Rock Hudson Documentary and “As Long as I’m Famous”

Superstar Rock Hudson. Photos: Victoria Rowe.

Seems like it was a return to old Hollywood week, when I attended the world premiere of the Rock Hudson documentary at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood – and later the premiere of the feature film “As Long as I’m Famous” at the Laemmle Ahrya Fine Arts in Beverly Hills.

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The Rock Hudson evening also included a book signing for the tome “All That Heaven Allows” written by Mark Griffin, who attended the celebration, along with film stars, Piper Laurie and Illeana Douglas. This is the book that the devastatingly gorgeous leading man wanted printed. 

David Chokachi as boxer Gene Tunney.

Drawing from more than 100 interviews with co-stars, family members and former companions, the book details the complex portrait of this Hollywood Legend. 

Griffin goes deeply into the Oscar-nominated icon’s life conflict with his closeted homosexuality and his battle with AIDS. The disclosure that this revered public figure had contracted the illness focused world-wide attention to the epidemic. News Flash: Universal Pictures is moving ahead to make a feature film on Griffin’s book – and we can’t wait!

Then, a few days later we were invited to the film premiere of “As Long as I’m Famous’ exploring the splendor and secret passions in 1948 Hollywood. Director-Screenwriter Bruce Reisman inspired by the real events that took place, tells the tale through then unknown writer and director Sidney Lumet. 

His relationship deals with the famed playwright Joshua Logan (“South Pacific,” “Annie Get Your Gun”) and his colorful friends in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Among these was boxing champ, Gene Tunney – portrayed in the film by David Chokachi, which is as far away from “Baywatch” as he could get.

The cast of “As Long as I’m Famous”.

A real star turn is gorgeous Gavin Adams who stars as screen legend Montgomery Clift. Although Clift’s sexuality was the worst kept secret in Hollywood, his bro-mance-plus with Lumet was unknown to the public. 

Did you know that among other things, such relationships were illegal in 1948? The chemistry and the unique style of this film, should fascinate audiences of all ages. Kudos to the multi-talented cast and brave cinematographer Ryan Brown. The gorgeous detailed period costumes, designed by Victoria Lowe, who also created the meticulous make-up and hair, lent authenticity to the production.

Donations from this event went to Stand Up to Cancer – a most worthy cause from the most worthy film we have seen in a long time.

Gavin Adams as Montgomery Clift.

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