Myra Breckinridge (1970) (part 9 of 12)
We immediately cut to a Buck Loner POV Cam as he leers at several old women all done up in trampy makeup. God, first Mae West, and now this? Is there no peace to be found in this world? Buck circles them, checking them out, and for no real reason we cut to footage of Marilyn Monroe doing her famous pool scene in Something’s Got to Give. Goodbye, Norma Jean.
Eventually, we see the women are sitting at a table in (I’m assuming) Buck’s backyard, and inside are several older men in cowboy hats, probably their husbands. The old cowboys sit around a table playing poker, when suddenly, one of the poker players stands and points a gun at the others.
He shoots, but unfortunately, they are merely… acting! The gun clicks and one guy collapses to the sofa, pretending he was shot. Somebody notes that the guy on the couch used to be “the fastest gun at Republic Pictures!” Buck re-enters, and he and all of his fellow former cowboy actors reminisce about the good old days. One guy says, “We was Saturday afternoon for the whole world!” Another lifts his head and says they’ve been replaced by “perversion! That’s what’s taken our place! Communist perverts! Churnin’ out filth!” Ah, you gotta love the understated parody here. Sadly, a couple of the actors in this scene (namely, Andy Devine and Grady Sutton) actually were in dozens upon dozens of old Westerns.
As the card game resumes, we hear another ironic rendition of “America, I Love You” in the background that completely drowns out anything the actors might be saying. Actually, I’m kind of grateful that I don’t have to hear any dialogue from this movie for a little while. Then we cut to footage of Alice Faye performing the song in Tin Pan Alley, and it’s given a bright red tint for no reason. Of course.
As the song continues, Buck drives to his school at night. He enters his office, where his masseuse asks him how the “beef teriyaki” was. For those who care, it was “worse than the chow mein”. Suddenly, Buck notices the leather riding crop in her hand. She calls it “Swedish massage!” and says, “I beat you with it!” Buck asks if it hurts and she replies, “You bet your ass!” Well, he is betting his ass, technically speaking.
Abruptly, Buck yells that “something’s wrong” as we cut to Myra and Rusty entering Myra’s office. Thunder is heard in the background as Myra discusses Rusty’s back problems. Obviously lying, she says that Buck’s chiropractor is preparing a brace for Rusty but couldn’t be there, so the chiropractor asked Myra to take an “exact tracing of your spine”. She dons a white lab coat as she tells Rusty to take off his shirt, then watches enthralled as he complies.
She asks him to step on a scale so she can “measure” him. After a moment, she yells at him to take off his cowboy boots. Rusty resists, but Myra blackmails him into doing what she says by pointing out she could tell the judge he’s being “uncooperative”. Rusty obeys, and the two have a pointless chuckle over the holes in his socks. Myra then weighs and measures him while looking overwhelmed at just being in the aura of his manliness.
Myra next asks for “a urine specimen” [?] and hands him a glass beaker. Rusty starts to resist again, but Myra gets an angry look, which subtly is accompanied by a crash of thunder and a flash of lightning. You ever notice that in movies, the flash of lightning and sound of thunder are perfectly timed to go off together? Does that ever happen in real life? Anyway, Myra vamps it up and hums to herself to kill some screen time while Rusty takes a leak.
Unfortunately, he’s having a little trouble. “I guess I’m what you call ‘pee-shy’!” Myra tells him to relax and runs some water [!] while more lightning crashes. Myra eventually gets his specimen and cries, “Bravo!” We then get a delightful close-up of the vial of golden fluid in Myra’s hand.
Myra tells Rusty to loosen his belt. A nervous Rusty replies, “Perhaps we better wait for the doctor!” Myra angrily orders him to do as he’s told, saying all he has to do is “loosen your belt and say ‘ah’.” More lightning crashes as Rusty complies. She sticks a tongue depressor in his mouth and then has him do the old Turn and Cough.
She wants him to lean over an examination table. When Rusty hesitates, she strikes him in the ass with a ruler and tells him again to lean over the table so she can take his temperature. When Rusty protests, Myra notes he’s showing a “very suspicious reluctance”. And as she walks past the table, we suddenly see that most of the room has disappeared, and has now been replaced by a solid black background [?].
Myra wonders if he’s hiding a “disease”, but he insists he isn’t and eventually leans over the table. As soon he does this, Myra ties his hands down with big cloth straps and Rusty starts to freak. Myra cries, “Bottoms up!” and yanks Rusty’s pants down. At this, we immediately cut to a photo of some old actor and see lightning flash across it. I have no idea who he is, but maybe it’s in his best interests if I don’t identify him.
Myra tells Rusty to be very still. We get a loving pan across her rectal thermometer, then cut to her supposedly inserting it. Rusty gets a wide-eyed look, and we immediately cut to a portrait of Marilyn Monroe as lightning crashes. Myra then goes over Rusty’s medical history while he’s still strapped to the table. She asks if he’s had a variety of diseases, including “smallpox” [?].
She asks if he’s ever had a “venereal disease” and Rusty, head buried in his arm, says he hasn’t. Myra doesn’t believe him, but Rusty angrily insists. Myra says, “We’ll see!” She does something behind him and Rusty is alarmed, but she claims she’s just “preparing” him for his brace. Rusty angrily cries that she must be “playin’ some kinda joke on me!”
Myra comes around and declares, “I’m in deadly earnest!” As the camera slowly moves into an extreme close-up on her face, she declares that Rusty has a lot to learn. “All you men have a lot to learn. And I have taken it upon myself to teach you!” Myra says she’s going to give him a lesson his teachers never gave him, and we randomly cut to some old movie where a woman sits in a movie theater and a guy tells her to take off her hat. Don’t ask. Please.
Cut back to Myra, who announces, “It’s called balling!” Rusty perks up. “I know how to do that!” Myra says, “That’s what you think!” She pulls the thermometer out and tells Rusty he has a temperature, but promises to “cure what’s wrong with you”. Rusty asks what’s going on as we get a random slow pan up a poster of Marilyn Monroe’s famous nude photo.
Myra says, “I shall ball you, Rusty! It’s very simple!” At this, we pan across more pictures of Marilyn as an announcer’s voice cries, “Now, ladies and gentlemen, what you’ve all been waitin’ for! The wildest bucking-est bronc in the world!” We then cut to footage from an old movie where a cowboy is about to ride a bull. According to the announcer, the bronco is called “Cherry! The maaaaaan killer!”
Then we cut to Rusty lying bare-assed across the examination table. Myra laughs. “A man should ball chicks, you said.” She says she tried to convince him otherwise, “but I’m afraid it will require a practical demonstration!” As she talks, she takes off her white lab coat, revealing the star-spangled bikini that she wears on the movie’s poster.
Rusty struggles against his restraints. We see Myra doing something below her waist, out of the frame, and suddenly something snaps shut. Rusty looks over and cries, “Oh my God, Jesus, you’ll kill me!” What’s being (barely) implied here is that Myra has just strapped on a big dildo. Yep, you read that right. A big dildo.
Gosh. How did the world get by in those dark days before actresses could wear dildos in major motion pictures?
We then get a shot of Myron sitting in a movie theater [?], eating a big bag of popcorn. He laughs uproariously at what he sees up on screen. What? Is this At the Movies?
Cut back to Myra. “I won’t kill you, I’ll just educate you. You and the rest of America!” She says she’s going to demonstrate that “there’s no such thing as manhood!” Cleverly, this statement is accompanied by a close-up of a poster of Clark Gable as more lightning crashes. Myra says that manhood “died with Burt Lancaster at Vera Cruz!” Well, duhhh. Who didn’t know that?
“Your manhood was taken by Clark Gable and Errol Flynn,” she proclaims, coming up behind him. “I am only going to supply you with the finishing touches!”
Okay, well, this is where the movie pretty much implodes. And coincidentally, so does my skull.
First, there’s a clip of a young Judy Garland behind a microphone telling a crowd, “I reckon none of you Northern folk ever heard of Texas Callahan makin’ love to his gal! Well, you’re gonna hear it now!” Then we hear “charge” played on a trumpet, which is immediately followed by a shot of Raquel Welch dressed head to toe in armor [!] and sitting on a horse [!!] and holding a lance [!!!] and crying, “Chaaaaaaaaaaarge!” [!!!!] Argh… movie has beaten me… no smart ass comments left…
We then cut to a clip of Vikings using a big log to bust down a castle gate. Ooh, that’s subtle. Then at last, we cut to Myra behind Rusty, waving her cowboy hat around like she’s riding a nuclear bomb at the end of Dr. Strangelove.
Let’s take a moment to fully appreciate what’s happening here.
Rusty’s getting it in the ass with a dildo.
Wow. I’m really, really glad this movie was here to finally shatter this taboo. I mean, just imagine what great films Frank Capra or Fritz Lang might have made had they been allowed to show anal dildo rape on camera.
We cut to some old, blue-tinted footage of people at a horse race. A guy cries, “Certainly leaned on that one!” [??]
Then it’s back and forth between the anal dildo rape (boy, who ever thought I’d type that phrase in a movie recap?) and moments from other old films. There’s a clip of Laurel and Hardy yelling at somebody in a panic, then a clip of a woman saying, “Atta boy!” After more footage of the anal dildo rape, we cut to a soldier in a old movie saying, “That’s what I call disgustin’!”
The anal dildo rape continues, and then we cut to footage from an old movie where the Hoover Dam bursts and crumbles. Back in Myra’s office, we pan across portraits of Clark Gable and Jayne Mansfield looking on.
In voiceover, Myra breathlessly proclaims, “I’m coming, Scarlett, I’m coming! I’m coming, Lana!” Okay, that was a little too much information. After random shots of a musical number in an old movie, we see Myra in a big frilly dress. She’s on a flowered swing against a black background. As she swings back and forth, she cries out, “Hooray for Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck! [??] Uncle Sam, here I coooooooome!”
There’s stock footage of a roller coaster going down a slope, then a plane gliding over water, followed by a quick shot of Myra riding a broomstick. Suddenly, the screen goes orange, and once more, we get to see our old friend Atomic Test Footage as romantic music plays in the background. So all this scene has really accomplished is making me want to watch Dr. Strangelove again.
Then we cut to another old film where an old guy and a woman are cheering. Old Guy exclaims, “It’s the first time in my whole life I’ve ever really enjoyed opera!” And this is the first time in my whole life I’ve ever had to type the phrase “anal dildo rape” four times, so I suppose we’re even. Then we cut to another movie where a ballerina performs Swan Lake [?].
Of course, the most famous footage used in this scene was never seen. Originally, a clip of Loretta Young was included, but once she found out her image was used in conjunction with an anal rape scene, she immediately sued 20th Century Fox. Instead of fighting the lawsuit, Fox figured it was cheaper to round up all the existing prints, destroy them, and then issue new prints with the clip deleted. You can’t really blame Fox for not wanting to waste any more money on this disaster. Still, I kind of wish they had stopped at the “destroying all prints” step.
Finally, we see a drained Myra with her hair swept across her face. She’s looking spent and exhausted, and I gotta say she’s not the only one. She rises with obvious signs of soreness and puts her cowboy hat back on. She then calmly undoes Rusty’s restraints.
Rusty is all sweaty, and looking pretty much like how you would expect a guy to look in this situation. He’s also looking like a guy who’s so completely traumatized that he’ll never make another movie ever again. Which, as it so happens, he is. He glances at Myra, but says nothing, and quietly puts his clothes back on. Rusty asks if he can go, and a depleted Myra replies, “Yessssss. You can go… now.”
As he opens the door, Myra says, “Well, aren’t you going to thank me for all the trouble I’ve taken?” What do you want, a cookie? We pan over to Rusty, who obediently says, “Thank you ma’am.”
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the character of Myra. As far as I can tell, Rusty’s only crime is being homophobic. Oh, and he also has the outrageous desire to actually get married and have children. So what does Myra do to him? She ties him down, rapes him, and then demands that he thank her afterwards. Ladies and gentleman, our hero.