Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hollywood Star Franklin Pangborn

For his contributions to motion pictures, Pangborn has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1500 Vine Street.  Sadly, not many people recognize his name.  He served in World War I and worked on Broadway before going into silent movies starting around 1926.  He was a talented actor and versitle but became favored for his comedic roles.  Mack Sennett used him in many shorts.  His facial expressions and mannerisms didn't quite classify him in the realm of somewhat effiminate male characters that film historians would later call "sissy" parts, but he was often close.  His uptight characters were often authority figures that ultimately were turned on their behinds, much to the delight of the audience.
Pangborn with a famous Tarzan
It's reported that  W.C. Fields was a great fan of him which is why he used him in several movies (including 1940s The Bank Dick), as well as working with Frank Capra, Gregory La Cava, and Preston Sturges.  In 1942 he worked in.

Yet Pangborn's usual stock of characters could fit drama as well. Actually, in Hero his coordinator Now, Voyager as the cruise tourist director with legendary Bette Davis.  As the talent of the silent era slipped into the shadows of Hollywood while television was in its infacncy, he used his connections and skills to work often on the little screen.

It was reported that Pangborn lived with his mother and his "occasional boyfriend.  He passed away on July 20, 1958

  • Exit Smiling (1926) - first film
  • Cheer Up and Smile (1930)
  • Not So Dumb (1930)
  • The Loud Mouth (1932)
  • The Half-Naked Truth (1932)
  • International House (1933)
  • Bed of Roses (1933)
  • Menu (1933)
  • Wild Poses (1933 Little Rascals short)
  • Flying Down to Rio (1933)
  • Strictly Dynamite (1934)
  • Young and Beautiful (1934)
  • 1,000 Dollars a Minute (1935)
  • The Headline Woman (1935)
  • Tomorrow's Youth (1935)
  • My Man Godfrey (1936)
  • Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
  • Easy Living (1937)
  • Stage Door (1937)
  • Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (1938)
  • Vivacious Lady (1938)
  • Four's a Crowd (1938)
  • Carefree (1938)
  • Just Around the Corner (1938)
  • Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938)
  • Topper Takes a Trip (1939)
  • Christmas in July (1940)
  • The Bank Dick (1940)
  • The Flame of New Orleans (1941)
  • Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Brokeback Mountain

Many film historians have suggested that it will take decades before the true impact of Brokeback Mountain upon society can be analyzed and put into its proper context.  2005’s Brokeback Mountain was nominated for eight Academy Awards, the most nominations given out at the 78th Academy Awards.  The movie eventually won three categories: Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score.  In addition, Brokeback Mountain was honored with Best Picture and Best Director awards by the British Academy of Film and Television, four Golden Globes, and many others accolades.  But perhaps its lasting achievement will not be remembered by the awards that it received but rather in how this movie helped to accelerate changes in mainstream society’s attitudes towards the “unseen” gay population living all around them; changes that would eventually include open acceptance into the military and laws to legally marry in several states.   
Without pandering to tired old stereotypes, Brokeback Mountain depicts the complex and deep love between two masculine cowboys over the course of their lives.  It’s set in the American West between 1963 and 1983.  What makes the movie truly unique is that the story is not about gay men fighting against specific discrimination or wrongful acts that have happened against them, as other gay-related movie themes have often portrayed.   This is a personal love story.  And it’s a tragic love story, because we the audience witness firsthand how they have been conditioned by society, beginning as little boys, to treat their love as something shameful that is to be hidden.  We see that these two men were not out protesting to change the world.  They were not in court trying to avenge wrongful actions from employers.  These two quiet-living people were trying to do what a homophobic society demanded of them in order to fit in: pretend that their love didn’t exist, and the high cost this lie demanded upon many lives.  To drive home the point, the audience learns that one of them never forgot childhood memories of a man who was murdered because he was gay and his recollections of the lack of sympathy about this man’s violent death.  Secretly (and not so secretly to those closest to them) they suffered all of their lives.  
 Whether intentional or not, the film does not demand that the two leading men self-define their relationship (or their sexuality) so that the audience can then comfortably detach in order to judge them.   As British reviewer Matthew E. Crossnaught pondered in relation to the movie’s two masculine characters and their complicated relationship: “How many married men, like me, have had at least one time [with another man], or have known or suspected such secrets  about those that we love?”  Once the film began to become popular with audiences and more theatres began to show it, the conservative right began turning up their assault on the movie in an attempt to discourage its acceptance and sympathetic storyline. 

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Academy Awards: Milk Turns Gold

In 2009 Dustin Lance Black won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for the 2008 film, Milk. 

Raised in a strict Mormon household (he won two Writers Guild of America Awards for his work on the television series Big Love).  Growing up surrounded by Mormon culture and military bases, Dustin said he worried about his sexuality. He told himself, "I'm going to hell. And if I ever admit it, I'll be hurt, and I'll be brought down" when he found himself attracted to a boy in his neighborhood at the age of about 7.

Dustin spoke movingly of the day he read Harvey Milk's real life story. Milk, who was shot dead in 1978, was the first openly gay man elected to public office in California. "It gave me the hope one day I could live my life openly as who I am and then maybe even I could fall in love and one day get married," Black said.

"If Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he would want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are 'less than' by their churches, by the government or by their families: that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value. And that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you. And that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights federally across this great nation of ours. Thank you, God, for giving us Harvey Milk."
 It's reported that his acceptance speech was censored in 50 different Asian nations by pan-Asian satellite TV network STAR, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.  STAR spokeswoman Jannie Poon defended the network’s muting of the words “gay” and “lesbian” by saying STAR has “a responsibility to take the sensitivities and guidelines of all our markets into consideration.”

In 2010, Mr. Black was elected to the Board of Directors of the Trevor Project, a national crisis and suicide prevention organization helping Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Questioning young people who are facing familial rejection or considering suicide.

Note: There's much more to Mr. Black's biography---this post is related to the Oscars.  The rest of his interesting life will be featured later.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Academy Awards circa 1993


If a film has the ability to bring awareness of an important issue (that people don't really understand because of fear), then I think it has definitely achieved something phenomenal. 

Philadelphia won Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Tom Hanks) and Best Song (Bruce Springsteen) for "Streets of Philadelphia".  It was inspired by the story of Geoffrey Bowers, an attorney who in 1987 sued a law firm for unfair dismissal in one of the first AIDS discrimination cases. When Jonathan Demme, having won the Oscar for The Silence of the Lambs, decided to direct a major studio film about AIDS, he took on the opportunity of making it into a movie mainstream audiences might actually come to see (and maybe even learn something about gay men, not just the stereotypes they already knew). It worked! This film's gay hero, Andrew Beckett, was listed on the American Film Institute AFI's list of the "Top 100 Heroes and Villains" in motion picture history.

In the movie we meet Andrew Beckett, a gay lawyer with AIDS, who's fired from his conservative law firm out of fear that they might get AIDS from him.  But it's more...they also don't like "fags" as we learn.  After Andrew's fired, in a last attempt for peace in his life, he decides to sue his former law firm...with the help of homophobic African American lawyer, Joe Miller (Denzel Washington).  During the court battle, Miller sees that Beckett is no different than anyone else and sheds his homophobia.

It's telling that concerns about offending straight mainstream audiences for the era had less to do with showing the horror of AIDS, and more to do with showing two men in love who are living a "normal" life together.  In the movie, Beckett's longtime lover Miguel Álvarez (played by Antonio Banderas) barely gets any scenes...just enough to let the audience know that these two are as happy and committed as any straight couple. In an interview for the 1996 documentary The Celluloid Closet, Mr. Hanks remarked that scenes showing more affection between him and Banderas were cut, including a scene showing him and Banderas in bed together (the DVD edition of the film includes that scene).  Especially great however is the portrait of Beckett's family, who's there to support him and his partner through the course of the difficult trial and his sickness Here's a family that is presented as a strong loving unit, something refreshing to see in a mainstream film with gay men.

If a film ever has the ability to open audiences' eyes to something like the early AIDS epidemic, to not gloss over its impact on society but to deal with the real fears of people honestly, and then to show that gay men are normal humans too, that is an accomplishment worth celebrating... and Philadelphia is that movie.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Horned Attraction: Men in Heat


"I was born a man with two talents, one for the theatre and one for art. I pursued both of these arts from the time I was very young. I started drawing in kindergarten. I was working with oils by the time I was in fifth grade and had my first exhibition at that time.

When I reached puberty I became entranced by what was happening to me sexually and I drew hundreds of drawings of my erect cock. While I had been drawing men since I was five, I now began to draw them with less clothes and more visible genitals.

In the seventies, I saw the Satyr as the perfect symbol of gay men in that period. In Greek myth, satyrs bring joy and love into the lives of men.

I praise the beauty of masculine men in my art, of their grace, of the passion of their sexuality. Of the peaks and valleys of their fleshscape. Of their raw power. Of their gentle kindness. Of love between men. Of their hardness of body, the wealth of hair on their chest and bodies, of their sense of companionship."

February 1996
(from Beasts & Beauties: The Erotic Art of Olaf )

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Amercia's First Gay President?

Some homophobic people still refuse to acknowledge that America's had at least one gay president.  Even though the man in question is routinely regarded as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history, they still don't want to elevate the standing of  a "homosexual" to that prestigous job title--it's just not as easy to try and brand all gays with molesting and bestiality arguments when there was a Commander in Chief who had a long-term love affair with another man.  And the president's likely lover? He once held the title of United States Vice President.

As the 15th President of the United States (from 1857 to 1861) James Buchanan was as they say, a 'life-long bachelor' and the only U.S. president to have never married.  But that doesn't mean he was gay, right?   Sure, there's also the fact that for 15 long years (prior to his presidency), Buchanan lived with his dearest friend, Alabama Senator William Rufus King.  So what if King never married in his lifetime, either.  But that doesn't make them gay.  Lots of men lived together back then, but they usually did so because of money--these were two wealthy gentleman.   And so what if they wrote many intimate letters to one another, personal enough in content that the president's nieces destroyed most of them upon the president's death?   All of that doesn't prove anything they argue--there is nothing in that record to confirm without a doubt his sexual preference. And this is true.

Yet it's more than just these facts that's lead respected historians to believe he was gay.  It's looking at not just selected parts of his life, but putting everything together that forms a conclusion.  The argument made, that it's totally inappropriate to apply today's values and living standards to other eras, is absolutely correct--however even for the time peiord in which Mr. Buchanan lived, rumors were circulating about his sexuality.  In Professor Loewen's book, "Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong," the scholar asserts that Buchanan's long-time living companion, King, was referred to as "Aunt Fancy" by the era's Beltway crowd.  Who were these beltway gossips and why would anyone believe them?  Oh, people like Andrew Jackson, who liked to refer to King as "Miss Nancy." There's also Aaron V. Brown ( Governor of Tennessee and Postmaster General in the Buchanan administration) who spoke of the two as "Buchanan and his wife."  The point is, Buchanan's sexual orientation was widely rumored  while he was still living, to the point that when people talked about "Mrs. Buchanan" they typically knew it meant Mr. King.

Yet despite this bitchy name calling, there were no Moral Majority or Bible thumping fundamentalists in politics strong enough to plague them or ruin their lives. The King-Buchanan liaison was generally accepted (and snickered at) as a political and personal fact of life.  Rightfully so, the nation was consumed with real issues like freedom and slavery.

But wait! There's still the argument that in 1819, James Buchanan almost married Ann Coleman. The couple had became engaged. Then, Coleman heard rumors about Buchanan (exactly what they were about has been disputed. Suggestions include his drinking, wanting to marry for money, and sexual dalliances).  She was embarrassed and hurt and broke off the engagement.  She then died of an opium overdose. Buchanan was not allowed to attend her funeral.  While some use this intended marriage as proof that he was heterosexual, VGMH knows marriages of convenience happen all the time, and especially happen a lot in political careers.

Mr. Buchanan wrote in 1844, after his companion Mr. King left for France: "I am now solitary and alone, having no companion in the house with me.  I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them.  I feel that it is not good for man to be alone; and should not be astonished to find myself married to some old maid who can nurse me when I am sick, provide good dinners for me when I am well, and not expect from me any very ardent or romantic affection."

By 1852 King was elected Vice President of the United States with Franklin Pierce in 1852 and took the oath of office on March 24, 1853. Shortly afterward, King returned to his Chestnut Hill plantation and died within 2 days.  This adds yet another dimension to history--a gay Vice President.  Eventually abandoned by his party, Pierce was not renominated to run in the 1856 presidential election and was replaced by James Buchanan as the Democratic candidate.

In his December 1860 message to Congress (just 3 months before Lincoln was inaugurated as the new President), President Buchanan declared that the southern states had no right to leave the union, but that the federal government had no right to stop them. By the time he left office 3 months later, 7 states had already left the Union, and the Confederates had looted the arsenals in the South. Buchanan did not exercise his powers as Commander In Chief.  After he left the White House, Buchanan explained that he did not stop secession out of fear that hostile African Americans would overrun the North.  On Buchanan's final day as president, March 4, 1861, he remarked to the incoming Lincoln, "If you are as happy in entering the White House as I shall feel on returning to Wheatland, you are a happy man."

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Thank You, Evan

After seeing the hairy set of balls on one our vintage Valentine smut models  (Feb 12th posting of a hairy man receiving a friendly blow job from his enthusiastic friend), VGMH follower Evan was kind enough to share some photos with me.  Now for those who appreciate a handsome man in his au' natural state, with hair growing up the shaft of his magestic penis, this is one beauty for sure!   Please look for the rest of the photos here and tweeted to VGMH followers this weekend-thanks again, Evan!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine Fun, circa 1974

Ahhhh, innocence of mutual attraction.  Those wonderful haircuts.  The hip-hugging pants.  This can only be the 1970s.
How sweet.  That's quite a tongue-swapping kiss being given.  Or could it be a preview for what other talented things he can do with his mouth?  Maybe this won't be as innocent as originally thought.
It's easy to wonder if they have Led Zeppelin IV playing on the stereo or The Dark Side of the Moon.  One thing leads to another, and next thing you know, somebody's pants are off, in fact everybody's naked, and somebody's cock is getting the royal treatment by that same mouth. 
Stay tuned more of these lucky lovers in part two tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

More Goroovy Valentine Lovin'

This treat comes with an extra gift that was common back in 1971: Hairy balls.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

This couple is way-cool and ready to get it on.  Guess which year these photos were taken in:
  • 1964
  • 1979
  • 1971
  • 1976
 More of their adventures in lovemaking to come!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Jim Got Married! (And This Time It Was For Real!)

Rock Hudson's name was back in the national news this past week, and became something of an historical reminder of just how far gay acceptance has happily progressed. According to a report by a Hawaiian television news station, Jim Nabors married Stan Cadwallader (his longtime companion of 38 years), sparking renewed interest in a decades-old (and totally untrue) urban legend about Jim and Rock getting married in the 1970s.

Over the years it's been widely reported that, according to Hudson, the legendary gossip originated with a group of "middle-aged homosexuals who live in Huntington Beach" who sent out joke invitations for their annual get-together in the early 1970s.  The joke that insiders got was when the group allegedly invited its members to witness "the marriage of Rock Hudson and Jim Nabors", at which Hudson would take the surname of Nabors' most famous character, Gomer Pyle, becoming "Rock Pyle".
Amazingly, the gossip took on a life of its own.   Many people outside of the entertainment and gay communities had no idea that these two stars might be "like that."  Both men were loved by their fans and admired for their popular roles.  Mr. Nabors originated the character of the hapless but love able gas-station attendant Gomer Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show,” and reprised the role in 5 seasons of “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”.  He also appeared on “The Carol Burnett Show,” “The Muppet Show,” and his own variety series, “The Jim Nabors Hour.”
 The situation probably wasn't helped when the October 1972 edition of MAD magazine (issue No. 154), included a spoof complete with a Rona Barrett type gossip columinst who stated, "...and there isn't a grain of truth to the vicious rumor that movie and TV star Rock Heman and singer Jim Nelly were secretly married! Rock and Jim are just good buddies! I repeat, they are not married! They are not even going steady! This is Rona Boring reporting from Hollywood!"
Fast forward to today's world, and Hawaii News Now reported that Mr. Nabors met Mr. Cadwallader, a former firefighter in Honolulu, in 1975.  VGMH congratulates the newlyweds!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

1974's February Treat

The cover model was Jerry Mansfield (with Mary Pat Bonney) and was photographed by Norbert Jobst.  This nifty magazine included features such as: Anatomy Of A Live Sex Show, an interview with Rock Hudson, and what everyone wants to know...Should Your Doctor Be Your Lover?

The Playgirl Discovery model was a salty man of the sea,
Mr. Gene Burton.