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6 Onscreen Duos Who Should Have Been Queer

by Bethany Jones
February 28, 2014 2:50 PM
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Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell
Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell

They weren't (explicitly) queer, but here's six cinematic couples we sure wish had been:

Maria Von Trapp and the Baroness (The Sound of Music)

Who knows, maybe Maria left the convent because there was too much temptation (plus those nuns kept going on and on about her ‘problem’). But there’s just a whole lotta hot waiting for her in the Von Trapp compound. And we don’t mean the Captain. Or even that teenaged Nazi postman with the white unmoving hair. No, we’re talking a certain glam aristo-cat, the blonde unflappable Baroness Von Schraeder. What’s not to love? Her hair doesn’t move either, but on her it works. We can tell she knows about sex, because she has a cigarette holder. And think of the rom-com you get when you take a bored socialite stranded in the countryside, and a romping rustic novice nun, and the camp match-making high jinks of Uncle Max, and the cherubic match-making high jinks of seven singing semi-orphans, and the Weimar-ish cool aloofness of a musical ex-naval captain. Imagine the makeover montage as the Baroness initiates Maria into her wardrobe! Think of the climax at the ball! Maria gets sassy, and the Baroness learns how to love. Our movie is called ‘Two Moms and a Capitan’. Or maybe ‘Casa Von Tramp’. Either way, wilkommen!

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

What if it were Robert Redford perched on the front of that bicycle? We think it should be. The unbelievable beauty of the Paul Newman/Robert Redford duo is the real crime at the heart of this lovable gangster flick. And its romantic tropes are so hyper-straight they’re queer. Raindrops are falling on their heads, but that doesn’t mean their eyes will soon be turning red. No, these two are happy just as they are, and in our version they make a getaway from the siege at the shack, and disappear with their improbable beauty into the improbable beauty of the Technicolor hills. Now that’s a Brokeback Mountain we’d really like to see.

Neo and Agent Smith (The Matrix series)

This isn’t even about the leather. There was always a little too much relish in Agent Smith’s appetite for interrogating/shirtless bugging/kung-fu fighting with Neo, something more than the usual frisson of omnipotent-incarnation-of-an-enslaving-mastermind-computer-program meets rogue-hacker-freedom-fighter-messiah. Now, we’re not saying it’ll be easy for these two. We know this is a serious police state, because they wear their sunglasses at night. But sometimes, even in a cruel and wacky world, two men with limited facial range just, you know, find each other. As Smith says to Neo, ‘here I stand because of you…Because of you, I’ve changed.’ Aww.

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  • Question | March 9, 2014 5:56 AMReply

    It would be cool to have an article that was about the on screen relationships (like the ones below) where there are suggested queer references and insinuations whilst not allowing/willingly offering confirmation of a queer relationship. So Thelma and Louise (which is also arguably heteronormative at the same time)? Kind of subversive, I don't really know. Just seems like there are always these films that feature either 'sisters' or 'men-in-arms/brothers' that is reminiscent of a time when those were secret-yet-no-so-secret-by-words for sexuality.

  • AL | March 9, 2014 10:11 AM

    The link didn't work! But try searching 'Hays'd' or looking through our old posts. They're there and they're wonderful!

  • Alice Lytton | March 9, 2014 10:10 AM

    Great point! Have you seen our 'Decoding the Classics' series? It's on precisely this topic. So far we've covered 'Rebecca', 'Some Like It Hot', 'Rebel Without A Cause' and Streetcar named desire. I particularly love this one

  • Emma | March 3, 2014 4:46 PMReply

    Don't forget Calamity Jane and Katie Brown! 'Once I had a secret love. Who lived within the heart of me. All too soon that secret love, became impatient to be free.. Now! I shout it from the highest hills! Even told the golden daffodils. My heart is now an open door, and my secret love's no secret, any more..' And 'A woman's touch, A woman's touch. The magic of Aladdin couldn't do as much.. Then gosh almighty, all at once the cabin that we knew, becomes a shining castle built for two - me and you! Sooo, never underestimate a woman's touch!'
    I mean, come on! They are so sub-text its practically main text!

  • Dioné | February 28, 2014 5:03 PMReply

    Forgot Thelma & Louise <3

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