“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Secret Life of Tab Hunter…

Posted on October 26, 2015 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

   A new documentary shares the story of a teen sensation. A major star at Warner Brothers, his private life is now the subject for analysis in Tab Hunter Confidential. And its release enjoys the blessings of the 84-year-old actor, the subject of the piece.

tab_hunter_poster   Based on Hunter’s terrifically entertaining 2005 memoir (written with Eddie Muller) and produced by his longtime partner, Allan Glaser, this documentary features Hunter talking about the pleasures of his stardom (fueled more by the fan magazines and the pop singles he cut, than the mostly lackluster pictures Warner Brothers gave him); and his enduring frustrations with how stardom that limited his chances to be a great thespian, opportunities more forthcoming in live television work under the direction of Arthur Penn, John Frankenheimer, and others.

   There are reminiscences from Robert Wagner, Debbie Reynolds, and John Waters, who cast Hunter opposite Divine in Polyester. Much of the documentary focuses on Hunter’s experience as a closeted gay man promoted as a heartthrob to teen girls. To that end, Tab Hunter, good-humored throughout, tells a story that defies expectations. There were, of course, threats of outing — notably, from the scandal rag Confidential — but, also protection from the studio, with one touching moment of support coming from Jack Warner.

   The production follows Hunter’s life after leaving Warner Brothers, the bad movies, and years on the dinner-theater circuit. Some of his cinematic work was surprisingly good, most notably, his starring roles in Damn Yankees and They Came to Cordura. And it reveals the quiet refusal beneath Hunter’s affable, casual manner to accept his failure to become a serious actor, nor a convenient symbol of gay pride.

   The result is a refreshing and positive expose of scintillating biography and survival. Today, the movie star spends most of leisure time at equestrian events. Comfortable in his own skin, Tab Hunter is quite happy with the legacy he leaves on the screen; a top money-grossing star in the mid-to-late 1950s, and a career all but finished by the next decade.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Monday, October 26th, 2015 at 1:05 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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