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54 Director's Cut a Lost Gay Classic?

Meyer_phillippe

Popnography reports that a director's cut of Mark Christopher's 54 was "secretly" screened at L.A.'s Outfest on Friday and it's apparently revelatory:

Phillippe3"In 45 minutes of new (original, that is) footage assembled by Christopher -- using largely uncorrected, rough audio and video that was expertly edited -- we see Shane sleep with dozens of men and women, for career advancement or simply pleasure. Phillippe is in nearly every scene, and his performance is strong, sympathetic and seductive. It's also frequently nude, or barely dressed, and the camera clings to what one character calls his "body by David and face by Botticelli." And far from being merely a "love triangle," the slow, simmering sexual attraction among Phillippe, Meyer and Hayek -- especially an amazingly intense, evocative kiss between the two men towards the end of the film -- is equally as important as the queer family they make for themselves. Even Mike Myers -- whose role as 54 owner Steve Rubell was widely touted as his brave bid to be taken seriously as a dramatic actor -- benefits from the re-cut. The '98 version made him a caricature, a wise-cracking, ass-grabbing dirty old gay whose eyes were always bigger than his mouth. He's more creepy in this take, but also more empathetic, more tragically addicted to the beauty of youth no matter the cost."

Can anyone who happened to catch it on Friday second that?

A Phillippe-Meyer clip from 54, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. a wise-cracking, ass-grabbing dirty old gay whose eyes were always bigger than his mouth... addicted to the beauty of youth ..." hey, somebody made a movie about me?

    Posted by: the queen | Jul 14, 2008 6:56:09 PM


  2. well - makes sense that the FULL VERSION would be good - Mark Christopher's shorts were quite good, and the film 54 was amazingly disappointing, I remember cringing watching it! - and was clear at the time that someone screwed him over and forced him into that crappy version. Good luck to him getting the full version out to the public

    Posted by: bj | Jul 14, 2008 7:09:09 PM


  3. Thank GOD there's another version because the one I jacked off to in eighth grade was atrocious (save for the Phillippe nakedness). Looking forward to seeing this new cut (and more Phillippe nakedness).

    Posted by: Chas | Jul 14, 2008 8:10:14 PM


  4. @ CHAS: And dare I say you look forward to more of the jacking off?

    Posted by: My Other Car's the Tardis | Jul 14, 2008 8:19:09 PM


  5. I will personally avoid any movie that was de-gayed by the homophobes in Hollywood. They're trying to compensate for their past actions but my response to them is "nick off".

    Posted by: jason | Jul 14, 2008 8:34:07 PM


  6. Is there going to be a Director's Cut or uncut version released on DVD?

    Posted by: gr8guyca | Jul 14, 2008 9:22:56 PM


  7. I've always suspected that the film was cut not due to any perceived homophobia, but because someone at the top realized what a terrible actor Philippe is.

    Posted by: Roscoe | Jul 14, 2008 9:34:59 PM


  8. I've hoped for years and years that the director's cut would become available. I suppose that's still just a distant hope, but at least we know the footage still exists. The "official" castrated version is probably all we will ever have, but I still hope.

    Posted by: phil | Jul 14, 2008 9:46:34 PM


  9. WHAT??!!??

    Hollywood producers and directors putting pretty boys who can't act (but know how to repay a favor) into starring roles?!?!?

    You've crushed my youthful optimism and naivete.

    I must kill myself.

    Posted by: MikeInSanJose | Jul 14, 2008 10:10:09 PM


  10. I was at the screening and it's amazing. Vastly improved with characterizations that seemed empty the first time around. And can I just say that Ryan P. is smokin' up the screen. Who knows if it will ever come out, call or write Miramax and tell them to release it.

    Posted by: SRubell | Jul 14, 2008 10:56:18 PM


  11. The notion that the male-make kissing was cut because of bad acting sounds like a crock to me. Face it - Hollywood and the American entertainment industry are exceedingly homophobic to the male-male interaction, less so to the female-female.

    We are kidding ourselves if we think otherwise. They want us in the ghettos, not in the mainstream.

    Posted by: jason | Jul 14, 2008 11:48:28 PM


  12. @Chas: LOL... I was kind of thinking the same thing. Although I don't think I could even get around to that, the movie did very little for me. Huge disappointment at the time.

    Remember people, gay boys figuring things out without porn love Blockbuster. Or whatever your nearby video store is.

    Posted by: antchris | Jul 15, 2008 1:42:34 AM


  13. A Ryan Phillippe interview was published in Interview magazine just before the film's release. He talked at length positively about the kissing, etc. scenes with Meyer. He and Meyer are long-time friends and he said the intimate scenes were not awkward and he did not object to doing them. He also said his character was bisexual and that many guys in that period were, too, and the scenes were a logical part of the story. The interviewer had viewed the advance screening and said the scenes were well-done. I was amazed to see the final cut in the theatre, with all the aforementioned gay scenes deleted.

    Posted by: ANONYMOUS | Jul 15, 2008 3:24:52 AM


  14. Jason, the cuts were very probably made due to homophobia etc. But here's something for you to face: Ryan Philippe can't act for shit.

    Posted by: Roscoer | Jul 15, 2008 7:21:01 AM


  15. G'day Andy! Just wanted to say that I have been reading Towleroad for ages now, but have only recently set up my own blog. So I now have you linked! Keep up the awesome work, love reading your blog on a regular basis.

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    Posted by: Bodhi | Jul 15, 2008 7:49:30 AM


  16. Hi,
    In this figure A Ryan Phillipp interview was published in Interview magazine just before the film's release. He talked at length positively about the kissing, etc. scenes with Mayer. But here's something for you to face: Ryan Philippe can't act for shit.

    subhash pandey
    Addiction Recovery Kansas

    Posted by: subhash pandey | Jul 15, 2008 8:28:08 AM


  17. That movie was such crap that adding 45 minutes would be akin to truture.

    Posted by: Scott | Jul 15, 2008 8:33:51 AM


  18. I'm not sure why this film would be considered a QUEER classic when both male characters have heterosexual sex with the female character? To me it does nothing but water down the gay male experience of the time period. I came out during the late 70's and met NO ONE who was bisexual. Once again, Hollywood gives us unrealistic bisexual characters because god-forbid any man say they are 100% gay, even a fictional character.

    Posted by: nick | Jul 15, 2008 9:23:49 AM


  19. 54 at the midnight show at the Landmark Sunshine in LES NYC

    Special guests TBA! Mark Christopher's 54 · Aug 15 & 16

    Could this be it?

    Posted by: dave G | Jul 15, 2008 11:18:53 AM


  20. Um, Nick, I came out in the 1970s, too, and there were A LOT of bisexual people, men in particular. I guess it depends on where you hung out, so to speak.

    Posted by: mike | Jul 15, 2008 1:56:34 PM


  21. Um, Nick, I came out in the 1970s, too, and there were A LOT of bisexual people, men in particular. I guess it depends on where you hung out, so to speak.

    Posted by: mike | Jul 15, 2008 1:57:39 PM


  22. Um, Nick, I came out in the 1970s, too, and there were A LOT of bisexual people, men in particular. I guess it depends on where you hung out, so to speak.

    Posted by: mike | Jul 15, 2008 1:58:46 PM


  23. I've been out for 30 years (next month) and have meet thousands of guys all over the country and world. The idea of bisexuality in men is a myth. Most guys say they are bisexual when they first come out (or did back then). I was for about 2 weeks. But all my gay male friends and I agree, once a guy comes out in an urban area especially, there's no more experimentation with women.

    I'm not saying there's not a small fraction of a percentage of males who are bisexual, but it is microscopic. And the amount of gay male characters in film who sleep with women is just ridiculous and homophobic.

    Posted by: nick | Jul 15, 2008 2:13:27 PM


  24. Just to clear up some apparent confusion:

    No one goes to see Ryan Phillippe for his acting ability. So to criticize his acting ability is entirely irrelevant.

    Posted by: Meanwhile | Jul 15, 2008 3:05:04 PM


  25. Believe me, if whomever hold legal rights to the title can smell money by releasing a "director's cut" it is bound to happen ... and if it is successful it will be followed by an Unrated Director's Cut, a two-disc ultimate Director's Cut and a blooper reel and god knows whatever else they can possibly find to bleed out of it ... it's Hollywood and it's all about the money ...

    Posted by: Michael | Jul 15, 2008 7:52:13 PM


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