re: Tony and Riff
Posted by: BroadwayTonyJ 11:25 am EDT 05/10/21
In reply to: re: Tony and Riff - Sam890 09:37 am EDT 05/10/21

Many of the films of the 50's which were about adolescent or juvenile gangs had a gay subtext, films like The Wild One, Crime in the Streets, Rebel Without a Cause, and others. Some of the dance scenes in the '61 West Side Story, which were directed by Robbins, are intentionally homo-erotic. Chakiris in an old interview stated that he had to wear very tight pants with no conventional underwear in one scene. The pants kept splitting when he danced revealing his very white butt. Eventually they ran out of pants so he had to wear some sort of black leotard underneath to complete the scene.

In the film Lincoln, directed by Spielberg and written by Kushner, there is a scene between Daniel Day Lewis and a young, good looking actor who plays his personal military aide. Their conversation (though coded) suggests they have a romantic and/or sexual relationship. It's pretty subtle but it was apparent to me. When I mentioned this scene to a straight friend of mine who had seen and loved the film, he was clueless as to what I was talking about.

I don't want to get into some contentious argument about whether it's a good or bad idea to have a gay subtext in the West Side Story remake, but given what I have been reading in some of the on-line columns about the upcoming film, I think it's possible that there will be some sort of subtext in it that would be recognizable to a gay audience but not necessarily obvious to a straight one. Let's just wait and see.

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