A happily married doctor (Michael Ontkean) realizes he has sexual feelings about men. One day he meets openly gay Bart (Harry Hamlin) and falls in love. Meanwhile his wife Claire (Kate Jackson) can't understand why her husband is suddenly so cold and distant.
I saw this twice in a theatre back in 1982. I was a 20 year old closeted gay man seriously considering suicide. Basically this film saved my life. It portrayed gay men as sympathetic people--not victims or psychopaths or comic relief as other films did before this.
This was a groundbreaker for Hollywood and, at first, did very well at the box office. And, unlike other posters, I never had any audience walk-outs when I saw it. I saw it at a theatre in Boston and there was dead silence throughout--and applause at the end. Then business fell off when word got out that this was boring. In some way it is--they go out of their way to please everybody--gays and straights. The film lacks an edge that could have made it stronger BUT (in 1982) Hollywood was very timid about this subject--this probably went as far as studio executives would allow it.
Credit goes to Hamlin and Ontkean for playing gay characters (very rare in those days) and sharing a long passionate kiss together. Also they both gave good performances--especially Hamlin. The real surprise was Kate Jackson--she was INCREDIBLE in her role. When her husband comes out to her, her reaction is utterly believable and actually had me crying (the first time I saw it).
It's kind of sad that people still think this is gay propaganda (as one poster here does). It's just a compelling drama about a man coming to grips with his sexual orientation.
Seen today the movie may seem dated and WAY too timid, but this was the first major Hollywood film to deal realistically with gay men. That makes it a gay classic. I give it a 10.
Loading video, please wait...
A successful young L.A. doctor and his equally successful television-producer wife find their happily-ever-after life torn assunder when he suddenly confronts his long-repressed attraction for other men. Zach and Claire live a comfortable life secure in their love for one another when Bart, a swinging L.A. novelist, walks into Zach's office and awakens unfamiliar feelings in him. In a move which leaves him wracked with guilt, Zach cancels dinner with his wife in order to go out with Bart. He is inexplicably drawn to this man who seems intent on keeping him at arms distance. Why can't Bart allow their relationship to grow? he wonders. Exasperated, he asks Bart, "Do you snore? Does anybody ever get a chance to find out?" As Zach's absences become more and more frequent, Claire's concern manifests itself in the suspicion that he is having an affair with another woman. Jilted by Bart and feeling alone for the first time in his married life, Zach resolves to tell Claire the truth about himself. Predictably, Claire is shocked that she could have known so little about the man she has loved for so many years and accuses him of deceiving her from the very start.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN