Myra Breckinridge [1970]

Director: Michael Sarne
Stars: Mae West, John Huston, Raquel Welch, Rex Reed, Farrah Fawcett
Genre: Comedy
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 94 minutes

We can safely call it one of the most notorious films in Hollywood history: Myra Breckenridge, the wild, tasteless, legendary disaster. Sprung from a novel by Gore Vidal, Myra tells the tender tale of a man (damply played by film critic Rex Reed) who has a sex-change operation and goes to Hollywood as a woman--played by Raquel Welch. Mae West creaked out of retirement to play a man-hungry agent (one of her meals is young Tom Selleck), and John Huston is an aging cowboy star, Myra's nemesis. To say the movie endorses the destruction of sex roles in modern society would be giving the rampant incoherence too much credit. Old film clips, plus footage (all too apt!) of atomic bomb tests are spliced into the action, to puerile effect. Almost everybody involved with the film disowned it, especially a horrified Vidal. Is there a cult for this movie? They can have it. --Robert Horton

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