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Rock Hudson's Home Movies1992

  • 3.5
“It was all up there,” says Rock Hudson (Eric Farr) at the start of this rule-breaking, dizzying assortment of clips from Rock Hudson’s Hollywood career that make up Mark Rappaport’s feature film, ROCK HUDSON'S HOME MOVIES. Employing a narrative commentary from beyond the grave, the film invents an eclectic form of biography. The closer you look at Hudson’s films, the more you see the actor winking at us. An award-winning blend of dozens of clips, ROCK HUDSON'S HOME MOVIES sheds a new and provocative light on one of Hollywood’s greatest legends.

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Official selection of the 1992 Toronto International Film Festival.

1 member likes this review

Good movie. For those of us who were teenagers in the 50's, Rock Hudson and Doris Day were standard movie fixtures but their movies often seemed just plain stupid. We didn't get the sexual orientation twists, but like the lives of our parents, the scripts of these movies made about as much sense as the adult world we had to content with.

Member Reviews (39)

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top reviewer

In reading the earlier reviews - it is clear many viewers expected, as I did, real "home movies" and were also a little disappointed, even misled - that, in fact, the "home movies" were really his selected clips from his many motion picture performances. According to the narration, provided by a handsome Rock look-a-like (that was supposed to be a young Rock), he'd cut these clips to provide a laugh track of gay innuendo - that he and his friends could fancy... Whether he put this collaboration together, as described, or Director Rappaport conceived them (Or a combine of the two) it was an interesting idea & almost made up for the disappointment of not really being "home movies" (Expecting to see Rock & his friends, associates - & perhaps even a lover or twenty, frolicking on home Super 8 or such). While, as one reviewer correctly noted, some of the narration suggested an adolescent fascination with looking at far too many scenes as gay conscious . But, of course, that was the theme of this production - and they needed to fill a respectable "movie" length. If you are of the right age you knew how big Rock was (And he was an enormous star) and the "straight"/macho figure he was supposed to portray in one major film after another, so this idea of his being on the "make" &/or "camping" it up with many of his male co-stars (With his female co-stars in the "know") makes for some laughs & lots of re-evaluating of Hollywood history. The mentioned adolescence and self- consciousness seeps in as Rappaport trys one too many "sly references" and one too many gay interpretations on one too many scenes (In search of enough {"movie" length} material). An interesting & - to some degree, entertaining concept that grows stale in places & length. Rock probably deserved better - and yet, maybe this IS what he wanted!

3 members like this review
top reviewer

A little too self-consciously symbolic. Was Rock really thinking of his sexual preference all the time? Was his guilt that obvious in his movies? I love Rappaport's reworking of documentary films, but this one seems too smarmy, too adolescent in its approach to Rock's sexuality. Are we to continue the finger pointing and sly references whenever we watch his films. I won't.

1 member likes this review

The only thing good about this...what ever you call it because it's not a movie is looking at the sexy shots of Rock Hudson.

1 member likes this review

interesting premise, but it didn't really expand much on it for me. i think the main problem may have just been the overall approach. "send me no flowers," for instance, is overflowing with gay innuendo, but the clips and descriptions given to it here can't really capture how weird and interesting the experience of watching that movie is. the clips here are well selected, but they're not outrageous enough in and of themselves to fill an hour without feeling strained. moreover, i like what they were going for with the narration, but it made the movie feel very dry. overall, there's definitely good stuff here--i really like the freeze frames, for instance--but i'd recommend checking out the source material first.

1 member likes this review

Some what of a let down. As this did not show any home movies of Rock Hudson. Only his movie clips.

1 member likes this review


1 member likes this review

Good movie. For those of us who were teenagers in the 50's, Rock Hudson and Doris Day were standard movie fixtures but their movies often seemed just plain stupid. We didn't get the sexual orientation twists, but like the lives of our parents, the scripts of these movies made about as much sense as the adult world we had to content with.

1 member likes this review
top reviewer

Disappointing. Could have been a fun flick, but drawn out and leaden to the point of boring and the monotone of the narrator makes it worse. Too bad.

top reviewer

The narration is cringworthily silly, but the clips from the movies, seen juxtaposed with each other and with the posthumous knowledge that the king of all big-screen hotties was a promiscuous gay man really makes you feel that the gay subtext moments were an intentional secret message.

24251f25cc71f2dbe72075e495b595de? f 0025
top reviewer

This film was extremely interesting as a made for television type indie production. Humorous, fascinating (relatively few) in the use of the lines from films used that had to be deliberate in backstage joking of Rock Hudson's real life personality and lifestyle. The actor would have been clearly participating in that humor. His rooming with Randolph Scott explains a lot of innuendo I personally heard in that time period. Worth viewing for an entertainment. Kind of an art house double feature just for the sake of it.

I wouldn't mind seeing a do-over with remastered clips and a proper documentary narration. The narrator /Rock stand-in is terrible and the clips are of such low quality resolution that I wonder why bother. But please lose the whole 'this is what Rock would tell you' pretense. Its embarrassing.


Bear in mind this is not journalism. Mark Rappaport is an idiosyncratic, highly individual storyteller and he follows where his fancy takes him. I for one love it. Here he, sorta, documents why it should have come as no surprise when Rock Hudson was unwillingly outed as being gay because of his AIDS. Rappaport has collected all the dozens of more or less subtle hints throughout Hudson's career as to his sexuality, and while some seem forced and far-fetched, others certainly make Rappaport's case for him, and the style is his usual which will infuriate some. This is a video essay, and Rappaport has an actor narrate the whole thing, pretending to be Rock Hudson or at least to be reading from Hudson's letters which he is not.

I am glad to get acquainted with the life of Rock Hudson. Worth watching.

pretty funny and "tongue in cheek" documentary. I remember wondering "what the heck is going on here" when I saw the Rock Hudson Doris Day movies growing has become pretty clear after seeing this doc what was going on!! The joke is on us for not seeing this all along!

that was a joke, yet to see a good movie

much nostalgia

Very Good...

Even better than I remembered. The intercutting of death scenes was the best since John Gielgud recited, at the end of a tv program about Hamlet starring Gielgud,'To be or not to be' over a montage of all the dying Hamlets ever filmed. At that moment, Gielgud's is the greatest screen Hamlet of all time, and ROCK HUDSON'S HOME MOVIES is Hudson's greatest film because it finally lets him play himself. They would be a great double bill on Fandor.

Interesting to watch. Kind of disconcerting when the narrator appears on screen talking as Rock but guess he wasn't content to just do voiceover work and wanted to get his face out there. Oddly enough, his voice sounds SO familiar that I know I've heard him somewhere else. I just can't place it. Or maybe it's a case of how sometimes faces can be familiar to someone maybe the same holds true for similar voices.

Other than that caveat I enjoyed the documentary very much. Really wouldn't mind seeing an updated one now that some have come forward about his personal life since this documentary was made and we now know so much more about him.

I did not care for this as today....who cares if he was gay

Totally fooled by this Actor!

Very well done with a unique perspective. Should have gotten wider distribution.

Excellent......enjoyed it immensely

A very interesting perspective on the life of Rock Hudson.

An Excellent Film! Rather novel!

Loved it. Best thing yet on this site.

It was worth watching.

Not what I was expecting when I saw "home movies" in the title, but I enjoyed it.

good film

Overall not that great. I mean it was not bad, but nothing I would watch a second time

Wonderful tribute to this icon. He truly was one of a kind. Great admiration for his work and good heavens, he was gorgeous.

I thought it was also quite interesting, but not what I hoped for. I wanted more home movies (there were none) and information on his actual male on male dalliances. Nice premise though.

Entertaining and fun, Rock Hudson was one of the greatest gay-actor before gay era. Rest in peace.

Very interesting concept and very well written.

It was fun...for me. Sounds like his life had to be so secretive it felt paranoid.

well done...enjoy it...

Wonderful! He was my favorite actor!