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The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender

2.8 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the ground breaking director of ROCK HUDSON'S HOME MOVIES and FROM THE JOURNALS OF JEAN SEBERG, Mark Rappaport takes us on hilarious and provocative romp through the hidden and not so hidden gay undercurrents of Hollywoods Golden Years. Dan Butler (Frasier) acts as tour guide as he uncovers, despite efforts to launder American cinema of even the faintest traces of gay influences, Hollywood's squeamish fascination with gay eroticism and camp. Through the use of ingenious film clips, along with Rappaport's signature witty insights, THE SILVER SCREEN/COLOR ME LAVENDER brilliantly uncovers the unmistakable homoerotic flirtations, and the ambiguous behavior that richly imbued the peformances of Danny Kaye, Jerry Lewis, Cary Grant, and other film legends. THE SILVER SCREEN/COLOR ME LAVENDER is a rich and funny meditation on American sexual identity, film history and culture that will change the way you look at butch westerns or the campy charades of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in their "buddy" movies forever.

Review

Delightful, doesn't so much as poke about the celluloid closet as smash it to bits.. playfully subversive --Village Voice

Do see THE SILVER SCREEN/COLOR ME LAVENDER irreverent, adroit, sometimes scathing.. a serious piece of fun. --The New Yorker

... psychosexual documentary is a keidoscopic romp through the hidden undercurrents of movie history, a kind of richer, headier, free associative version of The Celluloid Closet. Hilarious. --Entertainment Weekly

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Dan Butler
  • Directors: Mark Rappaport
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Water Bearer Films, Inc
  • DVD Release Date: June 3, 2003
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000092T4S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,462 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 12, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
So I'm not the only one who obsessively watched these old movies as a kid and wondered why Walter Brennan kept showing up as the seemingly love-sick, woman-disparaging best friend of the handsome hero (usually Gary Cooper). Actually, this tape is a great companion piece to The Celluloid Closet. The Celluloid Closet maintains that the veiled gay characters of Hollywood's golden age were all comic sissies or tragically doomed or villainously deranged. This second look seems to say, "Well, usually. But if you take a second look at a few very familiar characters we all took for granted, alot of them were just regular guys." They spend alot of time analyzing Wendell Corey in Desert Fury as the overprotective, coffee fetching sidekick of gangster John Hodiak, but don't even mention the much more obvious relationship between gangster Robert Taylor and drunken sidekick Van Heflin in Johnny Eager. But it's a worthwhile rental and Dan Butler is too cute to only be seen on the world's most closeted sitcom Frasier, where he's forced to play a hetero.
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Couldn't watch this all the way through. The misinterpretation of gay humor in classic movies is twisted to prove that it is a cover for the actors or characters actually promoting homosexuality. Really off the mark...
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With the film clips out of context, this suggests many ideas that probably were not intended. Basically you do better to know the actor, then see if his inclinations affected his acting. While the speculations in narration might be interesting historically by decade and have some validity, it is not these clips that make it so. I also think the point is worth making that these movies were often seen by innocent eyes, and perhaps many scenes also play out that this was the intention. Has the world really forgotten there is love and friendship between people of any sex inclination without an ongoing sexual relationship, or have we become too jaded ourselves? Or did Hollywood make us this way? The film clips are not really in sinc with the narrative, but it does open to some fascinating discussion. Never saw Sal Mineo, like the cover portrays. He was a sensitive actor who died sadly before his time. I think this misrepresents, and I stand by my first sentence. It can be an offensive, dumb at times "film" to some- so be warned..
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This is awful!!!!... I have never seen so much jumping to the wrong conclusions and deliberate skewing of context in my life!!! (and that was in the first 15 minutes) I shut it off. I didn't need to see anymore to know what this was and where it wanted to go. I was ill the second they implied (wink wink) that Bob and Bing had a thing for each other and that it was alluded to, repeatedly, throughout their movies. And that when they both tried to kiss Dorothy Lamour's illusion which suddenly disappeared and they, accidently, kissed each other on the lips? [Why this... One must and is forced to question, mightn't THIS be a vehicle for them to, finally, express such pent up homosexual affection they truly had for one another?]

Apparently, if someone wants to believe something bad enough, they will turn Heaven and Earth upside-down, inside-out, topsy turvy and every which way to do it, even if (after all that) they have to just make it up when they come up empty.

I thought this was going to be comedy... a "spoof"-type movie as it touted the likes of John Wayne and his ilk (I didn't read what it was all about... just saw John Wayne and said, "I'm there!"... Little did I know, when I pressed 'play', I was headed down some dark alley, about to be clunked over the head and mugged by the Gay Mafia.

These liars have no qualms stretching the truth s-o-o-o-o-o far even if they have to fly far beyond the realm of absolute ridiculousness, on through to the more than far fetched fantasy regions of outer space. This is a desperate attempt to further their agenda and placate their own pent up hostility and emotions... Looking for justification under rocks and trees... with no apologies to whoever they might malign in the process.
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Really pedestrian documentary on various types of representations of Gay men in cinema throughout the years. The filmmaker seems determined to infer Gayness in just about any male onscreen friendship which at the very least a stretch with an outcome in mind. Some old clips are amusing to see but there are far better studies of the subject in other places.
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Format: VHS Tape
reasons... First of all, judging by technique and material employed, this film must have cost very little to make. Secondly, the quality of the tape varies from very good to very bad (couple of shots are all blurry and kind of twitching). High cost and average picture quality notwithstanding, the film itself is very interesting. Mark Rappaport gives us his own perspective on politics of Hollywood. Although his perspective is very subjective, it does make you think. I think first of all this film was meant to be good fun. However, if you look closer, you will find that underneath all that humor and fun Mark Rappaport has produced a serious study of Hollywood. He has managed to connect fun material with film theory, "queer theory" in particular. Film clips, used to illustrate author's point, vary from well-known "westerns" to screwball comedy. All films mentioned are old and classic ones. I, personally, could think of numerous other film clips that would fit in perfectly, but perhaps those clips were not available to the authors. Keep in mind that this film is neither a feature film nor a documentary. It is simply a collection of clips, intercepted with humorous monologue, read by Dan Butler.
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