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6 Degrees Entertainment

Tab Hunter Confidential
(Tab Hunter, Clint Eastwood, Natalie Wood, Portia de Rossi, Paul Newman, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (2015) 2021 / Film Rise - MVD Visual)

Overview: In the 1950s, Tab Hunter was America’s boy next door and a major movie star. Nothing, it seemed, could damage his skyrocketing career.

Nothing, that is, except for the possibility that the public might learn that Hunter was secretly gay. Now, Tab Hunter’s secret is out.

In this award-winning documentary we will meet the real Tab Hunter as he shares with us the whole story of a happy and healthy survivor of Hollywood’s roller coaster.

Blu-ray Verdict: For all intents and purposes, Tab Hunter Confidential is a wonderful documentary, sure, but is basically a long interview with the man himself, peppered with film and television clips, photos, magazines, and reminiscences about the ups and downs of Hollywood stardom.

Urged into acting by his friend and later agent Dick Clayton, Hunter was signed by Henry Willson, who had many youngsters like Hunter. Willson promptly changed his name from Art Gelien to Tab Hunter.

Hunter learned acting by acting, and eventually was signed by Warner Brothers, who built him up and publicized him. He became one of the hottest teen idols of the ’50s as a result. Not that he didn’t have other abilities - he could sing, he was a champion ice skater, and an expert horseman.

He also was gay, and the studio protected him. When he bought out his Warners contract, he found out he was fair game for the tabloids; not only that, but leaving Warners was a big mistake career-wise. After a few years of low-budget films and dinner theater, he found his way back via John Waters and Divine.

Hunter today is as charming and appealing as ever, a handsome, grounded man with a keen sense of humor and insight about Hollywood and being gay in the ’50s.

Here in Tab Hunter Confidential he even touches on some of his relationships and talks about his mother and his older brother.

One of the most interesting things he talks about is the change in types and how his type - the all-American boy - had to move over for the anti-hero. First it was the classic, heroic look, the handsomer the better, then the bad boys, then the ethnic stars mostly thanks to The Godfather - and then the pretty boys came back.

Director Jeffrey Schwartz has done an excellent job of keeping this documentary moving quickly and helping to make it both interesting and informative.

This is a must-see for anyone interested in classic films or the old stars for Tab Hunter is an excellent interview, and it is easy to see why all those teens found him just so darned appealing. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs that comes with the Special Features of:

Exclusive Bonus Interviews
Tab Hunter Confidential Trailer