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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Gay > Military > The Gay Deceivers (1969/Dark Sky DVD)

The Gay Deceivers (1969/Dark Sky DVD)


Picture: C†††† Sound: C†††† Extras: C†††† Film: C



The TV sitcom sense was slowly crossing over into big screen movie comedies even in the 1960s, in part because the movies were anxious to steal the big color TV audiences hits of the late 1960s were netting in record numbers.This also informed some of the then-more daring comedies and that included independently-produced product like Bruce Kesslerís The Gay Deceivers.


The story of two straight men who pretend to be gay to avoid being drafted and sent to Vietnam was most relevant in 1969, but the majors were not going to touch it.Kevin Coughlin and Larry Casey play the best friends lying as best they can to the U.S. Government and still try to juggle women in their lives without being caught.Instead, they land up at gay bars, dealing with strangers they have to fool and more than enough idiot plot to go around keeps this amusing fluff watchable.


Dated for many reasons, there are some aspects of this that are unexpectedly shocking for their age and camp value, including a little more nudity than you might expect, but it is far from a great comedy.However, the performances are not bad, but the Gil Lasky/Abe Polsky/Jerome Wish screenplay is built on only a few jokes.They include homophobic situations, if anyone will discover the charade and how uncomfortable with a subject that was discussed as much then.


Some parts might be deemed politically incorrect, but to the filmís credit, there is surprisingly nothing hateful, ignorant or condescending about the film and that is why it becomes more of a time capsule of attitudes of the time instead of some sickening relic quickly forgotten.The DVD case notes that Kessler was a TV director, but notes his latest junk work, but not his best TV work by any means.For the record, he directed good episodes of I Dream Of Jeannie, The Monkees, Ironside, the original Mission: Impossible, It Takes A Thief, Barnaby Jones, Get Christie Love, The Rockford Files, Switch, Quincy, McCloud, Hart To Hart and Kolchak: The Night Stalker (in that case, Chopper, the first professional sale by Robert Zemeckisí career) and is a competent filmmaker who knows his way around a narrative.All in all, Gay Deceivers is a curio worth seeing once for some good gags.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image is a bit color weak throughout, not quite bringing out the originally intended color, but it is still watchable enough, though expect accompanying softness throughout.The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is also flatter and more distorted than expected, even for an optical mono theatrical release.Extras include stills, a radio spot and interview with Kessler.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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