just nods in agreement.  

In the next sequence, Stroud comes in to Hagan's office - one that adjoins Janoth's.   Here, dictating to his own secretary, Hagan smokes, holding his cigarette from underneath, a distinct mannerism that clashes with the more manly way to smoke, exhibited by Stroud earlier.   George, we find, has been called into the office to cancel his intended vacation with his wife and child to oversee the next number of the magazine - as Stroud paces the floor, yelling about the sacrifices he has made to his job, Steve smokes perches on his office settee, gazing at George from below, peppering George's tirade with little quips and barbs that reflect his disdain for such middle class trappings.   Once Stroud asks Steve to "put yourself in my wife's place - a woman who has never had a honeymoon," the scene shifts to Janoth's adjoining office, where he listens on the intercom.   The switch in scene does suggest that a closeness exists between Janoth and Hagan, but the arrival of Pauline York (Rita Johnson) Janoth's mistress, puts to rest any thoughts concerning Janoth's sexuality.

Or, does it?   The next evening, Janoth arrives at his mistress' apartment and kills her by beating her with a sundial - one that she received while in the company of George Stroud, who was out drinking after fighting with his wife.   Pauline and Janoth have a heated exchange, but instead of her questioning his sexuality (as in the novel) he questions hers, reminding her of certain cab drivers, bell boys and lifeguards who she has recently entertained.   In fact, her derogatory comments are directed at his "flabby" body and his "pathetic" need for attention.   The scene dissolves from Janoth's bloated face to Steve Hagan's well-appointed apartment, someplace in the city.   Its décor speaks volumes, contrasting sharply with the clean, modern elegance of the Janoth building.   Steve's place is reminiscent of Old World elegance, with Victorian chairs, paneled walls with shelves filled with books and object d'art.   Hagan pours a drink for his boss, dressed in a floor-length dressing gown, adorned with a white cravat.   When Janoth says, "Steve, I've just killed someone," Hagan replies, "Well, she's been asking for it for sometime."   This familiarity denotes ease between the two men - no names are mentioned, but everything is understood.   They sit at a small table, set with cards, and the camera glides in to a close shot of the two men huddled together, intimately speaking of the crime.   Hagan hatches the plot to cover Janoth's involvement when the killer recalls that Pauline had been out with a man, who they will set up to take the wrap.   As Steve leaves to go retrieve Janoth's hat, left at the scene, he comes forward and places his arm about his shivering superior, embracing him in a protective manner; Hagan is now in control, and he confidently commands Janoth through the rest of the film, having seduced him to pin the blame on Stroud.   Nattily dressed in a dark suit, suede gloves and a homburg hat, Steve re-orchestrates the crime scene to liberate Janoth from suspicion.           

What is most interesting about the film version of The Big Clock is its use of the queer villain in light of the film being a struggle between the right-minded but falsely accused, straight hero battling to save his family life and his good reputation against the corpulent capitalist Janoth and his sneaky sidekick, Hagan.   Dean McCannell reads the film in this light, seeing George as a "democratic hero" fighting the good fight for "inclusion" (286) - a desire to see all of those oppressed by Janoth and his clock to find a place of true democracy.   In this respect, the film redirects the message of the novel, where George is really no better than his criminal boss or his self-serving henchman - Fearing's version of the world order is one where democracy is bought for a price, the clock representing the power that men like Janoth and Hagan hold bought for a price, cynically criticizing that the ideals of democracy can be bought and sold.   By highlighting the queer villain's place in the film, Farrow draws a much cleaner line between the hero and the villains, making sure that the democratic George liberates all the workers from the unquestioned oligarchy of such sexual deviants.  


The New Bridge from Noir to Realism

In every field of human endeavor, he that is first must perpetually live in that white light of publicity . . . when a man's work becomes a standard for the whole world, it also becomes the target for the shafts of the envious few.

            It is truly fitting that this quotation that Hoover kept over his desk at the FBI was the simply the ad copy for a Cadillac advertisement, dated 2 January 1915 because Hoover saw himself as a paragon of American values, and the Cadillac limo that he was driven to work in every morning was his personal status symbol - a reminder of how important he thought himself in maintaining the fabric of American society.   While historians typically believe that the Red Scare of the 1950s ended with McCarthy's defeat during the Army Hearings in 1954, and his subsequent death in 1957, it was far from over in the mind of J. Edgar; interestingly, this is also where film noir critics have traditionally ended the noir period, with the release of Orson Welles's studio-butchered Touch of Evil .   However, Hoover's covert campaign against both Commies and Queers simply entered a new phase, as did film noir 's influence.

          From the time of the second set of McCarthy Hearings in Hollywood, corresponding with the publication of Red Channels in 1951, until 1958, the homophile organizations forming in San Francisco and in New York remained under the watchful eye of J. Edgar Hoover (Stryker 35).   Formed in spite of the rampant homophobia of such public figures, the Mattachine Society (discussed earlier) and the Daughters of Bilitis expanded their ranks as they worked to educate the public about homosexuality in both men and women.   After it began publishing its nationally circulating newsletter The Mattachine Review in 1954, the officers found out that the society was under investigation by Hoover, who hid behind a series of laws that permitted his investigations so long as he suspected them as Communist covers (Stryker 41).   The publication of Allen Ginsberg's Howl by City Lights in 1954 only added to Hoover's suspicions that both coasts harbored Commies and Queers.   Not all gay men and women immediately joined these groups, and, even if their agendas proved to be more conservative, these two groups forged important links for the gays and lesbians who hid themselves away in singular fear; these proved to be the foundations of the modern queer political movement.   

          In 1958, J. Edgar Hoover released Masters of Deceit , his first book outlining his understanding of the Communist conspiracy against America ._   Hoove r's intent in writing the text was pedagogical: "Every citizen has a duty to learn more about the menace that threatens his future, his home, his children, the peace of the world" (v) - the sexist markers showing how such awareness will help men to maintain order within their domestic order.   In the early chapters of the book, Hoover lays out a picture of America in danger of disintegrating from its foundation because of the false promises, where "Clergymen would be required to accept the Party line.   Children would be placed in nurseries and special indoctrination schools.   Women, boast the communists, would be relieved of housework.   How?   Huge factory and apartment-house kitchens would be set up, so that women would be free to work in factories and mines along with the men" (8).   According to Hoover, each of America's virtues would be compromised by allegiance to the Party doctrine.   Ironically, the man who had recently begun to plant information on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. pointed out that the recent gains made by minorities would not be tolerated in a Communist state: "They say they favor democracy, that communism will bring the fullest democracy in the history of mankind.   But, to the communists, democracy does not mean free speech, free elections, or the right of minorities to exist.   Democracy means the domination of the communist state, the complete supremacy of the Party" (102).   Constructing his argument with few facts, Hoover' s book was a warning that America was still teeming with Commies ready to destroy the upper middle-class world of 1950s prosperity.

          Hoover's monomania for censoring queer organization filters into the text using a euphemistic language to identify the threat of gay men and women.   In Chapter 8, "Why Do People Become Communists?", Hoover uses character sketches of "typical" folks who have supposedly joined the Communist underground to fulfill a specific need, from a "vain hope of improving social conditions, gaining better housing, or achieving better relations between the races" (110) to achieving a "sense of belongingness" (112).   However, his warning that "sexual appeal plays a role"(111) in a misguided effort to connect is conveyed in a depiction of Larry, "a communist in a Midwestern state":

            A sad group of recruits are simply twisted, mixed-up neurotics.   Perhaps as sons and daughters of well-to-do parents they harbor a "guilt complex" about the very privileges that America has given them.   Or, because of some setback in life, they are angry at society and turn to communism as a way to "get even."

          Let's look at Larry, a communist in a Midwestern state.   Ever since youth, he had felt a "persecution complex." Everywhere he looked he seemed to see despair and strife.   The whole of society, he concluded, was strictly a dog-eat-dog affair, with life being divided between the have's and the have-not's.   Such an attitude was intensified by an "artistic" and "sensitive" temperament.   Seeing these "injustices," he felt compelled to help the "persecuted."   At first he became just a "reformer"; then, after reading Marxist literature, he joined the Party.   Twisted, distorted, and maladjusted, he is today even more confused.   He found that the Party only exploited his neurotic condition to make use of his services.   (113)

Rhetorically, Hoover's strategy is fascinating as he employs the quotation marks about words that need to project a painful sting or distasteful bite.   Larry's story, neatly summed up in such qualifiers, is easily a tale of closeted gayness, seeking companionship in a world that does not approve.   Hoover's method is simplistic Freudianism at its most dangerous, disdaining these "sons and daughters" of "privilege" as living through some form of "guilt complex."   The fact that Larry is labeled a "neurotic" whose talents can be "exploited" to such selfishly "twisted, distorted" and "maladjusted" ends places the needs of this sad man and the even sadder Party in a similarly frustrated crossroad -- one that Hoover feels it is important to warn middle-America about.

            Hoover continues to use the rhetoric of the "pick-up" to intensify his distasteful mission.   The "Party's efficient recruitment apparatus" (113) takes the form of a grand seduction, playing off of the needs of the unfulfilled.   He speaks of a Party member "working on the prospect" (113), like a temptress.   Hoover continues by reminding his reader, "Of special interest to the Party are young people" (114): "Many Party-sponsored activities - dances, parties, and picnics - are aimed to win the allegiance of boys and girls.   Time after time members join as teen-agers - the age at which the Party would like to capture minds" (114).   The word-choices remind one of the language used by right-wing religious organizations to suggest how gay men prey on unsuspecting children in an effort to "convert" them to a life of lustfully selfish sin.   Hoover even ends the chapter with the notion that all Americans, regardless of how patriotic, are recognized by such groups as "convertible" (116) - using a rhetoric of fear to turn true Americans away from those who subscribe to "this alien ideology" (115).

            At the same time Hoover's book was released, a play opened on Broadway that re-told the horrendous tale of Leopold and Loeb, the University of Chicago students who kidnapped and murdered a local boy in 1922.   Compulsion , written by Meyer Levin and based on his documentary novel, was regarded a hit by Brooks Atkinson when it opened at the Ambassador Theatre on 24 October 1957, as it focused on revealing that the men were not one-dimensional psychopaths, but terribly conflicted men whose intense feelings for one another conflicted with their privileged up-bringing.   Even though the drama employed "a lot of psychiatric exposition" to make the two young killers empathetic in their misguided efforts, the critics found that Meyer Levin's play left them thinking Leopold and Loeb "morbid, horrible, degenerate, odious" (21) - suitable for a play that opened at the height of the cold war that examines the motivations of two queer anti-heroes . 10  

In bringing the film to the screen, director Richard Fleischer employs noir tactics, filming in black-and-white, securing Dutch angles, using low key lighting to achieve haunting shadows.   Deep focus and imbalanced lighting help to turn suburbia, that newly though-of paradise of the 1950s working man, into the decaying city, rife with the threats to middle America - including villainous homosexuals.   

The film opens with a coda of the two men, Judd Steiner (Bradford Dillman) Artie Straus (Dean Stockwell) climbing from the window of a fraternity house where they have stolen some money and a typewriter.   The college and the surrounding suburbs are dark with night, lending a noir -ish effect to the shadows along the buildings and roadways.    As they take off in Artie's auto, the banter lends itself the effect of two lovers quarreling as Artie chastises Judd for not following orders.

Judd: ( lifting a flask ): To the perfect crime.

Artie: The perfect crime - ah, my wealthy fraternity brothers.   Sixty-seven dollars and a second hand typewriter.   Gimme some of that   ( grabbing at the flask ).   I told you to leave it alone.   No, but you were so scared you froze to it.  

Judd: The next time, I'll be all right.

Artie: If there is a next time.   When we made the deal, you said you could take orders.   You said you wanted me to command you.

Judd: I do.   As long as you keep to your part of the agreement.  

The sequence is shot in a tight frame, forcing the men to remain close to one another - almost kissing at times - adding to the tension of the moment.   This verbal sparring turns to a game of chicken when a drunk in the road becomes a simple obstruction, Judd steering the car toward the old man.   Artie, grabbing at the wheel, causes them to avoid hitting him; however, as they return, with Artie now at the wheel, Judd uses the moment to test Artie's loyalty, ordering him to obey.   As Artie narrowly misses the drunken man, the jazz-influenced score and credit sequence begin.   Given the score and the tense dialogue it is nearly impossible to recall that a title card telling the audience that the action takes place in 1924 started the film.   I believe this is intentional, as Fleischer presents the frenzied story in relation to the current time (1959) - causing his audience to recognize limitations concerning sexual identity within the landscape of middle America.

This is exemplified in the small exchange the pair have as they park in front of Artie's house.   Judd apologizes for missing the drunk at the last minute, promising to do "anything" to make Artie trust him once more.   Artie, in tight close-up turns toward Judd, as if to taunt him, "Anything?"   He turns toward Judd more, raising himself up a bit.   A cut interrupts the flow of movement as he moves closer toward Judd, again almost kissing him.   "I want to do something really dangerous.   Something that will have everyone talking, not just a few guys - with half the fat-head police in Chicago running around while we sit back and laugh about it." The seduction works, as Judd pledges to be better next time, so long as they perform "together - something perfect, something brilliant."   In pulling away from the curb, Judd sounds like a lonely teenager, half stating, half asking Artie if he can call him tomorrow.

Upon his arrival home, Artie meets his older brother Max (Richard Anderson), who questions where Artie spent the evening.   The attempt at conversation becomes an argument over Artie Strauss, as Max begins to question Judd' s reasoning for desiring Artie's company.

Max: Where were you?   Up to some funny business with Artie again?   As if I didn't know?

Judd: Then, why bother to ask?

Max: Wait a minute.   I want to talk to you a minute.  

Judd: I don't think we have anything in common, Max.   Now, let go of my arm.   I don't have to answer to you.

Max: Or any body else, eh kid?   Artie . . . your birds . . . you don' t give a damn about anything else in the world, do you?

Judd: Does my interest in ornithology annoy you that much?

Max: Don't be a fool.   I'm delighted with your success .   It just irritates me to see anyone as brilliant as you make a jackass out of yourself over someone like Artie Strauss.

Judd: I see.   For your information, my dear brother, Max, Artie Strauss happens to have one of the most brilliant minds I've ever encountered.

Max: I know all about Artie Strauss and his brilliant mind.   I have no doubt that the both of you have twice the brains I have - I'd just like to see you use it for once on something besides cheating old ladies at bridge and giggling and sneering in your room all afternoon . . . . Don't you ever go to a baseball game or chase girls, or anything?   At your age, I was always . . .

Judd: I'm sure you had some fascinating experiences, Max.   But, some other time.   I don't expect any consideration, but Artie happens to be a gentleman - something you don't understand . . . .

Max: Oh, I understand, all right.   Would you like me to tell you something else about him?   I think he 's a dirty, evil, filthy-minded little . . .  

Judd: (screaming): Keep your filthy mouth shut!   I don't have to listen to your insinuations any longer, and I won' t.

The camera angles that Fleischer employ turns the well-appointed Steiner home into a creepy, sinister environment, trapping the articulate Judd into a restricted situation.   And, the conversation turns from a simple inquiry to a comment by Max on Judd 's masculinity and his relationship with Artie.   As Judd mounts the stairs, he turns to scream in his own defense, causing Max to grab him before he wakes the house - clearly, this is the manner used by the little brother to get his parents to leave him be.    

The structure of the film's plot turns toward the detective genre when one of the boys' fraternity brothers, Sid (Martin Milner), who interns at the local paper, receives a call a drowned boy, who turns out to be Paulie Kessler, apparently murdered and dumped at the local park.   The Hyde Park suburb begins to teem with police detectives and news reporters once word gets out that a pair of eyeglasses found at the scene did not belong to the victim.   The Dutch angles and tight close-ups resume as Judd pours through each of his suits looking for his own spectacles under the watchful eye of Artie.   As Judd tears about the room, tossing about tweed blazers, Artie sits in a chair with a large Teddy Bear, speaking to it about Judd's incompetence.   As the tension builds between the two, the close-ups and angles get sharper, and the inter-cutting becomes quicker, moving between Artie, Jud and the bear, making for a decidedly creepy moment.   When Judd asks Artie to listen to reason, Artie yells back, "We're not taking to you," causing the spectator to realize just how unhinged Artie has become.   As Judd begins to tear frantically about the room, Artie, in extreme close-up, begins a private conversation with the bear, concerning Judd's fear.   When Max barges into the room, Artie rises to leave, asking Judd for a ride home.   When Max reminds him that it is only two blocks away, Artie's quick response is priceless: "But the streets are filled with kidnappers and degenerates.   Max, you wouldn't want to be responsible for something happening to me, would you?   Or, would you?"   These early moments in the film set the stage for the trial once the men are found guilty.

The film makes an interesting parallel to the words of J. Edgar Hoover when the boys are put on trial for the murder of Paulie Kessler.   The families secure the eminent attorney Jonathan Wilk (Orson Welles) to defend the young men, and he, very quickly, gets them to acknowledge their guilt, so he can turn the trial into a plea for their lives - "guilty with mitigating circumstances."   Using psychoanalysis as the basis for his plea, Wilk turns to medical examiners to report their feelings as to whether Judd and Artie are sane . 11    Naturally, due to the censorship guidelines, frank discussion of the subject is avoided in the film, but the defense concerning Artie and Judd's unnatural bond rings clear as the doctors Wilk and the doctors speak of the fact that Artie and Judd have no "close friends."    Wilk's case is built on the premise that the young men are "emotionally unstable" - a obvious euphemism for their queerness.   Dr. Ullman (Dayton Lummis) takes the stand to testify that the "boys" (as Wilk continues to call them) suffer from a form of schizophrenia; another psychiatrist agrees, saying that he boys suffer from a form of   "paranoia [that] encompasses a very positive feeling of being right and a strong neurotic suspicion of being persecuted because of those feelings" - rhetoric similarly employed by Hoover in his classification of the Communist - a fitting parallel that reveals that Fleischer's film has more to do with America in the 1950s than in the 1920s.  

Wilk's summation in pleading for the lives of Artie and Judd speaks to the public hatred for them because of their acts.   He treats the entire room as a microcosm of the public, saying, "For the last three weeks, I've heard nothing but the cry of blood in this room, heard nothing from the offices of the state's attorney but ugly hatred", suggesting that death is not what the boys deserve because they only acted out fantasies that anyone might be guilty of, but because of the general public's stability, they hold them in check.   He refers to Judd and Artie as "two sick children who belong in a psychopathic hospital" for the crime, and turns the tables on the District Attorney (E. G. Marshall) by pointing to him as being as guilty for "plotting and scheming" against the young men . 12   While not as progressive as one might hope, Compulsion is a composite of noir technique fused with the elements of the detective and the courtroom drama.   What makes it a more likely bridge to the crime films of the 1960s is its particular attention to the queer villains - now, moved to the center stage, rather than simply relegated to the sidelines.  

Artie Strauss and Judd Steiner make an interesting team of villains, the logical progeny of the comic misfits of Hammett's novel, the flamboyant closet-cases of Chandler's novels - and the films of Houston, Dmytryk, and Hawks -- and the sly, elegant schemers of Highsmith and Fearing - and the films of Hitchcock and Farrow.   With this trajectory, we can see that the queer villain has a rightful place in the world of noir , embodying each of its three stages, gradually moving from the sidelines toward the center of the feature.  


Works Cited

The Big Clock .   Dir. John Farrow.   Universal, 1948.

The Big Sleep .   Dir. Howard Hawks.   Warner Bros. 1946.

Borda, Raymond and Etienne Chaumenton.   A Panorama of American Film Noir, 1941 - 1953.  

Translated by Paul Hammond.   San Francisco: City Lights, 2002.

Berube, Allan.   Coming Out Under Fire .   New York: Free Press, 1990.

Compulsio n.   Dir. Richard Fleischer.   Twentieth-Century Fox, 1959.

Chandler, Raymond.   The Big Sleep .   New York: Vintage, 1992.

Chauncey, George.   Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male

World, 1890 - 1940 .   New York: Basic Books, 1995.

D'Emilio, John.   Making Trouble: Essays on Gay History, Politics, and the University .   New

York: Routlege, 1992.

---.   Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States, 1940 - 1970 .   Chicago: Univ. of Chicago, 1998.

---.   The World Turned: Essays on Gay History, Politics, and Culture .   Durham: Duke Univ., 2002.

Davis, Mike.   City of Quartz .   New York: Vintage, 1992.

Dyer, Richard.   "Postscript: Queers and Women in Film Noir " in Women in Film Noir , ed. E.

Ann Kaplan.   London: British Film Institute.   1998.

Edleman, Lee.   Homographesis: Essays in Gay Theory and Cultural Theory .   New York:

Routledge.   1994.

Fearing, Kenneth.   The Big Clock .   in Crime Novels: America Noir of the 1930s and 40s.

New York: Library of America, 1997.

Fried, Richard M.   Nightmare in Red: The McCarthy Era in Perspective .   New York: Oxford,


Hack, Richard.   Puppetmaster: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover .   Beverly Hills: New

Millennium, 2004.

Hammett, Dashiell.   The Maltese Falcon .   New York: Vintage, 1992.

Higdon, Hal.   Leopold and Loeb: The Crime of the Century .   Chicago: Univ. of Chicago, 1999.

Hoover, J. Edgar.   Masters of Deceit: The Story of Communism in America and How to Fight It .

New York: Henry Holt, 1958.

Jameson, Frederic.   "The Synoptic Chandler" in Shades of Noir , edited by Joan Copjec.   New

York: Verso, 1993.

Kaiser, Charles .   The Gay Metropolis: 1940 - 1996 .   Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.

Levin, Meyer.   Compulsion .   New York: Simon and Schuster, 1956.

The Maltese Falcon .   Dir. John Huston.   Warner Bros. 1941.

MacCannell, Dean.   "Democracy's Turn: On Homeless Noir " in Shades of Noir , edited by Joan

Copjec.   New York: Verso, 1993.

McCarthy, Todd.   Howard Hawks: The Grey Fox of Hollywood .   New York: Grove, 1997.

Murder, My Sweet .   Dir.   Edward Dmytryk.   RKO Radio Pictures, 1944.

Naremore, James.   More Than Night: Film Noir in its Contexts .   Berkeley: Univ. of California.  


Rodgers, Bruce.   Gay Talk .   New York: Paragon, 1972.

Russo, Vito.   The Celluloid Closet .   New York: Harper and Row.   1987.

Schrecker, Ellen.   The Age of McCarthyism: A Brief History with Documents .   Boston: Bedford,


Strangers on a Train .   Dir. Alfred Hitchcock.   Universal, 1951.

Stryker, Susan and Jim Van Buskirk.   Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the San

Francisco Bay Area.   San Francisco: Chronicle, 1996.

Summers, Anthony.   Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover .   New York:

G. M. Putnam's Sons, 1993.


1 As we will see, this is especially important in The Big Sleep , where Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) enters into an argument with a retail clerk posing as a homosexual type, lisping sharp invectives while disguised with horn-rimmed glasses.

2   Tom Hinley, Chandler's biographer, relates the now "legendary" story of the night Chandler snubbed the Director of the FBI.   One evening, Hoover was at a La Jolla restaurant, and spotted Chandler dining with his wife, Cissy.   The Director asked a waiter to have Chandler stop by the table for an introduction, to which Chandler supposedly responded, "if Hoover wanted to meet him, he could leave his own table" (181).   Supposedly, Hoover rather loudly threatened to place Chandler under investigation as a result.  

3   For instance, see Bill Delaney's "Hammett's The Maltese Falcon " ( Explicator , Winter 1999, Volume 57, Issue 2) Daniel Linder's Hammett's The Maltese Falcon ( Explicator , Spring 2002, Vol. 60, Issue 3) - both articles focus their readings of the novel through Spade's use of the word gunsel , a word as derogatory as "faggot" in some circles.   According to these authors, reading Wilmer as queer forces distinct readings of both novel and film.   

4 Another interesting situation, as Geiger only appears in the film as a corpse.   However, not only does Hawks openly code Geiger's home as queer, but he has his faithful houseboy Carl shoot another man who he believes killed his boss.   In Chandler's novel, Carl openly lives with Geiger in his own room, tastefully decorated in a very macho fashion.

5 While no critics dispute Lyndsay Marriott's depiction (which is only more exaggerated in the 1973 remake, Farewell, My Lovely ), no one speaks of the coding of Amthor - a straight character in Chandler's novel who is coded as queer in Dmytryk's film.

6 Dmytryk wrote his own memoir of the events that led up to his inquisition and imprisonment, Odd Man Out: A Memoir of the Hollywood Ten , in 1996.

7   According to Hack, Hoover and McCarthy knew that Stevenson was Truman's choice as a successor, and that he would put a stop to the Hearings.   It was Hoover's notion to paint Stevenson as a homosexual, getting his reporter contacts at the nation's papers to start referring to the governor as "Adeline."   It is Hack's contention that this practice is the real reason Stevenson lost the election.

8    Additionally, Kaiser shows that while reporters looked for facts to taint the Wisconsin senator, none ever surfaced. He cites Ben Bradlee as saying, "there was a lot of time spent investigating the possibility that McCarthy was gay, but nobody ever came close to proving it.   What a wonderful solution to the problem that would have been" (75).

9   Not only did Hoover receive a $50,000 advance for the book and $71,000 in royalties (neither reported as additional income), he later sold the rights to Quinn-Martin Productions, forming the basis of ABC Television's weekly series The FBI (Hack 309, 361).


10   Levin wrote his documentary novel based on his own work as a young reporter in the Chicago area during Leopold and Loeb's trial for the murder of Bobby Franks.   Levin was forced to change the names of his two protagonists to Judd and Artie because Richard Loeb, who was still alive at the time the play was staged and still at the time the film was made, threatened to sue the author for slander.   Loeb never succeeded in bringing any lawsuit against Levin.

11 Leopold and Loeb's attorney, Clarence Darrow, used the same method in defending his clients.   According to Hal Higdon, the details from these psychological interviews revealed that the men had an unnatural attraction to one another.   Drs. Hurlbert and Bowman "determined [Nathan Leopold] never had been attracted to the opposite sex and looked on women as inferior intellectually" (201).   As to his relationship to Loeb, in court, Dr. Healy testified, "Leopold has had for many years a great deal of fantasy life surrounding sexual activity . . . He has fantasies of being with a man, and usually with Loeb himself, even when he has connections with girls, and the whole thing is an absurd situation, because there is nothing but just putting his penis between the fellow's legs and getting that sort of thrill . . . Loeb would pretend to be drunk, then this fellow would undress him and he would almost rape him and would be furiously passionate at the time, whereas with women he does not get that same thrill and passion" (214 -15).

12 It is important to note that in Meyer Levin's novel Compulsion (1956) the subject of homosexuality is quite frankly discussed and used as a means of understanding the motives behind Artie and Judd's act.   It, too, is not a progressive text, but it does reveal how homosexuality was defined legally as a disease in the 1950s.







Return to Top of Page

Return to SCE Homepage
Return to Session Program
Return to MLA Page