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Hollywood Goes to Its First Lesbian Bar and Can’t Stop Staring – JSTOR Daily

The primary Hollywood film to depict a lesbian bar was The Killing of Sister George (1968). The film.......

The primary Hollywood film to depict a lesbian bar was The Killing of Sister George (1968). The film was shot on location at an exact lesbian bar, Gateways, one other first for Hollywood. For this An factor of the film, A minimal of, director Robert Aldrich demanded reality.

Exploring the manufacturing historic previous of the film, film-research scholar Kelly Hankin argues that Aldrich’s “want for ‘reality’” displays A regular lurid curiosity amongst straight people about “clandestine lesbian space.” Bars, nightclubs, and lounges, Based mostly on Hankin, have “traditionally functioned not solely as a subcultural institution However in addition as a website for the heterointercourseual surveillance and administration of lesbians.”

With its lesbian seduction scene, The Killing of Sister George earned an X rating, the NC-17 of its day.

The Killing of Sister George was initially a darkly comic British play written by Frank Marcus, set completely in a Entrance room. The film, However, Can be principally filmed on Aldrich’s personal turf in Hollywood, Aside from exterior photographs and the crowded lesbian nightclub scenes. Aldrich specified thOn the lesbian bar “couldn’t be duplicated anythe place.” This location, Hankin reveals, was added on to The distinctive capturing agenda.

With its lesbian seduction scene, The Killing of Sister George earned an X rating, the NC-17 of its day. Aldrich acknowledged thOn the intercourseually particular scene Inside the film was what “will get people into the theater.” Even with media refusing to publicize X-rated films, Aldrich found Hollywood’s new cinematic freedom of the late Nineteen Sixties important to its advertising. Hankin Means that “the lesbian bar [scene] was motivated by The identical prurient pursuits.”

A male location scout described Gateways as having a “pretty ‘seedy’ environment” and “some real Lesbian varieties.” A crowd of “real” lesbian extras, many regulars at Gateways, Can be foregrounded Inside the film’s press method.

However Aldrich’s quest for reality had limits. Hankin notes that Individuals who consent to be filmed Have not any say over how they finally Shall be portrayed. Further Eileen Website, for one, felt cheated when she wasn’t credited for a talking half Inside the bar scene.

The intercourse scene and the centrality of The exact lesbian bar Inside the publicity Did not, As a Outcome of it occurred, make The Killing of Sister George a area-office success. Nonetheless, the film set a precedent of the “Want to each film in and to depict ‘real’ lesbian space,” Hankin writes. She additionally lists pretty A pair of examples since, the place exact lesbian spaces, and exact lesbian celebrities, in media focused On the primarystream heterointercourseual viewers tout their “bona fide standing” As a Outcome of the exact factor.


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By: Kelly Hankin

Cinema Journal, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Autumn, 2001), pp. 3-27

College of Texas Press on behalf of the Society for Cinema & Media Studies