MovieChat Forums > Partners (1982) Discussion > Can anyone explain why,,,? ***Caution: P...

Can anyone explain why,,,? ***Caution: Possible story spoiler***

Friends, I never understood why the Police Dept. of the community saw it necessary to choose an obviously repressed gay, shy, file clerk police officer (John Hurt) to use in this infiltration into the gay community for the investigation. Wouldn't it seem that a closeted man who had no experience (as he stated) in the gay culture would be just as uncomfortable in that environment as the homophobic cop (Ryan O'Neal)? And he was!

My question boils down to: If the guy was closeted and didn't really even admit to himself that he was a gay man, and had no real experience in the field (ie on patrol/undercover work), why was he seen to be useful to the investigation.

I saw this movie at the cinema when it was first released. I've always wondered how Hurt's character/personal situation was justified for the purpose of comedy. How would he have understood the gay "lifestyle" any better than the O'Neal character did just because he was [probably?] homosexual?

John Martin, Lifelong Gay Man, 47


I am on my third viewing of this film since its original release 29 years ago, and I thought the same thing this time around. But I chalk it up to the screen writer not being able to come up with anything better in how to get the character of John Hurt chosen for the assignment.