Movie Released: October 16, 2015 | DVD Release Date: October 6, 2016
Tab Hunter’s Hollywood star was on the rise in the 1950s. He was the unstoppable “it boy” with golden hair and a compelling smile. His meteoric rise hinged on keeping the secret of his sexuality. In a tell-all documentary, we get a glimpse of one actor closeted in the public eye and his path to being out and living life.
Any fan of classic movies will know the name Tab Hunter. He was an actor/singer/mid-century sex symbol. As a fan of classic movies, I knew the actor well from his fabulous acting. An all-American, boyishly handsome man even today, Tab Hunter (born Arthur Andrew Kelm) is very frank about who he is and how he lived his life both in the public eye and in the shadows. In Tab Hunter Confidential, the actor is pragmatic and direct about what Hollywood and society were and how much he loves living the life he has with his partner and horses today.
Tab Hunter was not an instant star. He was a hard worker that persisted and made good. Tab Hunter Confidential shows an actor who fought hard and has no secrets left to keep. The documentary is not a second shot at stardom but a retelling of a history that no one saw. He doesn’t out anyone but gives us an inside look at struggle without artifice or bitterness but an appreciation of how far society has come. Don’t get me wrong, no sugarcoating is involved, but it is part of a past that’s over and Hunter appreciates the injustice and how it shaped him while destroying others (like Anthony Perkins).
Viewers may be surprised that not only was Hunter a quite successful actor (though he found himself fighting the boy-next-door stereotype), but he was a talented singing star outselling Elvis at one point in his career. Hunter came out in his 2005 autobiography that shares the name with the documentary and talked about his studio-engineered romances with starlets like Debbie Reynolds (fun fact, my mom saw the movie “Tammy and the Bachelor” in which Reynolds played the eponymous character as a child and named me after this character) and about a woman he liked enough to consider marrying. He abandoned the idea as he thought a platonic-married relationship would be unfair to a friend he loved like family.
Hunter is a man very happy in his life. He lives with his long-term partner (producer Allan Glaser). He is a man who is comfortable in his own skin and the openness with which he speaks testifies to a man who has lived, loved and lost and knows life is too short to be anything but happy. There are slow moments, but overall, the piece is charming and a look into a Hollywood we don’t usually get to see. You will walk away from Tab Hunter Confidential, in love for an actor that we now really get to know as he is, warts and all.
Tab Hunter Confidential is available as a DVD, Blu-ray and on Amazon Instant Video:
|Title||Tab Hunter Confidential|
|Actors||Tab Hunter, Clint Eastwood, Natalie Wood, Portia de Rossi, Paul Newman|
|Length||1 hour and 30 minutes|
|DVD Release||October 6, 2016|