The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies by Vito Russo

By Vito Russo

Praised via the Chicago Tribune as "an amazing study" and written with incisive wit and searing perception--the definitive, hugely acclaimed landmark paintings at the portrayal of homosexuality in movie.

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Popeye Doyle, violent, impulsive, and dedicated, is regarded as a hero. 6 However, at the end of the film, Doyle’s behavior does come under scrutiny. In the showdown with the criminals, Doyle is intensely searching for Charnier in the many rooms of an abandoned industrial building. He almost shoots his own partner, Russo. Then he does shoot Mulderig, one of the federal agents on the case. Ironically, Mulderig had complained much earlier that the last time he and Doyle worked together, a good cop got killed.

Rich and poor meet in an interesting night club scene, where Sal and his organized crime cronies have all the money, but Popeye has power and status as a policeman. With the potential to physically attack, to arrest, to make trouble for the nightclub, a policeman has vigilantes and cops The French Connection t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y – f o x . Gene Hackman plays Popeye Doyle, a hardworking, lower-middle-class narcotics cop. Courtesy of Museum of Modern Art /Film Stills Archive. a certain amount of masculine force in night-time Manhattan, and shots of Popeye living it up at the nightclub show him reveling in this force.

Other images are confining or ugly: the jailhouse scene and especially the acid trip in the cemetery. Here, 16 mm shooting on a rainy day creates an ugly, depressing, confining mood, as the actors (Fonda and Toni Basil in particular) play out psychodramas amidst the monuments and statues. Easy Rider is an odd mixture of the obvious and the subtle and is therefore open to several different levels of interpretation. For some critics, the film is a kind of nouveau exploitation film, provocative but incoherent.

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