Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon
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Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon

USA, 2008, 90 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Documentary, Gay, Sexually Explicit
Program: Documentary
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Jeffrey Schwarz

There have been dozens of gay porn stars, but only one Jack Wrangler. Bursting onto the scene in the early ’70s, he wasn’t the typical obscure object of desire but a full-bodied, self-confident stud. Buff, masculine and clearly comfortable in his own skin, Wrangler was more than just a hot guy to fantasize about — he was a role model. With a screen persona that blended virility with a sly eye for fun, Wrangler was the first out actor to show how a gay man could be strong, secure and lustful.
In this entertaining oral history of the ground-breaking ’70s, the self-aware (and self-deprecating) Wrangler describes his journey from skinny Beverly Hills brat (his hard-to-please father was a production exec on “Bonanza”) to aspiring actor to a brand name with a product line (Accu-Jac, anyone?). Fans from Chi Chi La Rue to Marc Shaiman to Bruce Vilanch drop by to recall the heady days of gay movie houses and to sing Jack’s praises. Rounding out the package are a wealth of clips of Wrangler strutting his stuff in vintage films.
Proving that there are second —and third—acts in American life, Wrangler successfully made the jump to straight porn and, in recent years, established himself as a serious director of legit theater. The most surprising turn in Wrangler’s iconoclastic life, however, was meeting and wooing songbird Margaret Whiting. Creative and vital, and as unconcerned as ever with the limits others would place on him, Jack Wrangler is still a role model. — MICHAEL FOX

co-presented by

Center for Sex and Culture and the GLBT Historical Society



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