The Gay Deceivers (1969/Dark Sky DVD)
C†††† Sound: C†††† Extras: C†††† Film: C
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.
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.
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.
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.
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