6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Sal forever, when clad at all, in tight white jeans!,
This review is from: Who Killed Teddy Bear [PAL] (DVD)
Homoerotic indeed! After his unforgettable Plato in "Rebel Without a Cause", followed by a profitable series of roles in various mainstream Hollywood movies, Sal Mineo's career was in need of regeneration in the 60s. Mineo was indeed aware of cultural trends, with a boldness to involve in tough, controversial stuff. This one is the right example, full of wonderful touches of camp, sleaze, hints of vintage pulp, exploitation, phone harassment and masturbation (in veiled darkness), then enticing muscle work-out at the gym, exhaustive period dancing of the Twist in seedy NY night club, policeman's lines on investigated cases of sundry sexual aberrations while listening to victim's recounts on tape as little daughter listens on next door in bed, hints of fraternal incest between Sal Mineo and a neurotic, retarded sister whose beloved teddy bear had been murdered... and.... Elaine Stritch trying to bed Juliet Prowse (unsuccessfully, of course). Well... it aint the stuff of Prowse's Elvis or Sinatra musicals... rather nearer to Stritch's Sondheim songs.
All this plus Sal's outfits, when much dressed at all, namely the tightest fitting white jeans ever seen in black & white. The movie was too much for the times and flopped, it was not released in the UK for years, and 11 years later poor Sal Mineo ended up murdered sordidly at 35, before so much more could be achieved. Yet, if not as mamoth as James Dean's, his story is indeed legend.
Today 'Teddy Bear' has been released on DVD in this non-USA format, otherwise only available on VHS. Interestingly, Sal Mineo had produced a staging of John Herbert's prison-gay-themed play "Fortune and Men's Eyes" in 1971, the same year a film version of the play was released by MGM, sadly available only on VHS. Shouldn't there be a digital release of both these films for the whole world to enjoy?