An Afternoon With Ann Sheridan and Armistead

Saturday, January 18th, 2003 | Film, Gay

The Ann Sheridan movie was astounding. It hasn’t been screened theatrically for about 40 years, and the Castro presented a beautiful print from the Universal archive. The film, Woman on the Run, opens as a man walking his dog witnesses a murder, and then goes into hiding when he discovers that the killer is a big mobster who will most likely bump him off before he can testify against him. The police race to find him before the killer does, and his wife, whom we find out has been fairly indifferent to him up to now, also tries to find him and in the process discovers her love for him. She is aided in her search by a supposed newspaper man looking for an exclusive, but he’s actually the killer himself! The searchers converge on Playland at the Beach in the final minutes of the film, where Ann Sheridan finally figures out that the newspaper guy is the killer, but as she’s riding the roller coaster and he’s down below meeting her husband for the promised exclusive and a shot in the head! The perspective in this scene is all from the roller coaster as we catch dizzing and quickly caught brief glimpses of her husband below. Great San Francisco location shooting, snappy witty dialogue, Ann Sheridan’s beautiful face, and excellent tension and photography in those last few minutes.

On the way home from the movie Armistead Maupin walked by and said “Hey.” !! To me! He’s so cuddly looking. I said, “Hi.” Should I have said more? Did he think I was someone else? Does he remember meeting me a few years ago when he sat behind me at the Castro? Didn’t he come to the party that I and Bob threw for Ed White? Was he cruising me? Did I blow my chance to create a thrilling new chapter for his tales of the city? Or my cameo walk on in the next series?

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