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Fortune and Men's Eyes Reviews

This was released after THE BOYS IN THE BAND, so much of the exploitation of the homosexual subject matter had already been seen, thereby causing this picture to be less well-received than the producers hoped. It takes place in a Canadian prison, and our information is that the Canadian government gave assistance to the film. This is hard to believe, because the life depicted in the prison is so harsh and terrifying that it reflects poorly on the Canadian government. Burton is arrested for pot possession and sent to an absolute hell-hole where he must either submit to regular sodomy by Hall, who wants to be his protector, or run the risk of being raped by everyone else. He chooses Hall, and, by the time the picture is over, he's as prison-savvy as all the others and doesn't at all resemble the sweet, naive young man who entered in reel one. The film is based on a stage play that featured male nudity and brutal scenes and was a plea for prison reform. The finished product, however, is merely tawdry. Michael Greer is excellent as a screaming queen. He did this once before in THE GAY DECEIVERS and is in danger of being type-cast, no matter how good an actor he can be. Freedman, as an intellectual, is also outstanding, but the film's subject matter is so distasteful to most eyes that it failed to find a huge audience. The original director was Jules Schwerin, but he was replaced by Harvey Hart, and many scenes had to be re-shot. Technical credits are only fair, and composer MacDermot's (HAIR) score is totally wrong for what's on screen. Songs; "It's Free" (Michael Greer), "When Rain Touches Summer" (MacDermot, William Dumareso, sung by Leata Galloway) and "Fortune and Men's Eyes" (MacDermot, sung by Ronnie Dyson).