The Critical Eye
by, Phil Tarley
The Fabulous Allan Carr, Hollywood’s Ode to Gay Pop Culture Producer, VOD Release for Gay Pride Month, June 5
Kitschy, crazy and stuffed with stars, such is the life documented in The Fabulous Allan Carr, produced and directed by Jeffrey Schwarz. The documentary is being released in gay pride month, just in time to celebrate the larger than life, wild-caftan-queen-culture-vulture producer. What a whopper-wonder of a movie, this is. With campy 60’s animation and eye-witness commentary by the uber-fabulous Bruce Vilanch, every movie and musical star you could ever imagine from this quirky period is trotted out in a madcap recap of the era. There is an amazing cameo from “Butch” muscleman Bruce Jenner, one of the stars of Can’t Stop the Music, Carr’s Village People movie, which back then was subtitled, Can’t Stop The Cocaine.
Producer of Grease the Movie, Where The Boys Are, and prolific theater impresario, Carr supervised the careers of Big Mama Cass, Ann-Margaret, and famously promoted Tommy, the Movie and a host of Broadway shows. He threw some of the biggest and best parties of the era. Allan just wanted everyone to have a good time. For Allan Carr, too much was never enough.
The movie careens from one frenetic Hollywood party and wild pop culture-driven film project to another. Sexy, scantily-clad, twinkie boys are thrown about his movies, his opulent houses, and they litter his voyeuristic sexual obsessions and gigantic appetites for more food, more boys, more glamour and bigger caftans. Just when the documentary goes over the top with unimagined excess, disaster strikes. After wild Hollywood accomplishments like Grease, Carr’s game comes crashing down with a series of costly flops that bring the producer to knees. Suddenly the movie takes on a pithy poignancy and The Fabulous Allan Carr gets real.
Along with the producer, we are devastated by his losses and deep sadness. In a most remarkable coup and comeback, Carr hires Harvey Fierstein to write the book for La Cage aux Folles and produces the musical on Broadway starring George Hearn in the drag role and Gene Barry as his lover. A musical love story between two men on Broadway in 1983 was a daring breakthrough during the time of Ronald Reagan’s homophobic America. It was a theatrical tour de force and garnered 6 Tony Awards including Best Musical.
Tumbling through the video are clips featuring every star of the day and the sweet nostalgic interviews of Sherry Lansing, Nikki Haskell, Michael Musto, Connie Stevens, Marlo Thomas, Alana Stewart, and Lorna Luft – all close intimates of Allan Carr who lovingly recall the man’s triumphs and despairs.
Bruce Vilanch summed up Carr’s life when he opined, “He got his dream and turned it into a nightmare.”
The Fabulous Allan Carr Trailer: https://vimeo.com/256459015
VOD Available on Amazon and Itunes June 5, 2018