6.7/10
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Straight-Jacket (2004)

In 1950's Hollywood, movie star Guy Stone must marry a studio secretary in order to conceal his homosexuality. Sally has no idea her marriage is a sham, though, and turns Guy's life upside-down. Then he falls in love.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Guy Stone
...
Sally Stone
...
Rick Foster
...
Jerry Albrecht
Victor Raider-Wexler ...
Saul Ornstein
...
Freddie Stevens
...
Victor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Waiter
...
Ray Verrine
...
Moron #2
...
Betty Bright
...
Starlet
...
Tourist
...
Reporter
John Ganun ...
Crewman
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Storyline

In 1950's Hollywood, movie star Guy Stone must marry a studio secretary in order to conceal his homosexuality. Sally has no idea her marriage is a sham, though, and turns Guy's life upside-down. Then he falls in love.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fame... Money... Girls... What's his secret?

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 March 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Saia Justa  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,888 (USA) (3 December 2004)

Gross:

$45,463 (USA) (15 April 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jackie Hoffman, who originated the role of Jerry in the stage play, was asked to reprise her role, but couldn't due to her appearance in "Hairspray: The Musical." See more »

Goofs

The sign on the Post Office says United States Postal Service. The USPS didn't exist in the 1950s. At that time it was the United States Post Office. See more »

Quotes

Guy Stone: You know why they call it 'freedom'? Because nobody's free. And that's dumb.
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Crazy Credits

No animals or homosexuals were injured in the making of this film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 2005 Glitter Awards (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Tell the Story Blues
Music by Stephen Edwards (as Thaddeus Hillary)
Provided by 5 Alarm Music
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User Reviews

 
Inside Hollywood: Comedy about the Sobering McCarthy Era
24 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

STRAIGHT JACKET began as a play by writer/director Richard Day and Day transforms this bit of fluff about Hollywood and its foibles and hidden secrets in the 1950s with the panache that true comedy must have: verisimilitude. The look of the film within a film has the constant appearance of being 'on camera' and that bit of execution makes the film really work. Day deals with issues such as closeted gay actors and actresses, film moguls with an eye on the buck more than on art, the sub rosa gay scene of the time (pre Stonewall) among others. Though there is some parody on the life of Rock Hudson it is only a sidebar.

Guy Stone (Matt Letscher) is a handsome, successful movie star with a devoted female audience who gives the public appearance of being straight while carrying on a wild but anonymous gay sex life. His agent Jerry (Veronica Cartwright) struggles to keep him in tow, always aware that should his sexual preference become public that his acting career would be over. When Guy is photographed en flagrante Jerry decides that the story must not leak, a story which would prevent his obtaining the role of Ben Hur, and convinces Guy to quickly get married - the most available 'wife' would be the ditsy, star struck secretary Sally (Carrie Preston) whose boss Saul (Victor Raider-Wexler) agrees as a solution.

Once married Guy discovers Sally's obsession with being a 1950s wife complete with the tacky re-do of his pad, drowning him in affection, and ...preventing him from his nightly sojourns into the gay world. Guy meets pro communist writer Rick Foster (Adam Greer) who has written Guy's latest film, a script that must be doctored to pass McCarthyisms. They do the courtship dance and eventually actually fall in love, much to Guy's consternation! The political and conscientious differences between the two are forgotten until their pairing is discovered. Guy is asked to go before the TV cameras to confess his homosexuality (which the McCarthyites equate with Communism) and to give names of others who are of like nature.

At this point the film becomes poignant and the manner in which the films is resolved is best left to the surprise of the viewer. While some may feel this 'change of direction' in a comedy is melodramatic, others will see the conclusion as a meaningful resolution that maintains that 'comedy' is just the other side of the mask of 'tragedy'.

The sets and costumes and flow of the film are quite well done, successfully transporting us to the dazzle of the Fifties and the many mindless motion pictures that flooded the screens. The individual actors are good with especial kudos to Veronica Cartwright who can toss away one-liners with the aplomb of the best of comediennes. Carrie Preston is wholly convincing as the platinum blonde fluff head and delivers a song very well. While Letscher and Greer perform well there is no magic in their bond, even after their true feelings are revealed: they remain uninvolved with each other as actors so there is little to no sexual tension. The musical score is just this side of atrocious but it suits the era. In all, this is an entertaining if overlong film with an important re-enactment of a scary time in Hollywood that meanders a bit too much for the final punch it could have had. Grady Harp


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