Sunday, July 21, 2013

Myra Breckinridge

1970 American Feature

Cast: Raquel Welch, Mae West, John Huston, Farrah Fawcett, Roger Herren, Calvin Lockhart, John Carradine, Andy Devine, Grady Sutton and Rex Reed
Director: Michael Sarne
Writers: Michael Sarne and David Giler, based on the novel by Gore Vidal

Fussy film buff Myron Breckinridge travels to Europe to undergo a sex change and returns to Hollywood as the glamorous and willful Myra.


  • Internet Movie Database: 4.0/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 29% / Audience: 36%
  • OMG rating: 1/10

  • DVD: Available
  • Soundtrack: Available
  • Book: Available


  • Gore Vidal's satirical novel Myra Breckinridge was first published in 1968. The book was dismissed by some conservative critics as pornographic, but nevertheless immediately became a worldwide bestseller. Vidal published a sequel, titled Myron, in 1974.
  • The film was controversial upon its release for its sexual explicitness (notably the infamous pegging scene), but unlike the novel, it received no critical praise and has since been cited as one of the worst movies ever made. Gore Vidal disowned the film, calling it "an awful joke", even though he said on several occasions that he never actually watched it.
  • Casting Call: Anne Bancroft, Candy Darling, Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn, Angela Lansbury, Geraldine Page, Vanessa Redgrave, Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor.
  • Every day while shooting, Mae West (who came out of retirement for this film) would come in to work surrounded by young, muscular men. She would tell the studio security, "They're with me!".
  • Rex Reed (a well known film critic at the time) originally refused to say the line, "Where are my tits? Where are my tits?". After the producers informed him that if he didn't say it, they would use an establishing shot with a voice impressionist saying the line, he reluctantly agreed to do it. Reed later wrote a piece for Playboy trashing the film and predicting that because it was so bad, it would never be released.
  • Theadora Van Runkle was costume designer for the film, but multiple Academy Award winner Edith Head designed Mae West's costumes.
  • Film debuts of actors Tom Selleck (whose character is listed as "Stud" in the credits) and Dan Hedaya.
  • Pop singer Toni Basil has an uncredited bit part as a cigarette girl.
  • Myra Breckinridge was originally rated X. It was released a week after 20th Century Fox's other X-rated film of that year, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. In 1978, Fox submitted an edited version to the MPAA, and the film was re-classified with an R rating. Both versions are available on the DVD, though the uncut print is now considered unrated.

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