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SIX NON-STEREOTYPICAL GAY CHARACTERS IN 1970'S CRIME FILMS

Roy Scheider facing Lawrence Olivier, Marathon Man, 1976
Roy Scheider, Marathon Man: Gay characters from older movies... in this case when cinema became more gritty and realistic... usually acted like the stereotype of how homosexuals sometimes act in real life and simply are on screen...

So here's a list of gay men who don't mess around like they usually do in cinema, to this day, and we'll begin with Roy Scheider as Dustin Hoffman's big brother, nicknamed Doc in MARATHON MAN, who is never actually "outed" but his preference is known from the William Goldman novel, and he pleads that his literal agent/partner William Devane's Janey get his "ass over here" to a hotel room, before being attacked the exact same way as Johnny Ola in THE GODFATHER PART II...

Al Lettieri in Pulp, 1972
Al Lettieri, Pulp: Speaking of THE GODFATHER... in the original is an actor who topped our "bad guys in movies about bad guys" list, and he usually played pretty violent dudes, here in Michael Caine and GET CARTER director Mike Hodges' followup, PULP, which isn't as popular but is less claustrophobic and far more involving: Lettieri's Miller is anything but a stereotype since he acts somewhat like Lettieri usually does, only more classy and with great taste in pulp authors: his favorite being Ross MacDonald.

Anthony James in Vanishing Point, 1971
Anthony James, Vanishing Point: Not so much a Crime Film as a film about a crime, the strange and lanky cult actor Anthony James, best known as stealing the horror flick BURNT OFFERINGS as a spooky chauffeur and beginning with IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, does put on an extremely gay affect, but what he's hiding is a gun and a violent manner, pointing his piece at speed-freak speedster Barry Newman, rushing to California in the counter-culture road movie VANISHING POINT.

Richard Burton in Villain, 1971
Richard Burton, Villain: Here's a deadly thug that only J.E. Freeman from MILLER'S CROSSING would surpass decades later, playing the homosexual killer's killer involved in an expository-driven lover's triangle between Steve Buscemi and John Tuturro... which is all on the sidelines unlike ultra-violent lead character Richard Burton as a gay gangster in the fitfully titled VILLAIN, taking a topnotch British actor to pull off such perfectly offbeat insanity...

Robert Deman beats Allen Jaffe in Papillon, 1973
Robert Deman, Papillion: Steve McQueen's title prisoner, a tough, falsely-accused Frenchman dying to escape from France's infamous prison system in the adaptation of a mostly-true story, is introduced to Robert Deman's demur convict  Maturette...

Who not only takes a blade to McQueen's throat (while shaving him in the hospital where they're both mending) while breaking the cliche that all gay guys will sleep with any other gay guy, asked to "take the Turnkey to the bathroom" as a distraction, but winds up beating up that "filthy" guard and joining an escape with McQueen, Woodrow Palfrey and Dustin Hoffman; the latter who played the brother of the character from the first post. 

Al Pacino goes all out in Dog Day Afternoon, 1975
Al Pacino, Dog Day Afternoon: Last and certainly not least is the man who killed subject number two at an Italian restaurant after pretending to go number one: Al Pacino, having established himself with quiet yet lethal prowess in both GODFATHER films and SERPICO, went all out and beyond, showcasing his method rage and ironical humor as a real life bank robber in DOG DAY AFTERNOON...

Where he seems so straight it's actually a "twist middle" when he's outed by his once-adoring media and outside cheering crowd: the entire heist is to pay for his partner's sex change operation. When the bank hostages hear the news on TV, Al's Sonny says, "We all gotta get some fun out of life." But his GODFATHER brother John Cazale (as Sal) is peeved that the media describes the robbers as "two homosexuals," which in fact only Pacino's Sonny is (in real life, both were.. and Sal was much younger). Pacino not only goes beyond stereotype but creates a persona all its own, seeming neither gay nor straight but a kind of tour-de-force hyperactive crooked that could never be equaled or repeated. 
Robert Deman as Maturette notifying Steve McQueen's PAPILLON it's time for escape
Roy Scheider and William Devane in MARATHON MAN
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