I’m currently going through a Raquel Welch phase after watching 1 Million Years BC on the TV a few weeks ago. One of the more bizarre films I’ve watched with her in to date has to be ‘Myra Breckinridge’.
The film is odd in the way only a real 60’s movie can be odd, and the subject matter is not something you would expect. Adapted from the Gore Vidal novel of the same name, in which a gay man, Myron Breckinridge (Rex Reed), undergoes a sex-change operation before setting of – as Myra Breckinridge – on a mission to Hollywood to “destroy the American male in all its particulars”.
The film is notorious for the scene in which Raquel Welch rapes a handsome young actor with a strap-on. The film was even branded pornographic over this scene (which isnt graphic at all).
Full plot synopsis:
The story begins soon after the homosexual film critic Myron Breckinridge has a sex-change operation. As Myra, she moves from New York to Hollywood so she can immerse herself in the industry, con her uncle Buck Loner out of half a million dollars and symbolically destroy the American male.
Myra calls on Buck, a former B-film cowboy star, and tells him that she is the widow of his late nephew Myron. She’s there, she says, to collect on Myron’s share of the property on which Buck’s acting academy is built (which had passed on to Myron on his mother’s death).
Buck is appropriately suspicious (“I never knew that Myron had an eye for feminine pulchritude”) and says he’ll have his lawyers look into it. To occupy Myra until things are resolved, he offers her a job teaching posture and empathy, which she gladly accepts.
Next Myra identifies the dim-witted Rusty Godowsky, a strapping young former football player in her posture class, as her sacrificial bull. Rusty is an easy target, for he has a posture problem worthy of Myra’s “special attention,” as well as a highly leveragable criminal record.
In the posture class with Rusty is his beautiful blonde girl friend, Mary Ann Pringle. Myra initially views her as an annoying air head, noteworthy only because of her association with Rusty. In time, however, much to her own surprise, Myra becomes quite smitten with her.
Enter Letitia Van Allen, a hard-as-nails talent agent with a bed in her office. When Letitia comes to the academy one day to see Buck, Myra introduces herself and makes quite an impression. The two women — who each in her own way uses men as men typically use women — become fast friends.
Myra notices that Mary Ann has a beautiful singing voice and persuades Letitia to talk with her. During their conversation, Mary Ann mentions Rusty and shows a picture of him to Letitia. Taken with Rusty’s good looks, Letitia sees her own opportunity with Rusty and invites the young couple to a party at her house.
Meanwhile, Myra’s plot to destroy Rusty is working quite nicely. In addition to picking on him during virtually every class session, she makes substantial progress during a private session in her office. Then she goes in for the kill with the climactic after-hours dildo rape in the school’s infirmary.
The tortured Rusty takes out his anger toward Myra on poor Mary Ann, who is hurt, and the horny Letitia, who is delighted with his new rough love-making (he had always been very gentle with Mary Ann). Ironically, Mary Ann turns to Myra for support, and Rusty, who can’t stand the fact that Mary Ann is with Myra, stays with Letitia.
Myra is shocked with the progression of her feelings toward Mary Ann. From initial indiscretions meant largely to further insult Rusty’s manhood, Myra proceeds to all out love for the beautiful girl. Mary Ann at first resists completely but in time warms to the idea.
Myra’s feud with Buck over his property reaches a crescendo when she tells him that she is Myron Breckinridge. To prove it, she lifts her skirt and shows him the scars from her sex-change operation. After nearly falling out of his chair, Buck caves in and gives the money to Myra.
Next Myra is seriously injured in a hit-and-run car accident (Buck? Rusty?) and hospitalized for several days. In addition to physical injury, the wreck causes a hormone imbalance, and, suddenly, Myra’s growing a beard and assuming other male characteristics.
Myra’s terrified of what Mary Ann will think. Oddly enough, when Mary Ann realizes that Myra was, in fact, a man, all her reservations about truly falling in love with him evaporate. They marry and live happily ever after.
The special Edition is availible from Amazon and features an interesting commentry with Raquel Welch about the production and various backstage arguments.
Tags: cult, farrah fawcett, raquel welch, strap-on