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.



Above: Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray in Swing High, Swing Low

“There was always the implication that Clark Gable did not want to work with a gay director,” Maietta says. “That is absolutely false.” The supposedly macho Gable was actually a somewhat introverted man and did not have particular animus toward gay people, Maietta says, and what’s more, he didn’t have the power to have the director fired.

The real problem with Cukor, he says, was his concentration on the film’s smaller, more intimate scenes rather than its epic sweep, which irritated producer David O. Selznick no end. Victor Fleming came in and brought the epic touch, while Cukor worked a few weeks on another Fleming film, The Wizard of Oz. There, Maietta says, Cukor made the valuable contribution of removing Judy Garland’s blond wig and excessive makeup, giving her Dorothy the more natural look that has been a key part of the movie’s enduring appeal. So all ended well.

LGBT film fans can count on more happy endings, along with some of our people’s history, from Here’s Hollywood. “There wouldn’t be a Hollywood if it wasn’t for us, and people need to know that,” he says. “I’m really excited to be a part of this.”


Here’s Hollywood is available exclusively on Here TV and Here TV Online. On most major cable providers, Here TV can be found by entering the “On Demand” menu, selecting “Premium,” and then selecting “Here TV on Demand.” You can also sign up for Here TV Online, the network’s premium online subscription video player, at For more on Tony Maietta, visit

Tags: television