In the movie, Michael Ontkean is a doctor, married to Kate Jackson for 8 years. He has been wondering if he is gay. He cruises a few bars and streets. Harry Hamlin is a gay author who goes to Michael's office for a physical. Yay! They develop an interest in each other. There is a little kissing and cuddling, but no hand spit sex scenes, as in Brokeback. Everybody wears tight shorts and pants. Everybody wants to be honest with themselves. The movie gives us a great account of the coming out of a closeted married guy. The plot is simple, but powerful. Very positive light.
This movie is deemed Hollywood's first major studio attempt at gay romance and I am very very glad that is has gotten a little attention lately, almost 25 years after its original theatrical release. The movie was released on DVD in February 2006. Brokeback certainly has a role in that.
Way to start Vintage Beacon (see the new categories on the side bar -- under "Other Junk in the Trunk"). Harry and Michael in bed:
A few mainstream places mention this movie was braver way before Brokeback. And it makes sense. The movie was released in 1982 and is credited with ending Harry Hamline career. Michael Douglas, Tom Berenger, Harrison Ford and Richard Gere, all turned down the role it appears. So, newcomers Michael Ontkean and Harry Hamlin stepped up. Kudos for them. It would be awesome to see a remake, though, wouldn't it? Maybe this is the gay role Brad Pitt has been looking for.
I thought the theatrical poster looked interesting:
AfterElton has a great interview with Barry Sandler, one of the writers for Making Love.