* an ongoing project for Gay Pride Month
Film: The Haunting
Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, Russ Tamblyn.
In a Nutshell: Three people are chosen by a parapsychologist to spend some time in an allegedly haunted house to observe whatever strange events they might encounter. Breathing doors, ghostly voices, and spectral graffiti greet them; and one of the guests gets much more than they bargained for.
What's So Gay About It?: Bitch Please! Besides the director who had previously given the world, West Side Story - and would then deliver, The Sound of Music; The Haunting featured a major character who was not only a fabulous fashion horse, she was also a lesbian! Claire Bloom as Theo was the sexiest sister of Sappho to come along in like, forever! Not only was she well coiffed, she was also taken with the film's most disturbed character, Nell (Julie Harris). Poor Nell, desired by a lesbian, in love with a married man, and carrying around enough guilt to power the entire Catskills resort community for a season and a half is a hot mess. In fact, Hill House seems to focus it's demonic energies on her alone, making her more batty than she already is. Make no mistake, Julie Harris OWNS this movie, and she's one pathetic little time-bomb of pent up sexual frustration and anger just waiting to blow up - happily, that haunted estate is more than eager to assist her to this end. Oh, and keep an eye out for Russ Tamblyn, who seems to be wearing the same skin tight pants he danced around in from West Side Story - just sayin' is all.
Cool Stuff: This tidbit from IMDB: Claire Bloom was intrigued to the play the role of a woman who was attracted to another woman. She said she got along with everyone on the set, except for Julie Harris, who tried everything to avoid her and not talk to her. At the end of the shoot, Harris went over to Bloom's house with a present and explained that the reason she had kept to herself was to stay in character, because Harris' role in the film was that of an outsider that none of the others understand or will listen to. Bloom was happy to hear the real reason behind Harris' behavior, since Bloom stated that she really liked Harris and could not understand what she herself had done wrong to be treated like that by her co-star.
Gay Quotability: The world is full of inconsistencies. Full of unnatural beings, nature's mistakes they call you for instance!