Friday, May 06, 2011

'A Different Story' for Perry King

A reader and fellow Perry King fan wrote to ask me if I'd ever seen a film in which he played a "gay hustler." I haven't, but after digging around on the Web, the only possibility I could come up with was "A Different Story," from 1978, in which King plays a gay man who ends up falling in love with his lesbian green-card bride. (He's an illegal alien from Belgium!)

Wikipedia says Perry plays Albert, the chauffeur and lover for a wealthy pianist, Sills (Peter Donat). When Sills finds another chauffeur/lover (so Liberace!), Albert is forced onto the streets of Los Angeles. Stella (Meg Foster) is a real estate agent who knows Sills and Albert as repeated rental clients. She finds Albert squatting in one of her properties and she offers Albert to spend the night at her house on the couch. The next day, she goes to work, expecting Albert to move out, but instead Albert cleans her cluttered house and cooks a fantastic dinner. Without verbally acknowledging it, they agree that Albert can stay longer and perform domestic duties while Stella continues working. Albert also gets a part-time job as a valet. (This sounds nearly identical to the plot of the Rex Chandler classic "Manrammer"!)

From there, they fall in love. It says the film was lauded for being one of the few "gay" films of its time, yet severely blasted by gay-rights groups for saying that gay people can convert to straight (and rightfully so).

Can't believe I've never even heard of it. (In an interview, King said it was his favorite film of his.) Just added it to my Netflix queue -- I know, I normally don't do science fiction -- but too bad it'll be years before I get to it! Has anyone seen it?

Not sure which, if any, of these photos are from the film. But I'll take any excuse to post 'em.


overseer01 said...

I saw this movie on HBO when I was around 11 or 12. I remember, it was risque at the time especially for my little town of Sherman, Texas. Gay movies were hard to come by, (no pun intended.)However, fully aware of my orientation, I was eager to see this movie. I mean, Perry King!?! The man was the only reason I watched Riptide. Anyhow, the movie was "cute", but so idiotic having them fall in love. Guess she used a strap on? If you ever get the chance, watch it during cocktails with some friends. You'll love it.

His Dingo said...

Don't forget he goes full-frontal in "Mandingo":

The Babysitter said...

I was babysitting for my sister, and my brother-in-law was a gadget freak, so had a VCR long before everyone did (it was Betamax!). I would watch whatever movies he'd bought, and he had a penchant for, um, let's say movies I'd be interested in seeing. My heart skipped a beat when I popped this one in and caught the first few seconds which made it clear it was indeed "a different story."

But yeah, disappointing that it was basically a gay-goes-straight-for-the-right-girl story. Nevertheless, I've been a King fan ever since.

Dwight Supremacy said...

KING ME! I mainly remember him from his-too-brief role in "Switch" (I totally picture him—not Ellen Barkin— having drunken sex with Jimmy Smits!) and "Melrose Place" as Matt's older lover which totally titillated the daddy-complex-having teenage me. I must add this to my Netflix queue.

Dwight Supremacy said...

Oh, I'm wrong. Matt's older lover was played by Greg Evigan, who I equally found swoon-inducing during his heyday. :) Perry played some other indistinct (at least in my memory) character.

Anonymous said...

I have been in lust with Perry King for years! I remember "A Different Story"- not great, but he is soooo pretty to look at!

Topaz said...

Enjoy it for the scenery. The plot is ridiculous. And there is a last minute shot at redemption for the movie makers that they totally blow.




Despite the fact that Foster is a lesbian and King is gay, they settle into wedded bliss and start a family. King becomes some kind of executive and has a young male protege. Foster begins to suspect King of having an affair with the younger man. Foster goes to King's office late one night and catches King with...a woman. The gay guy is having an affair with another woman. As I recall, King and Foster patch things up, but it struck me as so preposterous, I turned it off before the credits.