AMC: Myra Breckinridge Backstory (2001) ‘The Making of a Legendary Comedy’

Myra Breckenridge 2001 Backstory
Source:Jospeh Guerrero– Part of the cast from Myra Brekinridge, in 1970.

Source:The Daily Review

“This making of special aired in 2001.

This making of special aired in 2001. Don’t watch this if you haven’t seen the movie. It gives the whole storyline away.

This special on model Gia Carangi [1960-1986] aired in 2001. The audio and video is very bad on this one. I’m sorry about that. This copy is all that I have.

Myron Breckinridge flies to Europe to get a sex-change operation and is transformed into the beautiful Myra. She travels to Hollywood, meets up with.

This interview aired in 1990 about an etiquette manual Ms. Barrows had written called Mayflower Manners.”

From Jospeh Guerrero 

Hollywood Goddess Raquel Welch in the very first scene of Myra Breckinridge. This movie really was a sort of a sexual fantasy of what life would be like if radical feminists were running the world and you that in the very first scene of the film.

Raquel Welch
Source:AMC– Hollywood Goddess Raquel Welch, as Myra Breckinridge.

“It’s too awful for that dubious distinction. But American Movie Classics featured the film and advertised it as such in its half-hour AMC “Backstory” series recently.

Doubtless, worse movies have been made, but they’re so inconsequential they’ve been forgotten, or they have become kitsch, that is to say so pretentiously dreadful they’re beyond consideration.

In terms of money spent, importance of cast, publicity, major studio participation and chutzpah, “Myra Breckinridge” (1970) is in a class by itself as cinematic refuse.

The film is and always has been a terrible, miserable, obscene, unsanitary waste of celluloid by people who should know better.

Producers Richard Zanuck and David Brown thought it would be a sexy, daring comedy from which 20th Century-Fox would earn millions to refill studio coffers emptied seven years earlier by the “Cleopatra” disaster.

Instead, “Myra” plunged the studio into worse debt, nearly destroying Fox and ruining the careers of almost everyone involved.

Zanuck and Brown went on to make subsequent hits of “The Sting,” “Jaws” and “Driving Miss Daisy.”

“Myra,” however, was the nadir of their careers and the definitive loser in Hollywood history.”

From UPI

Just to respond to the story from UPI: Myra Breckinrdige was way ahead of it’s time, maybe even 10 years. Even in the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s and early 1970s, I just don’t think there were enough Americans, even enough hippie Baby Boomers and Beatnik Silent Generation babies to even understand the movie, let alone enjoy it. And if was made today, it would probably be killed by radical feminist political correctness and be called sexist and homophobic.

Myra Breckinridge is one of those movies that looks better as it ages, because it was so ahead of its time. I think the makers of the film calculated wrong thinking that this is a 1970 movie probably made in 1969 and that this movie would be perfect for its time in the 1960s and the cultural and sexual revolutions. With young Americans experimenting and trying all sorts of different things even when it came to their sexuality.

But very few people were talking about transgender sexuality and sex changes back then. It was very new and then you throw in all the pornography in the movie (which I personally don’t have a problem with) and it was a tough movie for a lot of people to see which is why it was a financial flop when it came out.

If this movie came out 25-30 years later perhaps even 20 years I think this movie would have been very successful. (Especially on Cinemax) I’ve seen this movie like ten times now and have blogged about it multiple times and it was one of my favorite comedies. I’m laughing through most of this movie with Raquel Welch being at her hottest, sexiest and cutest, all in the same movie.

Raquel was so funny in this movie and this is where you really get to see her sense of humor and great comedic timing. John Huston playing Buck Naked, I mean Buck Loner in this movie a sex starved, or sex addict head of an acting school. (Of all things) Getting blow jobs and sexual massages on the job and trying to run his school at the same time.

And of course you can’t talk about Myra Breckinridge without talking about Mae West. Where she also plays a sex starved star in the movie a man-loving woman who can’t spend more than five seconds with a young stud (Tom Selleck) without making a pass at him. And of course you get to see Mae sing Hard to Handle which was perfect for her and her character in this movie.

And of course Gore Vidal with without his book with the same title this movie isn’t made. (Which might not have been a bad thing) But his great comedic ability and willingness to take big risks is how he writes the book that he did and how this movie gets made. I believe movies are judged by how they look as the years go by and later in history. And Myra Breckinridge to me looks like a great comedy.

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