Thursday, February 19, 2009

RANDOLPH SCOTT

Did the Los Angeles Times in an essay called "The Language of Desire" published in their Sunday(2-15-09) Calendar Section "out" Randy?  

The essay by Reed Johnson with a sub-headline of ...."Gunsels, victims, the sex-obsessed tricks. Hollywood has long been drawn to a limited range of gay 'types,' but with Milk Sean Penn embodies a far different--and admirable---leading man."

The article goes on to mention the different ways gays were portrayed in different movies and under CRUISING (a 1980 film directed by William Friedkin and starring Al Pacino) Johnson writes...."Partly under pressure from the bluenoses administering the Hays Code, Hollywood went back in the closet during the Eisenhower presidency and more or less stayed there until the late 1960's (although Sal Mineo and a few others managed to slip out once in a while.)  Coyness and euphemism were part of the day, with the likes of Rock Hudson and Randolph Scott impersonating big-screen macho men."

Was Scott gay as long rumored?  (Taylor Hackford alluded to this a bit in his commentary on one of the discs in the Budd Boetticher box set.) I don't know and I don't give a tinker's damn one way or the other.  Scott made some of the greatest westerns ever and over the years several of them have grown in stature with me and now appear on my  "all-time favorite movies" list.  The reason I say "over the years" is that when I was a kid I didn't care for Scott or his westerns that much....they were too adult, I suppose.  Even in my 20's thru my late 40's I enjoyed some of his oaters but still didn't care for him that much....but when I hit my 50's I suddenly started really appreciating him, his work and his movies.  Maybe I just aged into appreciating them and him.....like he gracefully aged in his work.

The Statler Brothers have a great song called WHERE HAVE YOU GONE RANDOLPH SCOTT and the lyrics go something like this.....and are a bit ironic in parts.

Everybody knows when you go to the show you can't take the kids along.
 You've gotta read the paper and know the code of PG and R and X.  
And you gotta know what the movie's about before you go.  
Tex Ritter's gone and Disney's dead and the screen is filled with sex . 
Whatever happened to Randolph Scott ridin' the range alone ? 
Whatever happened to Gene and Tex and Roy and Rex , The durango Kid?
Oh whatever happened to Randolph Scott, his horse plain as could be?
 Whatever happened to Randolph  Scott has happened to the best of me.
Everybody's tryin' to make a comment about our doubts and fears.  
True Grit's the only movie I've really understood in years.  
You gotta take your analyst along to see if it's fit to see. 
 Whatever happened to Randolph Scott happened to the industry.  
Whatever happened to Johnny Mack Brown and Alan Rocky Lane? 
Whatever happened to Lash LaRue? I'd love to see them again.  
Whatever happened to Smiley Burnette, Tim Holt and Gene Autry?
Whatver happened to all of them has happened to the best of me.  
Whatever happened to Randolph Scott has happened to the industry.


6 comments:

BHC said...

Like you say, it makes no difference to me if Scott was gay. In CARY GRANT:a biography by Marc Eliot he addresses the alleged relationship between the two stars and concludes that there indeed was a sexual relationship. The evidence is dubious; they shared a house together and palled around. So did Henry Fonda and James Stewart, but nothing is implied there. James Ellroy often refers to Scott as not only gay but wildly promiscuous. Although Scott never appears in any of his novels about Hollywood and crime (WHITE JAZZ, THE BIG NOWHERE, AMERICAN TABLOID), he is often said to have f***pads all over L.A. Bottom line? We'll never know for sure. Even if some middle aged man comes forth saying he and Scott were lovers, how do we know he's not in it for the dough of exploiting a dead star's sexuality? Regardless, his westerns live on, and it's a better world for having them.

Jangoz said...

I couldn't say it any better.

Raymie said...

If you liked fonda's politics you didn't care for stewarts.If you liked stewart's politics you didn't care for fondas.Hollywood and the country have always devided on this subject.But hollywood and the country have always agreed that they were straight.Scott and grant were penny pinching tight and said that there bachelor hall was shared to save money.Eleven or twelve years is a long time to share to save money.Grant made two films with The Philadelphia Story one of them where he worked for free and gave his salaries for the war effort.That doesn't seem penny pinching tight to me.Randy took a show to the troops with joe derita later of the stooges and little joe was queer as a two dollar bill.Grant believed it was lighter and simpler to fold and pack panties in his suitcase plus it took less room.Grant got past the hays office that line in Bringing Up Baby ''Because I just went gay all of a sudden!"" they never picked up on it.The line wasn't in the script,grant did an adlib.George Cukor said grant was extremely closed mouth about it,but randy would tell a friend.Randy was referred to as the wife.A role I don't much care for.After all is said and done,who is living that was at a bachelor hill party in 1933 and saw them hold hands? Nobody.This means nothing to me.I can spout off the top of my head hear say and conjecture all day and nothing holds up in court.Roger Patterson took grainy 8mm footage in 1967 of a bigfoot.Forty two years later we have still no better proof than that.If someone says he saw them leave a film fuction at night and kiss in the parking lot goodbye in 1967,we have a one witness not on oath report.I judge the performance,not the private persona of the actor.I really and truly feel true pity for christopher scott spending his life defending his father.He should not have to do this.It will never die down and it will never go away.I don't care myself.But a lot of others sure seem to care.

Jangoz said...

Randy was a very religious man. I was told by several people over the years that if you wanted to see him all you had to do was to go to his church, I believe he was Catholic, in Beverly Hills on any given Sunday as he never missed a Sunday service. I never went as I thought it would be intruding....

Tom B. said...

Like Jangoz I didn't care for Scott for years. I guess I always thought of him as too old. In the last few years I've seen almost all of his later westerns and have come to enjoy them and Scott very much. Like Rock Hudson, Tab Hunter I don't think about their sexuality when they are on screen.

raymie said...

A Freemason and episcopalian who was close to rev.billy graham.He was married just like joanie and you until death which lasted forty two years for them.When all is said and done I don't want to believe these rumors so I don't.This is why I left message boards at imdB,it matters not what I said here about grant and randy,if anymore acts like a torch and spouts and spews negative about him,I am on top of them real hard.I was worse thirty years ago but the years don't make wisdom...just old age.