Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Children of Loneliness (1934)

This film is also known as “The Third Sex” and “Strange Lovers”; here is the key data.

Director: Richard C. Kahn
Release Date: January 1937
Los Angeles Opening: November 1937
Duration: 68 minutes
Production Company: Jewel Productions, Inc.
Country: USA

Elinor Gordon, who was frightened sexually by a man while an infant, confides in her psychoanalyst that she is contemplating yielding to the advances of her overly attentive and affectionate female roommate, Bobby Allen. The psychoanalyst advises the woman to dispossess her roommate, who works in the same law office as she, and to marry a football player. After the young woman rebuffs her roommate, she accompanies her lawyer employer, Dave Warren, to the country home of the firm's senior partner, John Grant. While Elinor falls in love with Dave, the senior partner's socialite daughter, Judy, yearns for Paul, an artist, who, unknown to her, is a homosexual. When Elinor again refuses the love of Bobby, Bobby tosses acid at her. The acid misses Elinor, but Dave blinds Bobby with the acid, and she stumbles into the path of an oncoming truck and is killed. After Elinor and Dave agree on marriage, Judy discovers that Paul has committed suicide.

So if you wonder why I’m interested in a movie with a story like this one, let me share this movie belongs also to another genre that I’m not too familiar with it that is called “Exploitation”. If by any chance you will like to read about this genre there is a book called Bold! Daring! Schoking! True!: A History of Exploitation Films, 1919-1959 by Eric Schaefer, that if you wish you can browse here. As a reference Exploitation ended in the 60’s and set the stage to another genre that I’m familiar called “Sexploitation”.

But I also got interested because some claim that is another version of one of the first gay interest 1919 German movie called Anders als die Andern (Different from Others); but what really attracted me is a piece of history attached to the LA opening of the film that I reproduce here.

A critic for the Motion Picture Herald reported that during the film's run in Los Angeles in 1937 — as a double feature with Love Life of a Gorilla — a self-identified "doctor" appeared after the screening to sell pamphlets purporting to explain homosexuality. He was arrested for selling obscene literature.

The self-identified “doctor” is none other that one of the leads in this movie and he stars as himself!!! Gosh, this movie has to be really crazy to our eyes and if you doubt it, please pay attention to the poster that belongs to a NY screening. But perhaps we never will be able to see it as some claim that the film vanished.

Still, the same was said about Anders als die Andern and the Filmmuseum Muenchen found the lost reels, restore them and now the movie is available in DVD. So there is hope to eventually be able to see this movie.

Information about the film can be found here. Let's hope it "appears" somewhere as I just would love to see a film that exploits the genre with a doctor and everything else. Lol!

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