic kiss between two members of the same sex in a film was in Cecil B. DeMille's Manslaughter (1922).[5] Marlene Dietrich was the first leading lady to kiss another female on screen in 1930's Morocco.[5] During the period of the Great Depression in the 1930s, the cinema audience had significantly waned. Filmmakers produced movies with themes and images that had high shock value to prompt people to return to the theaters. This called for the inclusion of more controversial topics such as prostitution and violence, creating a demand for pansies and their lesbian counterparts to stimulate or shock audiences.[3] With the new influx of these provocative subjects, debates arose regarding the negative effects these films could have on American society.[citation needed]

In the 1931 film City Lights, written and directed by Charlie Chaplin, there are several scenes approaching questions in regards to what exactly is going on between Charlie's character and a rich drunken man (Harry Myers) he meets at a party. He goes home with the drunken rich man and the following morning, he has slept in the same bed as his rich drunk friend. Later in the movie, when the same drunk man meets and recognizes Chaplin on the street, he embraces him and kisses him on the mouth (or close to it). In the boxing scene, Chaplin is between bouts and sitting in the corner of the ring and the ring men are rubbing him on his arms and legs and one of them slips his hand down inside Chaplin's trunks where it is promptly removed by Charlie. Also, in a scene previous to the one just mentioned, he flirts (over the top) with another boxer in the dressing room to the extent that the boxer steps behind a curtain to pull off his pants and put on his trunks.

It was during this same time that the United States Supreme Court ruled that films did not have First Amendment protection, due to the film industry being a business that could be easily used for "evil", and several local governments passed laws restricting the public exhibition of "indecent" or "immoral" films. The media publicity surrounding several high-profile celebrity scandals and the danger of church-led boycotts also pressured the leadership within the film industry to establish a national censorship board, which became the Motion Picture Production Code.

The Motion Picture Production Code, also simply known as the Production Code or as the "Hays Code", was established both to curtail additional government censorship and to prevent the loss of revenue from boycotts led by the Catholic Church and fundamentalist Protestant groups, who had wanted to judge the moral impact of Hollywood cinema on the general public.[6] In terms of homosexuality, the code marked the end of the "pansy" characters and the beginning of depictions that were more reserved and buried within subtext.[3] While the code did not explicitly state that depictions of homosexuality were against the code, the code barred the depiction of any kind of sexual perversion or deviance, which homosexuality fell under at the time.[7] Gay characters on screen also came to be represented as villains or victims who commit crimes due to their homosexuality.[8] Per the production code these homosexual villains would have to be punished by the law in order to coincide with the code's rule stating that films could not place crime above law.[9] An example of the enforcement of the production code is the character Joel Cairo in the 1941 film The Maltese Falcon. In the original novel the character is clearly homosexual, though in the movie his homosexuality is made vague.[10] The production code not only affected what was cut from movies containing homosexual characters, but also often removed them completely. The stage play The Children's Hour by Lillian Hellman was released as a film in 1936 titled These Three directed by William Wyler. The stage play contained a storyline of two teachers being accused of having a lesbian affair, yet the film version created a heterosexual love triangle between two women and one man.[8] Critics came to favor the production code as it allowed for unsavory behaviors to be eliminated from the public eye. Many critics stated that the film version of The Children's Hour was more enjoyable with the absence of the lesbian characters when compared to the original stage play.[8]

During the Second World War and the subsequent Cold War, Hollywood increasingly depicted gay men and women as sadists, psychopaths, and nefarious, anti-social villains. These depictions were driven by the censorship of the code, which was willing to allow "sexual perversion" if it was depicted in a negative manner, as well as the fact that homosexuality was classified as a mental illness and gay men and women were often harassed by the police. This can be examined in Alfred Hitchcock's 1948 film Rope.[1][2] In his article "The History of Gays and Lesbians on Film", author Daniel Mangin explains:

In the film, Jimmy Stewart plays a dabbler in philosophy who introduces the two boys to the "Superman" theory of the superiority of some humans over others. He becomes horrified when he realizes that the theories he espoused have led to murder. His character's somewhat hysterical repudiation of his formerly held beliefs mirrored the fears of some Americans about the infiltration of alien ideas. That the homosexuals in Rope were connected to the arts, as were many of those investigated, seems apt in view of longstanding suspicions about the politics and sexual practices of people so engaged.[2]

The censorship code gradually became liberalized during the 1950s and 1960s, until it was replaced by the current classification system established by the Motion Picture Association of America in 1968. Legally, it was the 1952 case Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson that extended First Amendment legal protection to films, reversing its original verdict,[12] and, in a second case, ended once common practice of film studios owning the theaters.[citation needed] That practice had made it difficult for films produced outside of these studios, such as independent or international films, to be screened widely, let alone to be commercially successful.

Culturally, American consumers were increasingly less likely to boycott a film at the request of the Catholic Church or fundamentalist Protestant groups. This meant that films with objectionable content did not necessarily need the approval of the Hollywood Production Code or religious groups in order to be successful. As a result, Hollywood gradually became more willing to ignore the code in order to compete with television and the growing access to independent and international cinema.

During this post-war era, mainstream American cinema might advocate tolerance for eccentric, sensitive young men, wrongly, accused of homosexuality, such as in the film adaptation of Tea and Sympathy (1956), but gay characters were frequently eliminated from the final cut of the film or depicted as dangerous misfits who would fall prey to a well-deserved violent end. Others had homosexual themes almost completely removed such as in the 1958 film adaptation of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.[14] An early example of homoeroticism in American film was 1954's The Strange One.[14]

The code was relaxed somewhat after 1961, and the next year William Wyler remade a more faithful adaptation of The Children's Hour with Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine.[14] After MacLaine's character admits her love for Hepburn's, she hangs herself; this set a precedent for miserable endings in films addressing homosexuality. Advise & Consent (1962) depicted a married senator who is being blackmailed over a wartime homosexual affair, and was the first mainstream American movie to show a gay bar.[15]

The film Lawrence of Arabia in 1962, widely seen as one of the best films ever created, was revolutionary for several reasons including depicting not only a character who is heavily implied to be gay, but also implying a relationship between two men. Though T.E. Lawrence's sexuality remains ambiguous, director David Lean had Peter O'Toole play his version of the desert hero as a gay man. Beyond this, Lean also implied a relationship between Lawrence and his companion Sherif Ali, played by Omar Sharif. Years later, when asked about the homosexuality in his hit film, Lean commented, "Throughout, Lawrence was very, if not entirely, homosexual. We thought we were being very daring at the time: Lawrence and Omar..." This is one of the first examples of an LGBT+ film being a box office success without an incredible amount of innuendo to disguise the homosexual nature of the film. The Best Man (1964), where a character, played by Shelley Berman, is accused of being homosexual, was the first American film to use the word "homosexual".[14] 041b061a72

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