Talk:Brokeback Mountain

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Should we have an article on this? It's kind of unfamily friendly, but definitely notable.-MexMax 23:22, 22 January 2008 (EST)

This article is now mostly a summary and analysis from someone who refuses to see it? I guess I shouldn't complain, though - it's better than the apparently well-researched article by a different editor here about a racist hate-site that included screen captures and an invitation to visit it. --DinsdaleP 09:22, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
I agree. It's hard to write an accurate summary/analysis without seeing a movie. Like it or not, agree with it or not, all controversy aside, this movie is a romance, and the current summary completely leaves that out. --Hsmom 09:33, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
And Jake Ghyllenhall was well known for his role in Donny Darko. I'd edit the page, but I feel I would be blocked for ideological differences vandalism.--IanG 11:33, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

In this case, you don't have to have seen the movie because it was so plastered around the country and overdiscussed by the MSM that you couldn't avoid finding out about it. I'm not writing a scene-by-scene analysis, but rather the broad strokes, and those were made clear by all the interviews and discussions. Bill O'Reilly himself said he refuses to see the movie, but that didn't stop him from denouncing it because he knew what it was about and -- this is the real point -- what it's goal was. To say I have to see this movie in order to describe its homosexual "romance" accurately is the same chastising by liberals that is mentioned in the article. Kind of ironic, no? Lastly, I've never heard of Donny Darko and don't remember it being released at my multiplex. -Foxtrot 12:43, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

What exactly does one have to do to become a "name" actor? Making millions for each movie and being a household name doesn't seem to do it, so what does? I'll admit Gyllenhall was not a huge name in the industry (but he was hardly a no-name the way some actors are in their first big pictures) but to call Ledger that is downright silly. And why was their decision ill-advised? Because it made Gyllenhall much more prominent? Because Ledger was nominated for an Oscar for his role? Yeah, bad decision. Or are you trying to tie Ledger's death to this movie (if so, you'd need to come up with something specific)? The final paragraph makes the author seem plain ignorant of the subject. DavidH 12:51, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
I don't understand the "teen crush" comment. Ten Things I Hate About You was a very popular movie and it made him very well-known, which would be a "name" actor, right? And Donnie Darko is also a very well-known and beloved movie (though I've never seen it), which would make Gyllenhall a "name" actor, too, right? It may be ill-advised, I can't claim to know that. However, I know almost nothing about this movie - I didn't even know it was Ledger and Gyllenhall who were in it. But not knowing this movie and still knowing the actors says something about their degree of fame, doesn't it? LiamG 13:01, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
Ok, let's start with what we can all agree upon: all articles must follow the Commandments. If you haven't seen a movie, then anything you say about the movie should at least be sourced, right?
As for the "no name" part: again, personal experience isn't enough here. I once told my mom that Elvis couldn't be famous, because I had never heard of him. Both of these actors were in movies before Brokeback that did pretty well and are still popular today (and before anyone says anything: they were popular before Ledger died, as well). They clearly don't have the acting experience of Tom Hanks or Roberd DeNiro, but they are far from "no name".
As I haven't seen the movie myself, I won't remove anything from the article, but it clearly needs work from someone who has reliable sources, prefereably one who has seen it themselves, so they can attest to the reliability. HelpJazz 13:14, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
Just a quick addition - since Hollywood is liberal, and actors are a part of Hollywood Values, why wouldn't "actors touch a project like this"? Part of the goal of Hollywood Values is to promote the gay agenda, isn't it? LiamG 13:15, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
Heath Ledger was also well known for A Knight's Tale, and Jake later went on to make Jarhead and other films. Once you get multiple leading roles, you stop being a no name actor.--IanG 13:45, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
I never heard of Ledger nor A Knights Tale. BrokeBack wasn't even xpected to be a hit (cause of homosexuality). No-name seems like the perfect description. Just because you are in a prior movie, doesn't make you a star.--Jpatt 14:26, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
Just because YOU never heard of it, doesn't mean it wasn't a hit. Heath Ledger had STARRING roles in A Knight's Tale (2001), The Four Feathers (2002), The Order (2003), Ned Kelly (2003), Casanova (2005), The Brothers Grimm (2005), and Lords of Dogtown (2005). Gyllenhaal was also the star of The Day After Tomorrow prior to Brokeback Mountain, and it was a blockbuster. I'm not sure if Jarhead was before or after Brokeback, but it also was a hit movie. Give the devil his due.--IanG 14:44, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
Jpatt, I'm guessing you're the wrong gender to appreciate Ledger's, uh, talents. I loved him in Ten Things. In my house, we enjoyed comparing it to Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, which it was based on. We also enjoyed Knight's Tale, especially all of the wonderful jousting scenes. I hated Lords of Dogtown, but the documentary it was based on, Dogtown and Z-Boys, was great. Ledger, though, did a pretty good job in Lords, given a horribly-written movie. I'm not a big movie lover, but I was familiar with Ledger well before Brokeback, as were many other movie fans. While he wasn't on everyone's radar, he was far from a no-name actor. Foxtrot, the problem with writing a summary/analysis of Brokeback without seeing the movie is that you may get the basic facts right, but without seeing it you may not get the tone right, or understand the nuances that made it a quite good and complex movie, regardless of its controversial subject matter. In this movie, tone and nuance is everything. For the record, I have seen the movie. --Hsmom 15:00, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
Well, we can agree that since I didn't hear of it doesn't make it not a hit, geez. I have watched some good movies, can't say I ever heard of any of the movies he was previously in, let alone somebody telling me to watch them because it was to die for. I would have to say that if you are in at least five movies, that does make you a sought after Star. Still refuse to watch Brokeback, call me old fashioned, call me a Phobe, HSMOM- call me the wrong gender and I'll make you walk the plank. IANG your attitude is rubbing me and others, watch your step.--Jpatt 17:02, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
My attitude reflects that which I receive. Also, it wasn't Foxtrot saying anything about your gender, it was HSmom, and she was merely commenting that you wouldn't appreciate Ledger's aesthetic qualities.--IanG 17:10, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
Before someone puts their foot in their mouth, I think Hsmom was saying that, since you are not a teenage girl, you will not fawn over him like oh-so-many teenage girls did :P HelpJazz 19:51, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
JPatt, that was not me making any claims about your gender. Those words were entirely Hsmom's, with my name linked to in the middle of it all, making it seem like a sig. I've removed the wiki markup to avoid any future confusion. -Foxtrot 12:53, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
Foxtrot, I apologize for my poor attempt at humor, I didn't really care and the following posters corrected my wrong accusation. I have seen your edits, you are a good man.--Jpatt 13:02, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
Thanks, Jpatt. -Foxtrot 13:11, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
Just to be clear, Jpatt, when I said "I'm guessing you're the wrong gender to appreciate Ledger's, uh, talents.", what I meant was "I assume you are a heterosexual male, and therefore are probably oblivious to (and not interested in) the fact that Ledger is very attractive to women. It was not supposed to be a negative comment at all! --Hsmom 15:06, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

I'll expand my comments here, rather than engage in an edit war. As noted above, I have actually seen the movie. --Hsmom 15:19, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

  • Brokeback Mountain is a drama movie from 2005 by Ang Lee - "Drama movie" is weird phrasing. I'm not sure how to fix it, though. "Is a romantic drama" would work, but leaves out that it is a movie. Anyone have a better idea?
  • Afterwards, they come to their senses and marry beautiful, dedicated and loving women. I would not have used "come to their senses" - the movie is way more complex than that.
  • However soon their past comes to haunt them and destroys not only their lives but the innocent lives of their wives and innocent children. No argument with the content, but two "innocent"s aren't needed - pick one.
  • Audiences witness the families torn asunder in waves of agonizing revelations, all stemming from a secret around "fishing" trips where the men once again use their seclusion to its "ends". While the first part of this sentence is fine, the rest totally misses the complexity of the relationships in the film, and leaves out completely the romance.
  • Despite the destructive message of this film What is the destructive message? Gay relationships end in sadness? Or is it something else? If we are claiming a destructive message, I think we need to spell it out. I'm guessing some readers here would have a different answer others.
  • people were admonished for not having seen it and not being "open-minded" to a "different" love story. Who was admonished? Who did the admonishing? Citation, please.
  • In that respect, the advertising purposefully concealed the theme of homosexuality from the unsuspecting public, merely referring to it as a modern day "love story" and concentrating on the appealing rugged cowboy element and picturesque landscapes. Purposefully concealed? I think movie-goers were pretty clear on the content of the movie. I'd like to see a citation that there was an attempt to hide the content of the film.

"Concealed" theme of homosexuality

I have removed Foxtrot's comment that "the advertising purposefully concealed the theme of homosexuality from the unsuspecting public". Apart from anything else, this directly contradicts Foxtrot's comment further up this page that "you don't have to have seen the movie because it was so plastered around the country and overdiscussed by the MSM that you couldn't avoid finding out about it".

There was no attempt to conceal or downplay the homosexual subject matter of the film. It quickly gained an international reputation as 'that gay cowboy film' & gathered both its popularity & notoriety from that. I don't know of any evidence to suggest that many people watched this film without knowing the theme beforehand. The movie poster is hardly coy about it - notice the pose of the two guys & the words "Love is a Force of Nature". You might see this as "concentrating on the appealing rugged cowboy element", but I think that would be willfully naive. Sideways 16:05, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

The theme was concealed from regular advertising and, yes, there were many people who did not know the theme of the movie apart from 'a love story'. Not everyone is in 'the know' with water cooler skuttlebutt. I personally know more than one person who an expressed an interest in the movie that was shocked when I told them it was a film about a gay cowboys. Learn together 13:53, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
Yes, the distinction that must be made is between the actual advertising for the film versus the media chatter about the "gay cowboy movie". The advertising featured a somber picture of the two lead actors looking down and not even facing each other, let alone looking at each other (which would be more suggestive that there was romance between them). Furthermore, the short synopsis on Apple's trailer site[1] which probably has not been updated in years, describes the film as:

Set against the sweeping vistas of Wyoming and Texas, the film tells the story of two young men - a ranch-hand and a rodeo cowboy - who meet in the summer of 1963, and unexpectedly forge a lifelong connection, one whose complications, joys and tragedies provide a testament to the endurance and power of love.

Lifelong connection??? That sounds more like a profound friendship, like you'd get in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid or Rain Man. It's only after you have that idea planted in your head that they mention love, but that could easily be the kind of brotherly love you get from camraderie (e.g. in the military, on a sports team, etc). You even have liberals describing people who were shocked in the movie theater when the homosexuality became apparent[2] (and this liberal then goes on to call the people immature, hecklers, etc): "One woman behind us exclaimed, "Thanks for preparing me for that," as though she had been completely ignorant of the storyline." So if people ended up in the theater without knowing what it was about, as this woman did and as did the friend of Learn Together, then I think there was indeed some concealment of the gay content by the advertising. -Foxtrot 19:50, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
I'm not sure how much they could really spell it out. If they made it quite clear in the ads what the nature of the relationship was, they would run into serious trouble with folks who would object to the content of the ads, especially if their children inadvertently saw them. They most likely had to walk a very fine line, trying to get across the content to adults without being inappropriate for children. It sounds like they erred on the side of under-informing the adults, rather than over-informing the kids, and quite frankly I think that was the right way to go. This is a quite different explanation for the situation than "purposefully concealed the theme of homosexuality from the unsuspecting public" would imply. --Hsmom 16:20, 9 October 2008 (EDT)
I don't accept that they couldn't make the nature of the relationship clearer, even if that was only in advertisements shown later at night (assuming the U.S. has the same situation as here in Oz, where television ads before a certain time have to be rated suitable for children, but later ones can have adult-only content). However, I also find it hard to accept that they "concealed" the homosexual aspects. "Downplayed" or similar may be a better way of putting it. Philip J. Rayment 22:26, 9 October 2008 (EDT)

Name recognition of the actors

Contested point: whether the actors were indeed "no-names" before Brokeback Mountain was released. Whatever they did afterwards (I'm speaking to you, IanG) is irrelevant. Of course they got starring roles and got name recognition, but this was the movie that gave them all that popularity. They were not recognized stars before this movie, hence the wording "no-name".

Heath Ledger: According to IMDb[3], before Brokeback Mountain, he had starring roles in the films:

  • 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) - domestic box office gross of $38 million ($16 million to make)
  • Two Hands (1999) - BO gross N/A, but with less than 3500 votes I'll safely guess it wasn't a big hit.
  • The Patriot (2000) - BO gross $113 million (but $110 million to make)
  • A Knight's Tale (2001) - BO gross $56 million ($41 million to make)
  • The Four Feathers (2002) - BO gross $18 million ($80 million to make - big bust)
  • Ned Kelly (2003) - BO gross $74,000 (N/A how much it cost to make, but probably at least a million, making this a bust too)
  • The Order (2003) - BO gross $7 million ($38 million to make - another big bust)

Then, released in the same year (2005) as Brokeback Mountain we have:

  • Lords of Dogtown - BO gross $11 million ($25 million to make - a bust)
  • The Brothers Grimm - BO gross $38 million ($80 million to make - major bust)
  • Casanova - BO gross $11 million (N/A how much it cost)

If anything, the box office grosses (relative to the costs of production) reveal that Ledger-helmed films were bombing at the box office in the years preceding Brokeback Mountain. It certainly would explain his eagerness (=desperation?) to take such a risky role.

Now as for the grosses as raw values, the numbers are hardly the makings of a big hit. For a contemporary comparison, Beverly Hills Chihuahua made $29 million in its opening weekend![4] Now I don't think anyone really would expect that movie to gain the title of "blockbuster hit", so if that's not a star-making movie then what standing to Ledger's films have for being called hits? The sole exception perhaps is The Patriot, which was his biggest hit before Brokeback. Yet it's not surprising no one mentioned it as one of his claims to fame. Everyone remembers this movie as a Mel Gibson venture (his was the main name billed on posters) and not as a movie featuring a young star named Heath Ledger. So I think I've proven my point that before Brokeback, Ledger was a no-name actor. Starring roles alone do not give you name recognition - it's whether you have starring roles in popular movies.

Jake Ghyllenhaaaalll or however you spell his name: Again, figures drawn from IMDb[5] and these are starring roles:

  • October Sky (1999) - BO gross $32 million
  • Donnie Darko (2000) - BO gross $514,000 on first theatrical run, another $700,000 on an apparent re-release in 2004.
  • Bubble Boy (2001) - BO gross $5 million ($13 million to make - bust)
  • Highway (2002) - BO gross N/A but less than 2000 votes so not a hit ($14 million to make)
  • Moonlight Mile (2002) - BO gross $7 million ($21 million to make - bust)
  • The Day After Tomorrow (2004) - BO gross $187 million ($125 million to make)

His other big movie from 2005, Jarhead, came out after Brokeback, so that does not count to his popularity before Brokeback.

IanG, I don't get where you're getting that Donnie Darko is a "very well-known and beloved" film. Maybe it was overlooked by audiences on its first theatrical run, but if they had the gumption to re-release it and it only eked in a few thousand more, then it's hardly a hit. Personally, I still hadn't heard of it before today and the "Dark"-o element doesn't bode well that I'd like it.

The only hit he had was Day After Tomorrow, which I'll concede was a hit, but Dennis Quaid was the primary billing in that one and the special effects were the real draw of that one (does anyone even know who starred in Roland Emmerich's most recent venture 10,000 BC? I didn't think so). Whether you felt like Gyllenhaal's performance was memorable enough to make you learn how to spell his name is debatable, but at least it's within reason that he may have broken popular consciousness with that film. Broken, maybe, but not permeated. Even Ang Lee said he picked lesser known actors:[6]

"With the film spanning a 20-year period, Lee says he knew from the start he wanted to age younger actors. “There is no way to recreate that innocence,” he points out. Additionally, viewers have less preconceived notions about lesser-known talent. Says Lee, “Actors in their 30s have been around 15, sometimes 20 years already.”"

So that should clarify the no-name statement and I'm going to reinstate it. -Foxtrot 04:48, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

I'll try to address other points tomorrow. It's late and this took me far too much time. -Foxtrot 04:49, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
Concerning Donnie Darko, it is considered a cult classic along the veins of The Crow, Rocky Horror Picture Show and Boondock Saints. None of these movies grossed well in blockbusters, but made huge profits in DVD sales. Also, the title isn't very indicative of the content, Darko happens to be his family name and is not really a plot device. It's definitely a surreal movie though.--IanG 09:18, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
Heath Ledger was reasonably well known in Australia before this movie. I don't agree with the "no name" tag. Philip J. Rayment 08:15, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
I've changed it to "lesser-known". That seems to be a good compromise. They may not have been stars, but they weren't unknown. --Hsmom 08:29, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
Okay, "lesser-known" I can live with, especially if we throw in the Ang Lee interview as a citation. As for Ledger's popularity in Australia, Philip, I will simply believe you on this point since I have no way to judge. It's like how people said Monica Bellucci was a big star in Europe before the Matrix movies. I had never heard of her before then, but I could see the talent she could bring to a film, so I was willing to believe. -Foxtrot 11:56, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
Foxtrot, your logic is wanting. You confuse bankablity with being well known. Very few stars can guarantee a large gross the way Tom Cruise or Will Smith can. This does not make everyone else a “no name”. You also might be surprised to learn that more movies do not turn a profit in their initial run than you imagine. I am assuming that when you say “no name” you are referring to the recognizability of the actor (I’m assuming this because that’s what the term means). Truth is, one can star in many flops and still be a well known and respected actor. I’m going to argue more for Heath Ledger here, because Gyllenhall was less known; he was primarily known for Donnie Darko, a movie which was a huge flop initially, but has since become a cult classic on DVD, You also make the error of taking into account the film’s budget when deciding how well known an actor is, again confusing how well known one is with how much money they’ve made for the studio. If a movie makes $50 million, just have many people have seen it whether it cost $1 million to make or $100 million (therefore, by the logic of basing this solely on a films take, the actor in equally famous either way).
By virtue of having been the star of a major motion picture of the caliber of A Knight’s Tale (regardless of whether or not you ever heard of it) let alone his other films, he is certainly not a no name actor. They used his stardom to promote the movie! Here’s a trick. If they were no name actors, can you name 4 or 5 “name” actors they could have given the roles too, keeping in mind the ages of the characters (Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood are too old, Orson Welles and Clark Gable are too dead)? I can think of Leonardo DiCaprio off the top of my head. The thing is by your definition he was a “no name” when he appeared in Titanic. Look at his movies:
  • This Boy’s Life: $4 million
  • What’s Eating Gilbert Grape: $9 million ($11 million to make)
  • The Quick and The Dead: $18 million ($32 million to make)
  • The Basketball Diaries: $2.4 million (no budget listed)
  • Total Eclipse: $339,889
  • Romeo And Juliet:$46 million ($14 million to make) his biggest hit so far, and made less than A Knight’s Tale
  • Marvin’s Room: $13 million ($23 million to make)
There, I just proved Leonardo DiCaprio was a no name actor before he appeared in Titanic, even though he was a major selling point for that movie, and he was a household name before its release. DiCaprio was a very big star before Titanic, and a bigger one after, much like Heath Ledger. An example of a no name actor getting a starring role in a major film might be Cillian Murphy in 28 Days Later. No one had heard of him before that movie (and he’s still not exactly universally recognized). That is far different than Ledger before Brokeback Mountain.
Also, “no name” actors do not get their names “Above the Title” as they say. Look at the posters for The Four Feathers and The Brothers Grimm. Ledger was a star. Not of the highest level yet, but a star nevertheless. KPickering 09:24, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
I disagre with your logic. First, to clarify, I did not say that "no-name" actors do not get their names "Above the Title". They do, but on lesser movies they starred in (like Four Feathers). On big studio productions, if they're not a big name themselves, they don't get billing above the title (see the posters for The Day After Tomorrow[7]).
Secondly, there's a BIG difference between Leonardo DiCaprio and Heath Ledger/Jake Ghyllenhaal. DiCaprio may have starred in smaller films, but this films garnered him recognition through Oscar, Golden Globe and other nominations. As I recall, DiCaprio became famous because he was nominated for the Oscar for What's Eating Gilbert Grape back in 1994.[8]. He was nominated again for Best Actor this time in 2004 for The Aviator, the year before Brokeback came out. Getting nominations like those are a major way of getting your name popularly recognized. Ledger and Gyllenhal didn't get any award nominations from major organizations prior to Brokeback Mountain. The exceptions: Ledger from a few Australian organizations (support Philip's point more) and several nominations from MTV and the Teen Choice Awards (supporting my point that he was just teen crush of the month). Gyllenhall: again Teen Choice and YoungStar and other popularity contests with teens. So if you don't have either a) big returns on at least some of your films, or b) awards recognition, then what do you have to make you a popular star? Apparently well-known star means being whoever the teen girls go gaga over at the time.
You also claimed there were no other bankable young stars at the time. Hmm.... Freddie Prinze Jr made $72 million off a $17 million movie (I Know What You Did Last Summer) and another $40 million squeezed out of a sequel (did Ledger or Ghylenhaal have any sequels?). She's All That was a $63 million movie from a $10 million budget. In the early 2000s he was a very bankable star (where he's gone since then is another matter...) Another example is Ryan Phillippe: $38 million off an $11 million movie with Cruel Intentions. These actors reliably produced big profit margins, making them stars. DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, etc got their names known through major awards. But before Brokeback, neither Ledger nor Gyllenhaal had any real claims to fame. -Foxtrot 12:35, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
If he was a "teen crush of the month" then he can't, by definition be a "no-name" -- enough people knew his name that he won a popularity contest. Why don't we just say "lesser-known", since everyone's already agreed to that, and just let this drop so we can move on to the four other fact tags? HelpJazz 13:04, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
Yes, this has been settled so I agree that we should drop it. -Foxtrot 13:11, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

Prolonged seclusion

I don't know why there's a fact tag on this line. Doesn't the "romance" begin when they have to spend several months up in the mountains alone together? As far as I know, for that prolonged period they were secluded to just themselves and some sheep. No women. So what's the issue? -Foxtrot 13:16, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

Again, I haven't seen the movie, but the line implies that they had a relationship only because they were alone without any females. This seems like a rather contrived plot line for a complex movie, so I doubted its veracity. HelpJazz 13:28, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
When they got down from the mountain, they married women and broke contact for some time (enough to have kids). Seems like their weakness in the circumstance got them started on this path and once they engaged in the sinful act it ate away at them until it destroyed their families. -Foxtrot 13:45, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
In order to end my own infuriation over the status of the article, I'm about to watch this movie: when I'm done, and when I've digested the plot details, I'll edit in some you know... facts, especially those concerning plots details such as the one being discussed above. Ought to be reading a philosophy text... oh well. Jirby 16:30, 9 October 2008 (EDT)
Have you seen the movie yet? I thought we'd be getting the some plot details soon, but you've only edited one article since making this post. Hopefully after your watching that movie we haven't lost you to the "dark side"... -Foxtrot 14:30, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

I have seen the movie. Let's be clear up front that this is not a movie where everyone goes around talking about their feelings, and there is a lot that implies that the characters themselves often don't know WHAT to feel about what's going on. Here's my input on this paragraph:

  • Brokeback Mountain is a movie from 2005 by Ang Lee about two male cowboys who fail to deal with their hormonal urges in a time of prolonged seclusion from others (particularly from females). As HelpJazz says, the article implies that the relationship came to be solely because of the absence of women. I would argue that this is a pretty weak interpretation of the movie. There's nothing I remember in the movie about them "failing to deal with their hormonal urges". They are only on the mountain for a summer - frankly, most heterosexual men I know would need a LOT longer than that before entering into such a relationship. My sense from seeing the movie is that the men themselves have very mixed emotions about the relationship, and the movie does not provide us with an explanation for the beginning of their relationship.
  • Afterwards, they come to their senses and marry beautiful, dedicated and loving women. They do marry. However, I did not get an impression of "coming to their senses". They both seem pretty conflicted about their marriages. Did they marry simply because they were expected to? Did they love their wives? The movie doesn't explicitly tell us.
  • However soon their past comes to haunt them and destroys not only their lives but the innocent lives of their wives and children. This is actually pretty accurate, though I would argue that it's not their past that haunts them, but rather their ongoing relationship. My impression was that each of them is in love with the other, not with their wife, more-or-less from the beginning.
  • Audiences witness the families torn asunder in waves of agonizing revelations, This describes the movie's style quite well.
  • all stemming from a secret around "fishing" trips where the men once again use their seclusion to its "ends". This sounds like something out of a '40's dime novel. It also implies that their relationship is solely physical, but it is portrayed very much as a romance. If you take the romance out of it, you end up with a completely different story.

Some movies can be summarized pretty well without seeing them - Wizard of Oz comes to mind: "and your little dog too!", tornado, house lands on bad witch, munchkins, good witch, yellow brick road, scarecrow, tinman, lion, emerald city, wizard, flying monkeys, man behind the curtain, balloon, there's no place like home. We could go into more detail, but the basics of the movie are pretty clear and most people will come out of it with the same story. Brokeback is not like that. It shows you what the characters do, and what they say, in little glimpses of their lives over many years. It does not show you what they think, or feel - and that's why many people had quite different interpretations, and probably to some extent why there was such a buzz around the movie. I can see how people who've seen it would want to sit down with someone else and sort out what they think happened - which would also account for people who hadn't seen it feeling somewhat pressured to do so. So again, this movie does not lend itself to an accurate summary from someone who hasn't seen it.--Hsmom 14:45, 19 October 2008 (EDT)

Awards received

Again, confused why there's a cite tag after "festooning". Are you denying that these awards were given to the movie? Don't these awards signify a major acceptance of the film by Hollywood? -Foxtrot 13:19, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

To "Festoon" literally means to hang a decoration between two points. I'm taking it figuratively to mean that the awards were just decorations used to make the movie look better. If I interpreted the wording correctly, we need some sources for that, since awards are given largely for merit. (Yes, I know there are politics involved, but you won't see a truly bad movie win out for political reasons. Well, except maybe Crash...) HelpJazz 13:31, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
Certainly a truly bad movie would not win for political reasons -- that would be such transparent manipulation as to be a farce. But a good movie on a subject they actively want to promote can be adorned with awards to make the general public more inclined to see it. As Bill O'Reilly remarked in his interview:

But I also think the entertainment industry should be up front in explaining what films it values and why it finds them especially worthy. Most Americans are not gonna see "Brokeback Mountain" because they don't relate to the subject, and if Hollywood is now in the "culture-shaping business," it should admit it.

So look for Oscar night to be a huge night for shepherds who roam the range in their own consensual way. Hollywood is making a statement and Americans should be geting the message loud and clear.

We also have the Times saying: [9]

Christian groups led a furious campaign against Hollywood yesterday, accusing the Golden Globe Awards of promoting films with gay or “leftist” themes to serve a political agenda. The criticism was made after Brokeback Mountain, a film about the forbidden love between gay Wyoming cowboys, won four awards... Oscar pundits are now questioning whether the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will also reward Brokeback Mountain, potentially souring Hollywood’s relationship with the American ticketbuying public even further... Right-wing radio talk show hosts also took pot shots at the Globes yesterday. Stephen Bennett, of Straight Talk Radio, said: “When Hollywood is pumping out anti-family movies with sexually explicit, twisted and perverse themes that glorify homosexuality, transsexuality and every other kind of sexual immorality — then awarding itself for doing so — Middle America better take note. “Last night Hollywood exposed its own corrupt agenda. [It] is no doubt out on a mission to homosexualise America.”

Both these quotes also go towards supporting the statement that Hollywood supported the gay agenda in this film (other articles:[10], [11] and a slew of others. Search for "brokeback" and "agenda" together). -Foxtrot 19:39, 8 October 2008 (EDT)


I think that the admonishment people get for not having seen the movie is pretty clear, it's even creeping up here in the talk page. But here's some examples:

  • From Bill O'Reilly's transcript[12] where he discusses Brokeback Mountain: "I haven't seen the movie because the lead actors play bisexual shepherds and, please forgive me, that isn't on top of my viewing wish list. I understand I'm a barbarian." I think it's pretty clearly implied that he has received or at least expects to receive admonishment for openly not wanting to see the movie.
  • From Right Wing News[13] (scroll down to the section on Brokeback Mountain, 2/3 of the way down): "Let me interject a little reality into the tsunami of ballyhoo that surrounds Brokeback Mountain. Let me take just a moment to counter the overbearing wave of condescending media hucksters and Hollywood high pressure salesmen that have almost been berating the public into watching this film."
  • A whole op-ed in the New York Times defending why someone wouldn't want to see the movie and all the varied criticism he expects to get for it.[14]
  • Plenty of examples on blogs, forums and comments on news articles. Example:"And I still won't see Brokeback Mountain. No matter how much it p***es off you people off that I won't see it."[15]

I hope that's enough citations, though I would have thought the public atmosphere around the movie would have been tangible enough to know that people were getting pressured into seeing it and chastised for holding their ground to not see it. -Foxtrot 13:42, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

I think the point is a good one, but expecting admonishment doesn't exactly equal admonishment. Maybe quotes from the comments to those articles/blogs? LiamG 14:00, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
Liam is quite right. A good cite would be actual admonishments (preferably more than one), not people expecting them or feigning indignation. Could someone point out those "condescending media hucksters and Hollywood high pressure salesmen that have almost been berating the public into watching this film"? KPickering 14:05, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
I agree with LiamG and KPickering. People feeling like they are expected to see a movie is not the same thing as other people actually admonishing them to do so. I mean, it's a MOVIE - a form of entertainment - it's OPTIONAL - not like death or taxes! I can see that if a lot of people said "hey, you should see this TV show, it's really good", and you were not interested in or even offended by the subject, you would get annoyed after a while that people kept telling you that you should see it. But the people were just telling you about something they enjoyed, not admonishing you. While you might feel like you were being pushed to do something outside your comfort zone, it would be more because of "am I the only one who's totally not interested in this" feelings, not because they were actually pushing you. See what I mean? It's more that you're feeling peer pressure - not that your peers are actually pressuring you, just that there's a conflict between what YOU want to do vs. what (seemingly) everyone else seems to be doing. So unless there are actual examples of admonishment, I think this part needs to be changed. --Hsmom 15:22, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

But the atmosphere was not "You should see this movie. No? Are you sure? Awww, it's really good". That's normal prodding from people to recommend a movie they enjoy to reluctant people. The attitude with Brokeback was "You should see this movie. No? Are you homophobic? You must be homophobic/hateful/closed-minded/etc" There was more than a "missing out" factor here and that's what the text about admonishing is getting at. It's something rather specific, because if I said I wasn't interested in the newest Tyler Perry movie, people wouldn't start accusing me of being a racist. Yet somehow with Brokeback the general atmosphere was that if you didn't see it, you were a horrible person. We don't have Bill O'Reilly talking about being a "barbarian" for not seeing Malcolm X, do we? In that interview he was talking about his friends trying to compel him to see the movie, and him standing firm and what the apparent reaction was. People were not feeling left out, but rather were feeling harangued by others for the simple fact that they were CHOOSING not to see the movie (yes, it's a choice. They weren't dodging the draft, but the attitude towards them for not watching it was far closer to that of avoiding a mandatory requirement). Now I feel like this is beginning to belabor the point, since the attitude is well-documented in the posts I had above and I don't want to waste my time scanning through movie chat forums (they're REALLY boring). Do a Google search for "won't see" "Brokeback" or something similar and you'll get plenty of hits that all express the general attitude. Even on the blog I linked to above, the person who made the anti-BM comment gets called out and others feel compelled to say things like "The BBM ites are out for blood. I don't want to end up with my dog dead or anything. I get the message!" -Foxtrot 19:15, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

The movie became the "buzz" that everyone was talking about in 2005 and people were admonished{{fact}} for not having seen it and not being "open-minded" to a "different" love story. I think the case has been made that some people may have felt pressured to see this movie, despite their lack of interest in it (though it's not clear whether anyone really did any actual admonishing). I think the way to go is to eliminate the very general statement that's currently in the article, and instead use one that is very specific about who felt like they had been admonished (or expected admonishment), preferably with a quote. I don't have time to do it right now, but I'll peruse the cites Foxtrot posted above and see what I can come up with. I'm glad we're all working on this - I think we're creating quite a nice article. --Hsmom 16:33, 9 October 2008 (EDT)

Fact citations

As much as possible, fact citations should be cleaned up and it would be good to work together to that end. Learn together 13:58, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

Don't you think you should actually watch the movie, or at least read the script or something before writing an article on it. I've seen the film numerous times, and the synopsis here doesn't describe the film at all. The article displays a definite Christian bias (which I understand and am not condemning), but the film itself doesn't depict the relationship between Ennis and Jack (the protagonists) so judgementally. You certainly don't get the sense, as a member of the audience that the protagonists "come to their senses" when they marry. In fact you get the feeling that they are both making a mistake in marrying women whom they clearly don't love. It's the site's prerogative to discuss a subject from a Conservative and Christian point of view, but no matter what you believe it is wrong to tell an outright lie, and wrong to parade an assumption as truth. Please watch this film before you judge itLiberalnproud

For one, I will not have a movie I haven't seen be spoiled by reading some revealing script excerpts or detailed reviews. It takes the pleasure out of any surprises the film may have in store (in that line, I have thoroughly avoided reading the plot descriptions on movies like Vertigo). As a second point, you say you are not condemning the Christian biaspoint of view, yet you are so gullible to believe that the men were making a mistake when they married women and discount the Christian position that they were finally stepping on the right path. And lastly, no, I will not watch this movie, because of the clear brainwashing effect it has had on people like you who claim to respect Christian principles (although with your moniker, I find that hard to swallow). -Foxtrot 01:02, 19 November 2008 (EST)

More sensible actors

You can find in many interviews at the time would question the actors about whether they were afraid of starring in a gay movie, for fear that it may stifle their careers. In the Ang Lee interview I posted above, he even says: “I’m not their manager. I don’t care if this movie dooms the rest of their careers,” he half-jokes. “All I cared about was that they performed for me." So, yes, if there was a palpable danger of having your career doomed by starring in the movie, then a sensible actor would avoid it. The movie was not expected to be anywhere near the success it turned out to be, so it would have been far too risky a venture for an actor with something to lose. -Foxtrot 19:23, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

I have added the citation and reinstated the line. -Foxtrot 15:03, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

BAFTA awards

From User:Sideways's edit comment: BAFTAs are a British award & cannot be attributed to Hollywood. Yes, BAFTAs are a British award, but that has little to do with anything. Sundance is a film festival that doesn't happen in Hollywood, yet it extolls the same values as Hollywood does. The awards (British, American or other) are Hollywood values at work promoting this film to incredible heights. The nitpicking about British awards vs. Hollywood awards is the same exact debate that has come up numerous times on Hollywood values about British actors vs. American actors. Judgment has been issued on this topic and I won't let that debate spill over here where Andy may not be keeping as close a watch. -Foxtrot 20:25, 24 October 2008 (EDT)

No it is not the exact same debate. "Hollywood values" is a loose term which can refer to anybody influenced by the values extolled in Hollywood, but this article doesn't refer to Hollywood values; it just refers to Hollywood (I.E. the USA film establishment) festooning this movie with awards, and including BAFTAS into the list. It is inaccurate and this sentence must be rephrased if BAFTAS are to be mentioned at all. Sideways 20:38, 24 October 2008 (EDT)
Minor matter in my opinion, but the wording has been changed to make it clearer. -Foxtrot 21:02, 24 October 2008 (EDT)
Minor maybe, but Sideways had a point. Glad to see that's it's been fixed. Philip J. Rayment 06:04, 25 October 2008 (EDT)


The way the caption is phrased now, it almost seems like they are preoccupied with other cowboys. Maybe a picture of cows or something a little more in line with what you are trying to get at. ----ToJones 09:25, 31 October 2008 (EDT)

The image was moved to Cowboy; it had nothing to do with the article, which should have either a proper movie poster or a still from the film. Karajou 09:42, 31 October 2008 (EDT)
Or perhaps one of the actors, etc., but yes, something more directly related to the film. Philip J. Rayment 10:27, 31 October 2008 (EDT)
The dilemma I faced was: the article had become long enough that an image would be good to break up all the text, but it seemed to me that the movie poster and images from the film would be protected under copyright, and worse, protected by companies who fiercely defend any bit of intellectual property (am I wrong on this?) So I decided to find an image that at least evoked the same setting and posture as the movie poster: the cowboys aren't looking directly at us, their heads hang low, one's head is partially shadowed by his hat, the sky is clouded, etc. You can easily ascribe all the guilt, contemplation, etc of the original movie poster to these cowboys, even though I doubt they're facing the same issues. I thought it was a pretty good find and it took me a long time to come across it. In response to ToJones, the cowboys are clearly looking to the right, their minds occupied with looking at the cows and the rodeo competition. In other words, they're preoccupied with their jobs (like the Brokeback Mountain boys should have been). I thought this implication was obvious. -Foxtrot 13:25, 31 October 2008 (EDT)
Added new image directly from the film. This should work. Karajou 13:34, 31 October 2008 (EDT)
Foxtrot - I know what you were trying to show with the picture. I was just giving some stylistic advice. The way you phrased the caption made it sounds like cowboys were the preoccupation, which seems a bit counterproductive. ----ToJones 17:44, 31 October 2008 (EDT)
I read the details provided on the poster image page. I didn't know that detail of copyright law--very useful and a very smart loophole from the people who wrote up copyright law. -Foxtrot 13:10, 1 November 2008 (EDT)


Hsmom, why the revert? Is it not true that the lead characters were not telling the truth with their false claims of "fishing"? -Foxtrot 10:45, 19 November 2008 (EST)

Because of the very good point you made above: I will not have a movie I haven't seen be spoiled by reading some revealing script excerpts or detailed reviews. It takes the pleasure out of any surprises the film may have in store... I completely agree with you on this point. There is a specific scene in which the "fishing trip" lie is revealed, and I don't want to spoil it for readers who haven't seen the movie but may in the future. I think soon their past comes to haunt them and destroys not only their lives but the innocent lives of their wives and children and Audiences witness the families torn asunder in waves of agonizing revelations gives enough information. --Hsmom 17:25, 19 November 2008 (EST)