Friday, November 27, 2009

"From Here To Eternity" Was a Whole Lot Gayer!

One of the most famous scenes in movie history, this passionate make-out session on the beach, is from the Hollywood version of "From Here To Eternity." Bert Lancaster and Deborah Kerr can't control themselves. Turns out, neither could some soldiers with other guys. But that didn't make the movie. Heck, much of it didn't make the book.

There's this incredible article by Kaylie Jones, over at The Daily Beast. Kaylie is the daughter of James Jones, who wrote the book From Here To Eternity. It was published in 1951, but Kaylie reveals in the article her father's battle with his publisher about a whole gay sex plotline, of soldiers having sex with men for money, and in one case, enjoying it.

You can click on the image in the article and see two of the actual pages where cuts were made, and still read the original type-written scene underneath the crossed out lines.

It's nothing more salacious than in any YA novel these days. But still, because it's Gay, there would probably be a furor over it, even Today.

And that's one of the more poignant moments of the article, because Kaylie says of her father,

He also believed also that homosexuality was a natural condition of men in close quarters, and that it in no way affected a soldier’s capabilities on the battlefield. What would have amazed him is that the discussion still continues to this day, cloaked in the same hypocrisy and silence as it was 60 years ago.

The story of her father's fight to keep some of the Gay content in what became an iconic historical novel is a powerful statement about censorship and our culture's lack of maturity and honesty when it comes to homosexuality.

We're still talking about Don't Ask Don't Tell.

And this just shows how antiquated and ridiculous that is.

Huge thanks to my twitter friends, @heatherwpetty and @EllenHopkinsYA for sharing this article with me, so I could share it with you. This is a great example of what makes twitter so powerful.

1 comment:

Willow Polson said...

A timely article considering that one of the men in the gay paranormal romance book I'm writing "dropped the soap on purpose a few times" when he was in the military, to use his words. Very interesting, thanks for posting that.