The Eiger Sanction (1975) Cinema’s First Queer Canine D+

DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood
BOTTOM LINE: Special mention has to go to the cinema’s first Queer Canine. The lovingly named Faggot was a tiny little rascal – you know, the breed of dog only a homosexual would own – who vigorously humped the legs of any male who came in contact with his owner Miles Mellough, an effete Jack Cassidy, doing a variation on one of his legendary “Colombo” villains but with a Queer turn.
Directed by and starring Clint Eastwood and based on the 1972 novel of the same name by Trevanian (the nom-de-plume of Rodney William Whitaker), the film is about Jonathan Hemlock (Eastwood), an art history professor, mountain climber, and former assassin (wow!) once employed by a secret government agency, who is blackmailed into returning to his deadly profession – and joining an international climbing team – for one last mission.
When we first meet FAGGOT he is pleasuring himself on Eastwood’s shoe. Who was the dog who played him? Did he know that the audience probably hated him as much as they hated his master? Was he the go-to pooch in Hollywood for playing queer canine characters in the mid-seventies? Was it nature or nurture? Since he was uncredited, we will never know. Due to a series of continuity glitches, it’s even difficult to know what happened to his character in the movie after Hemlock leaves him and Mellough in the hot Arizona desert to die of sunstroke.
Another example of Eastwood’s homophobia during his seventies heyday, FAGGOT may have had the last canine chuckle since all of those famously hyped Alpine scenes that followed his demise were a bore. Eastwood, the director, matured enough over the years to fashion a sympathetic is not altogether successful treatment of J. Edgar Hoover’s long-term relationship with Clyde Tolson in “J. Edgar.”


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