Classic Movies Through an LGBT Lens

As host of Here's Hollywood, Tony Maietta offers behind-the-scenes dish, highlights LGBT contributions to Hollywood's golden era, and finds the gay subtext in the performances of Bob Hope.

BY Trudy Ring

November 16 2012 4:49 AM ET

Above: Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour in My Favorite Brunette

 

He thinks Here’s Hollywood will change that and also make viewers aware of gay characters, coded and otherwise, and subtext in vintage movies. “It’s interesting to see how we were portrayed,” he says. As a matter of fact, the star of the series’ next installment had a persona with some stereotypically gay traits, and his name might surprise some fans: Bob Hope. In his sardonic, bitchy screen portrayals, “he’s not too far removed from Sean Hayes in Will & Grace,” Maietta says of Hope, who costars with Dorothy Lamour in My Favorite Brunette (pictured above), premiering November 30. Moreover, he says, the “renowned heterosexual” Hope had his best on-screen chemistry with another man — Bing Crosby.

Maietta hopes to bring many more classic films to Here TV audiences, and he has numerous other projects as well. Two of them are related to his favorite film, the iconic 1975 documentary Grey Gardens. He’s working with Jerry Torre, who appeared in the film when he was a young handyman in demand at the decaying Beale mansion and was dubbed “the Marble Faun” by Little Edie, on Torre’s autobiography, titled Faun in the Garden. He also a producer on a documentary about Torre, a gay man who has become a sculptor (working in marble, no less), called The Marble Faun of Grey Gardens, by directors Jason Hay and Steve Pelizza.

Maietta notes that his list of favorite movies and stars is ever-changing, but Grey Gardens remains at the top. What’s a favorite bit of Hollywood gossip he could share? Well, for one, Clark Gable did not have George Cukor fired from Gone With the Wind, he says.

Tags: television

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