Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


ROCK HUDSON, FRIEND OF MINE. Tom Clark, with Dick Kleiner. Pharos books; 1989.

Tom Clark was professionally involved with actor Rock Hudson, eventually becoming vice president of Hudson's production company, Mammoth films, among other duties, but he also clearly had a personal relationship with Hudson. The two men traveled together, lived together, shopped together, picked out homes and apartments together -- in other words, they were essentially a couple. Bios of Hudson state that Clark was Hudson's lover. In this schizoid, oddly coy book Clark never "outs" himself, addresses the truth of his relationship with Hudson, or even admits being gay [that word, like in Phyllis Gates' book, is never used] -- which is quite sad.Clark denies that there was a "split" because Marc Christian [who eventually sued Hudson's estate] entered Hudson's life, but it's easy to read between the lines. There is some small insight into Hudson's character, career, and life, but the main function of the book is to unsuccessfully portray the two as mere buddies, with Hudson's homosexual encounters downplayed or ignored. Clark follows Gates in trying to make her marriage to Hudson a serious one, but this is also unconvincing. Like Gates' book, Rock Hudson, Friend of Mine has the dated quality of a cover-up book published in more regressive times when homosexuality was a dirty secret. Kleiner gives the book a professional polish, but there isn't much here.

Verdict: More of a cover up than anything else. **.

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