MovieChat Forums > The Best ManĀ (1964) Discussion > This film and Advise and Consent

This film and Advise and Consent


Both starred Henry Fonda and were made only a couple years of each other. What I find intersting is how secret homosexual behavior of a political figure would play so prominently in BOTH films. I guess in the 60's the scare shifted from red to pink.

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I was just thinking that while watching this film - two very good, under-appreciated political films from the same era.

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Funny--TCM is showing both of them tonight together! Always loved "Advise and Consent". "The Best Man" is good too but "Advise..." was better. It's kind of funny how having men having sex with each other was such a taboo back then. Now no one really cares. Look at Barney Frank here in MA. He's been openly gay for years and it hasn't hurt him politically.

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And did you notice that "The Best Man" and "Advise and Consent" were followed that night on TCM by "Victim," another film with a homosexual blackmail theme?

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LOL forgot about that. You're right. AND Dirk Bogarde was gay in real life
(although he never came out).

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I disagree. If someone running for a national office like the presidency were to be outed as gay or as having had a gay affair, he would have little chance of winning the election. This would be as true for women as it is for men. While the American public is gradually becoming more accepting of homosexual relationships, it still does not accept it in people whom they must place its confidence. This is why every front runner for the presidency must present the face of a "normal" nuclear family or he doesn't stand a chance of winning. When was the last time there was a bachelor president of the US?

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If someone running for a national office like the presidency were to be outed as gay or as having had a gay affair, he would have little chance of winning the election. ... When was the last time there was a bachelor president of the US?



This is because we live in a very repressed time.

Grover Cleveland had a bastard child he supported, but had no relationship with. He was elected as a bachelor and as President married a 22 year old woman.

Could this happen today? No ! But it did happen in the Victorian Era.

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The answer: James Buchanan. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Buchanan) He was our last president before Lincoln.

Probably because it was very unusual to be a lifelong bachelor at the time, some of Buchanan's contemporaries suspected he was gay -- mostly because Buchanan had a long-term relationship with fellow politician William Rufus King that was so intimate (both men were described as "effeminate" and "eccentric") that it was hard to view it as normal. There was a lot of gossip about it, anyway. (The real problem was that Buchanan, a Northerner, adopted many of the same political positions as King, a Southerner. This didn't sit well with the increasingly abolitionist electorate.)

Buchanan is ranked as one of our worst presidents -- but not because of the gay rumors. He's generally faulted for not being able to prevent the Civil War. Which I think is kind of unfair; the tensions leading to the war arose decades before Buchanan took office. By midcentury, I doubt Lincoln himself could have prevented the War.

(Still, I wonder if the whole "candidates need to have a nuclear family" thing arose from the fact that after the devastating War, no candidate wanted to do ANYTHING that might remind voters of the despised Buchanan. By the time people forgot about Buchanan, it had become established as a cliche.)

Ironically, Lincoln was later suspected -- controversially -- with being gay himself. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexuality_of_Abraham_Lincoln)

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