Hollywood Closet

For much of its history, the Hollywood film industry manufactured and marketed an illusion.

hollywood closet

Movies celebrated young, white, heterosexuals of Northern European ancestry. Ethnically and sexually diverse peoples remained hidden.

The Hayes Code and the excesses of Cold War paranoia silenced dissenting voices. However, this seems to be quickly changing in keeping with significant progress in society as a whole.

Women He’s Undressed directed by Gillian Armstrong (Australia) 2015 documents the long career of costume designer Orry George Kelly (1897-1964), a three-time Oscar winner. He was born in a small town in Australia but soon moved to the United States, first working in New York before settling in Southern California.

Kelly’s work as a designer was praised while his sexual orientation was often mocked. His friendship with the wife of studio executive Jack Warner probably helped keep him employed at a time when gay and lesbian actors were forced to choose between job and personal relationship.

Women He’s Undressed, which screened at Frameline 40, is now available from Wolfe Video.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

www.nikosdiaman.com

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