TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL (Jeffrey Schwarz). 90 minutes. Opens Friday (October 23). Rating: NNNN
Watch online: iTunes
Director Jeffrey Schwarz (Vito, I Am Divine) delves into the life of 50s matinee idol Tab Hunter, who was marketed as the boy next door during Hollywood’s studio system period while he kept his homosexuality (and relationships with Tony Perkins and figure skater Ronald Robertson) private.
The entertaining doc takes a fascinating look at the mores of that time and the power of the studios to quash rumours or replace you with the next fresh face. Interviewees include journalists, vintage stars (Robert Wagner, Debbie Reynolds) and director John Waters, whose Polyester helped resuscitate Hunter’s career in the 70s.
Double-entendre lines from Hunter’s filmography (and recording career) add humour and context. And the actor himself, still handsome in his 80s, is refreshingly candid about everything from his mother’s mental illness to his 30-plus-year relationship with producer Allan Glaser.