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May 20, 2012


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David Ehrenstein

She's so lovely in that. Made the same year as "Vertigo" Richard Quine and John Van Druten give Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart the happy ending that Hitchcock wasn't interested in.

Not David Bordwell

Bell, Book and Candle is one of my favorite movies of that era about what it's like to be gay and closeted, whatever its "manifest" content is about. Witchcraft, right?

David Ehrenstein

It's subtext is gay life before "Stonewall." Van Druten (who adapted Isherwood's "Berlin Stories" to the stage as "A Am A Camera") was gay and the "Zodiac Club" is obviously a chic Village gay dive. Jack Lemmon's bongo-playing Warlock using his abilities to turn out streetlamps "for his love life" is clearly "coded-gay." And that's not to mention that French singer-dancer's performance at the club.


Now, why do I think that's a Cindy Sherman photo?


one of my favorites

Not David Bordwell

@David Ehrenstein: That's what I thought, but did not want to presume without the cultural bona-fides. Thanks for the corroboration, and the line on John Van Druten -- I did not know about him or his connection to Christopher Isherwood, a shame since I'm fairly obsessed with CABARET and Weimar Berlin in general.

David Ehrenstein

"Cabaret" credits Van Druten's "I Am A Camera" as its primary source, rather than Isherwood's "Berlin Stories." The book of the Broadway show is quite different than the screenplay for Bob Fosse's film. But the film is tons gayer than the Broadway show.

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