Freebie and the Bean (1974) Film Review D-

DIRECTOR: Richard Rush
BOTTOM LINE: Noted female impersonator Christopher Morley may have tried to give his character “The Transvestite” – he is not given a name even though he is the story’s main villain – some semblance of dignity in director Richard Rush’s off-the-scale homophobic/transphobic buddy-cop movie “Freebie and the Bean.” Our heroes, James Caan (“Freebie”) and Alan Arkin (“The Bean”), first encounter Morley in a bathtub. He’s preening and lisping, and you can see that he disgusts them. Freebie, who is not on screen five minutes before he utters the word “fag”, clearly has a problem with anything that isn’t macho. However, it’s never clear whether Morley’s character has gender identity issues or just dresses in women’s clothes as a disguise when he is robbing people! After he shoots Bean, seriously injuring him, he is chased by Freebie, who corners him in a public bathroom. They fight it out with Morley, having briefly incapacitated Caan, taking time to look in the mirror and freshen up! Freebie, however, recovers and manages to grab a gun which he then empties into “The Transvestite” where just one bullet would have done. And the audience cheers! Not because of the villain’s demise but because the fag is dead. Original screenplay by Robert Kaufman from a story by Floyd Mutrux. Rush later directed a much superior film, The Stunt Man” (1980), with Peter O’Toole.


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