Homosexual subtext?


When Rodriguez followed his assistant upstairs after verbally abusing Sol I got the impression they were lovers. I thought I may have been mistaken, but then came the scene before the robbery where one of the robbers is looking at photos of shirtless male models in some muscle magazine. Is there something to this?


It takes a big man to cry. It takes a bigger man to laugh at that man.

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The robbers had no connection to Rodriguez.

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No, but I'm referring to the movie overall.

"We got a job",
"What kind?",
"The forever kind...".

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The impression that I had gotten was that the character Rodriguez was gay and the young man was his lover. This noticeable when he pushes the phone to the young man to redial Nazermann's number after he hangs up on him, and in another scene, an intimate connection between the two is in Rodriquez's facial expressions when the guy enters the house and goes upstairs, Rodriguez immediately hangs up the phone and follows him upstairs. It is subtle, but the idea is there.

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Maybe it's just me, but I feel as if there is a confusion over sexuality throughout the whole movie esp. in the bar when the women take their wigs off and they are almost bald. Then there's gays, bisexuals, and straights. It's very strange.

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It's strange in the context of this movie, which is about the inner torment of a holocaust survivor. I couldn't see the point of exploring sexual identity here. That belongs in a different film.

Chaos, Confusion, Insanity: My work here is done.

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[deleted]

The "woman" who took her wig off in the dancing bar scene, was in fact, a man; Drag queen.

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+1. I become annoyed almost beyond reason when viewers (especially contemporary ones) "find" gay innuendo that isn't there but when it is, it is. In addition, there's a sort of "reverse slavery" subtext, i.e. the black master and the blond whom he de facto owns. The implication was handled extremely skillfully. Suggestion is much more effective than blatancy.

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[deleted]

I always took it as just equating criminality with homosexuality, one of the few aspects of the film that feels very dated nowadays.

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I also just occurred to me, many of the nazis were homosexual.

Chaos, Confusion, Insanity: My work here is done.

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I think "many" is an overstatement. There was definitely a gay inner-circle, but that's true of any large body of people.

With that said, certainly the link between Nazism and homosexuality was established enough that it appears in several works, going as far back as Rossellini's Rome Open City in '45. Like The Pawnbroker, one of the few dated and distasteful aspects of an otherwise brilliant film is the way it portrays the two main Nazis as clearly gay. The Nazi in charge is portrayed as prissy and feminine. The main female Nazi is a hardly veiled bull dyke, right down to a blatant scene where she successfully seduces one of the film's main actresses.

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dhmason, Regarding "many of the Nazis were homosexual," you are going way off base, here. Nazis weren't any more homosexual than any other human population and of all the things that the Nazis were and did, to zero in on that one thing is ridiculous. Besides, the possible homosexuality of some of them had nothing specific to do with Mr. Nazerman's particular story; it wasn't homosexual Nazis who were raping his wife or setting the women up in a concentration camp brothel.

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After the Night of the Long Knives, many of the openly gay SA officers, like Enst Rohm, were not around any more.


Watch 'em Abe, I seen 'em do some things!

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Read "The Pink Swastika" The real core evil Nazis the Butch homosexuals, then Nazi Party began in a gay bar. Its been well documented by homosexual victims besides others with credentials to speak, that the Homosexuals in the movement were as vile and sadistic as Pinhead. The average homosexual who went to the camps was more the effiminate type, who of course were raped and murdered by the Nazi SnM types.
Homosexual Sadists finally could come out of the closet and join a movement that welcome their bestial nature. Its well documented so denial is just that, denial.

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The suppositions brought forth in the Pink Swastika have been written off by historians as pernicious myth.

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Only written off by "historians" pushing an agenda. I know this post is a year late, but I don't care.

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dlumason,

The robber is looking at a wrestling magazine.

The photos are of two professional wrestlers in their wrestling trunks.

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And Wrestling/Bodybuilding magazines were strongly associated with homosexuality back in those days - both for the clientele that purchased them, and for the going-ons behind the modeling of the magazines.

If I recall, isn't he practically fondling the magazine with his gun or something similar?

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Thank you for agreeing with me, and no, I'm not a homophobe, just observant.

Chaos, Confusion, Insanity: My work here is done.

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I think he was shooting the wrestlers in the mag. Two bullets apiece. One for each nipple.




Dictated, but not read.

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dhmason6155, oh yeah absolutely, I agree with you in both examples. There was no other possible reason to have Rodriguez immediately drop everything and go upstairs right after that guy. And if one didn't get it with that scene, then the robber looking at the muscle magazine clinched it ("Physique Pictorial", anyone?). What did it MEAN? Well, I would say (based on mid-60s views when homosexuality was almost an unmentionable), that this simply added to the absolute depravity of it all. Every single thing that could be awful or sick about life was depicted in that Harlem hell world. They even had "La Cage Au Folles" transvestites as entertainment in that club. Funny how just four years later, a routine police raid and bust of Stonewall, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, led to a drag-queen riot and the birth of the gay liberation movement. But, back to Mr. Nazerman, the life that surrounded him was anything but sweet children innocently chasing butterflies during a family picnic by the lake.

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Hmm... I interpreted it a little differently than those above. To me, all the characters were outsiders, all deviants from the norm (not necessarily 'deviants' in the pejorative sense)-- the interracial couple, the transvestite dancer, the fact that none of the characters were white, or part of the majority (which, really for 1964, was incredibly revolutionary). All the characters seemed to be struggling against stereotype, or create their own way. Not to deny, or ignore, homophobia in the '60s, but I saw the homosexual subtext furthering the outsider.

I don't hate people. I just like it a lot better when they're not around.

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But both the fact that all the instances of homosexuality were stood parallel to (ruthless) criminality is not a mistake. It was too common a trope up until recent times for me to see it as anything but another example in a long list. And it's unfortunate.

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Merry X-mas! All that makes sense. Gay men back then were treated as social deviants and misfits, just like nazi-era jews. Nazerman is still an outsider in a world of outsiders (Harlem), because, most importantly, he's still an outsider in his mind. A prison of his own making.

And, I'm sorry, but body-building magazines back then (like "Physical Culture") were well known to cater to the gay demographic.


"I have to pee"
"There'll be plenty of time to pee in Heaven"
"There's peeing in Heaven?"

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[deleted]

I'm not sure the homosexual subtext really meant anything, but it was certainly there. The way Brock Peters's character was presented - sitting there in his dressing gown and kerchief, surrounded by art, younger blonde Adonis sitting across from him - was classic movie code for 'gay' in that era. More often than not the gays were the villains, too.

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I always took it as just equating criminality with homosexuality, one of the few aspects of the film that feels very dated nowadays.


this is the only thing that has bothered me about this great film. But comments here are helpful. Homosexuals in the early 60s were still seen as deviant, outsiders, etc. On the other hand, the film might have shown us at least one good gay character, considering how well it depicts other minorities.

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Wow

Kramer: ...he was very impressed with what I do.
Elaine: What you do? You don't do anything!

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