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Beefcake [VHS]

4.3 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews


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Product Details

  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004VVS0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #795,378 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Beefcake is a light-hearted, semi-documentary about the life and times of a muscle-magazine, Physique pictorial. Published during the puritanical 1950ies, it made quite a stir.
PP was the original hunk-o-rama, with hundreds of smiling, tanned and muscled young men flashing their goods at you. Of course, it was not strictly a nude-mag (the models wore small pouches in front of you know what..) but the gay readers had a field time anyway! The publishers also made short films featuring their hunky stars. It was all marketed as "promoting health and physical fitness in young minds"
Looking back at those "innocent" times from this liberal day and age, we can only smile at the cunning and bravery that went into it. The brains behind PP, Bob Mizer, was actually jailed and fined several times on charges of renting out his models as escorts to rich men. Still, the mag continued into the 60's and 70's.
Watching Beefcake is like flipping through those pages of PP, stopping occasionally for some reconstructed dramatic scenes. But the best parts are watching the guys modelling, doing some amateur acting in front of Mizer's camera and generally horsing around. Great fun!
There are several interviews with the guys who posed for the mag, one of them, Joe Dallesandro, apparently did his posing mostly nude! There is, in fact, copious nudity in Beefcake, and the men are all fabulous looking.

There are some great contemporary songs on the soundtrack, as well. A good time movie for the (mostly) gay crowd.
Comment 68 of 70 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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First of all, for those of you out who like straight-forward plot lines with twists and turns throughout, object to male nudity and get bored if something doesn't blow up in the first 15 minutes - then do not watch this movie.
As for the rest of us, who can appreciate intelligent mock-u-mentory styled films, "BeefCake" is a fabulous way to spend a Sunday evening. Through flashback sequences, photo clips and interiews with ex-hustlers/models from the 1950's, we receive the story of Robert Henry Mizer and his Athletic Model Guild. The movie jumps around a bit between Mizer's history with his pulp art magazine, his legal troubles for running escorts as well as the interviews, which makes one wonder how scatterbrained director Thom Fitzgerald really is. But the acting is good, the scenes are funny/interesting and there's plenty of male nudity to go around. Where can you go wrong?
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Well what can I say? This movie pleasantly surprised me and is a nostalgic and very revealing look at the 1950's Physique models. Gee these guys had great bodies and not the bulging muscles u see in todays magazines. If u are offended by male nudity steer clear of this one as it leaves nothing to the imagination. The soundtrack is great the acting above average and the crossovers to real interviews and back to the storyline is very good. Joe Dellesandro is featured in the interviews and in the bonus section of the DVD is a very revealing what u could call screen test of a very young and well endowed Joe. 10 out of 10
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Beefcake is a documentary and a gem of a movie all rolled into one. Its focal point is the physique magazines of the 40's and 50's. The director shows the steamier and more homoerotic side (as if it needed more of one) of these magazines. It also covers how they came to be and why they dissappeared off of magazine shelves. Before watching the movie i knew very little about it except that it was gay themed and discussed muscle boys. Even though i really couldnt care less for muscle boys, i still watched the movie and i am glad i did.. It's colors are very visually stimulating and the images are great.. The documentary moments are amusing and the film moments are even funnier. I would reccomend this movie to anyone who wants to laugh and just enjoy a good movie.
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By A Customer on March 5, 2001
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I know that about 80% of the people who review anything for Amazon use the phrase "must have" if they really like something, so I wish I could think of something new to say. But this is a must have only if you like these corny old photos of guys in posing straps. I happen to like them very much. This is the first DVD I've bought. It may be the last, since I find them rather expensive and I can rent them or borrow them anyway. But I'm very glad I bought this one, because I have a feeling that my local rental places aren't going to stock it. It's an amazingly good production, and the bonus--actual Mizer films--are a treasure that for me make the DVD worth the price just by themselves.
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The first TRUE gay docudrama on celluloid. A movie within a documentary...masterfully created with superb performances and a
solid script. By the way, plenty of awesome beefcake here!
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By A Customer on February 27, 2001
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In a style reminiscent of REDS, this affectionate film looks at the life and times of groundbreaking photographer Joe Mizer and his troubles with the law through reenactment, old footage, and recent talking head interviews. This approach may not work for those preferring a completely fictionalized treatment (as in THE PEOPLE VS LARRY FLYNT) or a straight (no pun intended) documentary since going back and forth may disrupt their involvement with the story. The filmmakers obviously had a ball recreating the period then slowly taking us into its many pitfalls (as in PLEASANTVILLE). Mostly though, this is a portrait of gay subterfuge in the face of bigotry, how seedy a closet can get, and how some, traumatized by persecution and intolerance refuse to grow with the changing times, choosing instead to remain forever closeted, convincing themselves to feel nostalgic about such stifling times. The DVD transfer is impeccable (though the old footage is left as found: scratched up - it works); it is sharp with eye popping color, very much like looking through a window. The extras consist of several of the original Mizer short subjects, perhaps the reason for that stiff Criterion type price tag.
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