Tab Hunter Confidential (2015)

Tab Hunter Confidential Poster

In the 1950s, Tab Hunter was number one at the box office and number one on the music charts and was Hollywood’s most sought-after young star. Natalie Wood, Debbie Reynolds and Sophia Loren were just a few of the actresses he was romantically linked to. He was America’s Boy Next Door and nothing, it seemed, could damage Tab Hunter’s career. Nothing, that is, except for the fact that Tab Hunter was secretly gay. Now, the secret is out.

"Tab Hunter Confidential" is a 2015 American documentary directed by Jeffrey Schwarz. The film unveils the life story of 1950s sweetheart and gay icon, Tab Hunter. It's a reflective and revealing peek into Hollywood's Golden Era, drawn from a bestselling memoir "Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star", by Hunter and his partner Eddie Muller. Through interviews, movie clips, and individual accounts, the documentary checks out the duality of Hunter's life as a popular star and a closeted gay guy.

The Plot and Narrative
The movie opens by painting an image of Hunter's early life as Arthur Andrew Kelm in New York City, and his journey to becoming Tab Hunter in Hollywood. The documentary is teeming with archival video footage and photographs, highlighting his unparalleled success as a young heartthrob. However, the glamour and fame featured a rate- living a double life.

"Tab Hunter Confidential" explores the dichotomy of his public image as a poster kid dating starlets, juxtaposed versus his personal life where he needed to hide his sexual orientation. Hunter's worry of being outed was extenuated by the era's widespread homophobia, where being openly gay could end a profession. The film reveals the actor's clandestine relationships including his love with actor Anthony Perkins.

Insightful Interviews
The documentary is filled with interesting commentary and reflections from Hunter himself, now in his 80s, who supplies a simple and sincere account of his life. It likewise includes interviews with contemporaries and pals like Debbie Reynolds, John Waters, Robert Wagner, George Takei, and Clint Eastwood, producing a multifaceted image of Hunter.

Effect of the Studio System
The film looks into the machinations of the Hollywood studio system that controlled and crafted stars' public images, motivating Hunter to date female stars and perpetuate the image of a heterosexual heartthrob. "Tab Hunter Confidential" uses a distinct viewpoint into how these studios facilitated concealment of stars' real identities, absorbing them into a culture of deception.

Coming Out and Later Years
The documentary likewise narrates Hunter's choice to come out publicly in his 2005 narrative. This unmatched relocation verified his status as a gay icon and produced discussion about homosexuality within the Hollywood scene. The film then shifts to Hunter's later years, his decision to leave Hollywood, and his long-term relationship with partner Allan Glaser.

"Tab Hunter Confidential" is a poignant vital assessment of a bygone age in Hollywood, the suffocating grip of the studio system, and the squashing impacts it had on stars like Hunter. It serves as a testament to Hunter's endurance and courage, representing him as a pioneer who navigated the difficulties of living as a gay man in mid-century Hollywood. Ultimately, the film is about the life of a star who endured and went beyond the restraints of his time, and who chose sincerity over perpetuating a fabricated image.

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