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Loosely based on closeted gay movie star Rock Hudson's Hollywood-orchestrated sham marriage to his agent's secretary, Phyllis Gates, writer-director Richard Day's kitschy, '50s-era comedy finds humor and considerable pathos in what was essentially a sad situation. According to the gossip magazines, Hollywood heartthrob Guy Stone (Matt Letscher) is one of...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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Loosely based on closeted gay movie star Rock Hudson's Hollywood-orchestrated sham marriage to his agent's secretary, Phyllis Gates, writer-director Richard Day's kitschy, '50s-era comedy finds humor and considerable pathos in what was essentially a sad situation. According to the gossip magazines, Hollywood heartthrob Guy Stone (Matt Letscher) is one of Tinseltown's most eligible bachelors, and they're right — if you're young, pretty and male. It's an open secret in the industry that Guy is gay, but his fans have no idea and Guy's taste for seamy gay bars and one-night stands has his manager Jerry (Veronica Cartwright) and SRO Studio boss Saul (Victor Raider-Wexler) in a twist. Guy's up for the lead in SRO's upcoming sword-and-sandal epic "Ben-Hur," and the slightest whiff of scandal — like the pinko aura that surrounds his chief competition, hophead B-actor Freddie Stevens (Jack Plotnick) — could put the kibosh on the whole deal. When a scheming Freddie snaps a picture of Guy getting hauled off during a vice raid on a gay bar, Jerry knows it's time for serious damage control: Guy needs a wife, fast. And Saul's unsuspecting young secretary, Sally (firecracker Carrie Preston), is the perfect candidate. The arrogant and insincere Guy agrees, gets very, very drunk and wakes up the next morning a married man. Three weeks after the wedding, just as the Red Scare hysteria in Hollywood is reaching a fever pitch and Sally has completely redecorated Guy's luxe home through the Sears catalogue, the SRO front office orders hunky, lantern-jawed novelist Rick Foster (Adam Greer) to get all that "communist hooey" out of Guy's latest star vehicle: a movie adaptation of Rick's "Blood Line," a socialist novel about coal miners. Though they couldn't be more different — Rick is young and idealistic, Guy jaded and shallow — they fall in love, once again putting Guy's image and his entire career in jeopardy. The film takes a surprising turn for the melodramatic with a scene that wouldn't be out of place in one of the moody tearjerkers Hudson made for director Douglas Sirk, and though its heart is in the right place, everything gets tangled up in the film's lunacy. Day, who adapted the script from his own stage play, is kinder here than he was in GIRLS WILL BE GIRLS (2003), his scathing spoof of Hollywood has-beens. Unfortunately, Day is funniest when he's at his bitchiest.

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  • Released: 2004
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Loosely based on closeted gay movie star Rock Hudson's Hollywood-orchestrated sham marriage to his agent's secretary, Phyllis Gates, writer-director Richard Day's kitschy, '50s-era comedy finds humor and considerable pathos in what was essentially a sad si… (more)

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