east side, west side—–movie at MOMA

by

Every time I mention that I think George O’Brien is the most beautiful man ever to appear in movies, my friend Peter laughs at me. Ok true I’ve only seen two films of his, both silent ones but there are all those sexy photos of him posing nude or semi nude. His most famous film is the great silent film Sunrise by the gay German director Murnau who died in a car crash under mysterious circumstances; (it is said that he was going down on his chauffer when they hit a tree or something like that). A few years back Peter and me went to the Film Forum to see a rarely revived screening of Sunrise and I just swooned over George. After the film his daughter who was in the afternoon audience got up and took a bow, she looked like a nice person. There are also gay rumors about George, that he was a lover of Valentino’s, that he and John Ford and several other so called macho actors would have wild orgies on Ford’s boat, and I can easily believe this especially after Maureen O’ Hara’s published account of her walking in on Pappy having sex with a top movie star in the mid 1950’s. I think the actor was Tyrone Power who was making Ford’s the Long Gray Line with O’Hara at this time. Every time I would tell Peter some tasty tidbit he would say with one of his hearty chuckles “whatever. You and your gossip“. Ok I tend to believe gossip, especially if its lavender tinted. But getting back to George. The only other film I’ve seen of his is Ford’s silent film “The Iron Horse” and although he never hit the heights of his silent film career he went right on making movies, mostly B westerns in the 1930‘s and 40‘s with such intriguing titles as “Stage To Chino”, “Timber Stampede”, “The Fighting Gringo”, “Racketeers Of The Range”, “Park Avenue Logger”, “The Dude Ranger” and “When A Man’s A Man”. George made one last film for his old buddy John Ford “Cheyenne Autumn” in 1964 and passed away in 1985 at the ripe old age of 85. God love you George, I know I did.

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