Harvey Hart, director

Fortune and Men’s Eyes (USA; 1971)

Original one sheet movie poster


Based on John Hubert’s play about the relationship between sex and power in male prisons, the film version of Fortune and Men’s Eyes veers toward the genre of the exploitation film with its graphic scenes of sexual violence and humiliation.  As noted by Vito Russo in The Celluloid Closet, although the stage version emphasized the problems with prison hierarchies and the need for reform, the film changed the content of the play “from a comment on sex as power to an exploitation of sex as a matter of gender identification,” adding that the film “made the time-honored equation between homosexual discovery and suicide” (198).  Michael Greer, the openly gay actor who enflamed the screen in The Gay Deceivers, plays the flamboyant yet psychopathic inmate “Queeny.”


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