Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Under A Rock

On The Flintstones, Rock Quarry was sick of Hollyrock and longed for a normal life like the other citizens of Bedrock. I think it was through this old episode of the famous cartoon, that I first became aware of who Rock Hudson was. Everytime I see Rock's name I think I should write something about him. The only mention of Rock in the 7 years of FH was connected to a post on his one time co-star Jack Scalia. Last week, I again saw his name, this time for Come September, a 1961 featured on TCM's tribute to actress Gina Lollobrigida. (Whose name was also used on The Flintstones for the maid Lollobrickida} I didn't see the movie, forgot to DVR, but was again reminded Rock deserved a mention, and a place on the site.

I was about 9 when I really found out who Rock Hudson was. I didn't watch Dynasty at the time, but I was enough of a pop culture nut to be more than a bit interested in the above issue of US magazine with the HOLLYWOOD FACES AIDS headline. I became even more interested in the actor as I got older and spent some time researching his career and closeted life. Without intending to, Rock Hudson arguably did more to raise the public's awareness of Aids than any other celebrity. There is always great debate about the outing of public figures. How much privacy does a celebrity have a right to expect? I always lean towards supporting a persons right to choose what they will or will not share. Disclosure about any aspect of our lives should be our choice, and force, no matter how positively intended, is just that, force. I feel this way about any and every issue, one's sexuality being just part of a very long list.

In the middle eighties, Rock Hudson most likely would have never gotten the role on Dynasty if he was out of the closet. I cannot imagine the fear and exhaustion Rock must have felt, working for all those years as hard at keeping his secret, as the many roles that he played. Looking back, there is something almost beautiful, tragic of course, but beautiful, that Rock's coming out through death, had such an impact, and powerful change on the face of aids and real beginning of the public discussion. I have still yet to watch a Rock Hudson movie, so if anyone has any suggestions of movies to begin my journey into his work, leave a comment, or shoot me a line.


Anonymous said...

You should definitely check Rock Hudson out in the films he made for Douglas Sirk, particularly "Magnificent Obsession," "All That Heaven Allows," and "Written on the Wind." They are HEAVY melodramas, but if you let yourself get lost in them, they are loads of fun and quite emotional. "All That Heaven Allows" is the best of the lot.

TyeBriggs said...

I will start with Magnificent Obsession, sold me with the title alone.

Thank you for the suggestions!

Anonymous said...

Definitely "Pillow Talk" with Doris Day.

Anonymous said...

"Giant" is the movie to watch, Rock, Liz Taylor, and Montgomery Clift. And of course his romance comedies are lots of fun such as "Come September".