Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Raquel Welch, Mae West, Rex Reed, Farrah Fawcett. The controversial, comedic tale of a gay man who has a sex-change operation in order to bilk his rich uncle out of his fortune. 1970/color/94 min/R/fullscreen.
We can safely call it one of the most notorious films in Hollywood history: Myra Breckenridge, the wild, tasteless, legendary disaster. Sprung from a novel by Gore Vidal, Myra tells the tender tale of a man (damply played by film critic Rex Reed) who has a sex-change operation and goes to Hollywood as a woman--played by Raquel Welch. Mae West creaked out of retirement to play a man-hungry agent (one of her meals is young Tom Selleck), and John Huston is an aging cowboy star, Myra's nemesis. To say the movie endorses the destruction of sex roles in modern society would be giving the rampant incoherence too much credit. Old film clips, plus footage (all too apt!) of atomic bomb tests are spliced into the action, to puerile effect. Almost everybody involved with the film disowned it, especially a horrified Vidal. Is there a cult for this movie? They can have it. --Robert HortonSee all Editorial Reviews
- Includes theatrical and special edition versions of the movie
- Commentary by director Michael Sarne (special edition)
- Commentary by Raquel Welch (theatrical version)
- AMC Backstory
- Trailers and TV spots
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Vidal’s novel has something to say, and some of the message crosses over into the movie if you look for it. The gist of the plot: the protagonist, once Myron Breckenridge, thanks to the good surgeons of Copenhagen, becomes Myra. She doesn’t reveal her other-gendered past when she takes a teaching position at an acting school in LA. Myra is a Classic Film aficionado who argues that no insignificant movie was made between 1935 and 1945. She asserts that every culture has a mythology from which it derives an identity, and the movies of 1935-45 form the American mythology; the actors of the era are the gods and goddesses of our myths. They define our sense of ethics, our world view, and our ideals of masculinity and femininity. Therein lies the problem. She believes the sex roles embodied in these films were all very well for building a nation and fighting Nazis, but are inappropriate to a world facing overpopulation and nuclear weaponry. She wants to remold our mythology by means of the movies, creating an America and (to the extent Hollywood movies have global reach) a world that is more bisexual and less dominated by traditional masculine bluster. The birthrate thus will fall and pressure will be eased on the nuclear trigger. A school for actors is as good a place to start on this task as any.
The traditional gender types reflective of ’35-45 are embodied by two students at the film school who plan to marry. Rusty is handsome, swaggering, and a bit of an ass. His wholesomely pretty and air-headed girlfriend Mary-Ann (Farrah Fawcett) wants nothing more than a white picket fence and four children with Rusty. Myra sets out to remold them by sexually humiliating Rusty and seducing Mary-Ann. Myra considers it a great success when the shattered Rusty shouts he is “sick of women.” Rusty in turn becomes so hostile to Mary-Ann that she announces, “I’ll never marry! I hate men!” Both are now better able to bring Myra’s vision to their future screen roles. Bisexuality is a double-edge sword, however, and Myra’s plans are endangered when she finds herself (the part of her still Myron) falling for Mary-Ann. In a related side-plot, casting agent Mae West reverses the casting couch by exploiting aspiring young male actors.
In many ways Myra is far in advance of its time. The film looks good, too, which counts for something. Though some critics complain about them, I like the use of classic film clips inserted into the movie; they help set the tone and make the point. (*SPOILER* follows.) While I’ll in no way argue that this is a misunderstood good movie, my only real personal complaint is the deviation from the ironic ending of the book, in which Mary-Ann marries a surgically re-altered Myron. In the film, treating events as a dream sequence may have simplified bringing the plot to a resolution, but it is altogether too facile to be satisfying.
Despite being fictional, Myra (the literary one anyway) in a sense might have had some success. The marriage and birth rates indeed have fallen since 1970 to all-time lows. Gender roles have lost definition; traditional attitudes sound increasingly quaint when not actually politically incorrect. Come to think of it, maybe omitting the marriage of Myron and Mary-Ann was the correct decision for the movie after all.
I loved the irony that this film was/is considered a 'disaster' when the majority of today's films are just visual/loud all-look-alike messes; the same stupid, re-cycled 'action' picture completely reliant on the same CGI, pyrotechnics, fireballs, glass shattering etc, with any "storyline" being there strictly for the next race-against-time scene to justify the aforementioned. This film 'impacted' me by thoroughly entertaining me with something I'd actually NEVER SEEN before! Wow! I think it's a 'must' for any Raquel fan as she totally steals the show. I can't really compare it to any other film as it's in a class by itself, but some elements of the films 'Tommy' and 'The Rocky Horror Show' from several years later (both 1975) are there. The film WAS considered one of the worst ever, and that may have been true back then. Today it doesn't even come close of course. The real treat with this gem is what Raquel (as Myra) says, and the WAY in which she delivers her lines, particularly with West. Then and now, she's a diamond---pure class!