Myra Breckinridge (1970)


Myra Breckinridge (1970) Granted full control over this adaptation of Gore Vidal’s vicious satire, Michael Sarne made a “degradation” film, a 70s genre where famous actors degrade themselves by playing the parts assigned. Caught between the resurrected body of Mae West and the sexy Raquel Welsh, Sarne lost control. Rex Reed said afterwards, “This was a film where the lawsuits really flew.” However, in our new millennium, the film has become a campy adoration of trans.


The director’s audio commentary

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Is better than the film All in the name of


Freedom, Myra/Myron anally rapes


Rusty, tied up in St. James Infirmary.

MICHAEL SARNE: “There was a transvestite

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From Warhol’s Factory who desperately wanted

Andy Warhol transvestite Superstar Holly Woodlawn, acclaimed for her performance in 'Trash', photographed in 1970. (Photo by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images)
Holly Woodlawn

To play Myra, but never believably passed


As a man, so I had to cast two people.”

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Sex changes on a whim. Is she or is he

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Or are they? Whatever. To shock

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Gets attention. Bring on the farm


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Animals. Daisy chain the circus.

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MICHAEL SARNE: “Bobby Fryer, my producer,


And Gore Vidal, the writer, with Raquel Welsh


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Would have taken a contract out on Mae West

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If they could, and each day sabotaged the set.”

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The patriarchal is never undermined

Male Gaze Untitled

By the male gaze. Mummified Shirley Temple

Clips from the Hollywood vault helped

Counterpoint rough sado-masochism.

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 SADO 200

MICHAEL SARNE: “Fellini’s ‘Toby Dammit’



Was a major influence on this alternative

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Showbiz film that took a comic look


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At a man who wants to become a woman.”

More respect, please, for those trapped

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In the wrong body. Their cocoon rips

Inside out. Touch the forbidden

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And wonder why not try. Ignite.


MICHAEL SARNE: “Gayness is a cover

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For sadness. Gore’s pro-gay agenda

Wasn’t British camp enough so

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One movie could talk to another.”

Image disintegrates consciousness.


Against Western sexual freedom, religious


Civil Wars break out their ideologies,

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Hack up enemies and eat their hearts.

MICHAEL SARNE: “The movie’s a dream

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From a man in a coma after being hit by a car,


But if that’s still not clear, I think

I’ll have to reshoot the whole thing.”


[Disposable Poem May 8, 2016]

Dr. Mike

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