A Little Less Queer – Stories Which Had Gay Elements Removed

Next year Black Swan Theatre is presenting a production of Tennessee Williams’s classic play, ‘A Street Car Named Desire’. The play won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1948 but when it came time to make the movie version in 1951 some things had to be toned down a bit for the big screen.

 StreetcarA Street Car Named Desire

In the original play the lead character Blanche DuBois has withdrawn into a world of fantasies after she discovered her husband Allan Grey was having a homosexual affair. By the time the story made it to the big screen all the references to Allan’s sexuality were removed.

‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ is not the only story to have all the queerness removed, here’s a couple of others.

Breakfast at TiffanysBreakfast at Tiffany’s

Many people would be familiar with Truman Capote’s novella ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’. The short novel created one of Audrey Hepburn’s most memorable roles as the carefree Holly Golightly. In the film version Holly is romanced by Fred, played by the A-Team’s George Peppard. In the original novel Fred’s sexuality was a lot more fluid that the portrayal given in Blake Edwards’ 1961 film.
Earlier this year a new play based on the original book opened on Broadway. ‘Game of Thrones’ star Emilia Clarke took on the role of Holly Golightly and up and coming actor Cory Michael Smith played Fred. In this version all of Fred’s shenanigans in the stationary closet were included.


In the 1980 film ‘Fame’ Paul McCrane played Montgomery MacNeil, a drama student coming to terms with his sexuality. Two years later when the television version of ‘Fame’ was created the role was recast and an actor named P.R. Paul took over the role, but in the TV series Montgomery was no longer gay.



More recently, the film ‘54’ about the famous NYC nightclub has 45 minutes of the original film cut and an extra 20 minutes of new footage added in. The first version of the film focused on a love triangle between the three main characters played by Brekin Meter, Ryan Phillipe and Salma Hayek. When test audiences didn’t respond well the whole gay storyline was exorcised. Footage of a love scene between Philippe and Meyer has appeared on YouTube a few times, but it disappears very quickly.

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