Re: RARA-AVIS: Gunsel (Re:Hammett & Chandler & Burroughs/BlackMask Hard Boiled)

From: James Rogers (
Date: 14 Apr 2000

At 12:14 PM 4/14/00 -0400, you wrote:

>George Gardner's The Censorship Papers: Movie Censorship Letters from
>the Hays Office 1934 to 1968 contains some direct quotes from Breen's
>letters dictating changes to be made. Again, the depiction of
>homosexuality was a concern: "We cannot approve the characterization of
>Cairo as a pansy, indicated by the lavender perfume, high-pitched voice,
>and other accoutrements. In line with this, we refer you to page 48,
>where Cairo tries to put his arm around the boy's shoulder and is struck
>by the boy."
>Given that Breen was also concerned that Gutman's repeated use of the
>phrase "By Gad" might be too close to blasphemy, I think he simply
>didn't understand the homosexual connotations of the word "gunsel,"
>assumed it to be criminal slang for gunman, as so many have since.

      Huston also managed to slide in one other oblique allusion, the one that sparks the fight between Brigid and Cairo in Spade's apartment.


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