About the Blog..

My blog title, Ossessione, American Style, is taken from a movie by Count Luchino Visconti, who borrowed the plot of his astonishing debut film, Ossessione, from James M. Cain's novel, The Postman Always Rings Twice. Unfortunately, Visconti never paid for the rights and his film was not shown in the U.S. until many years after its release. The star of the movie, Massimo Girotti, would be People's "Sexiest Man Alive" many years running had the zine been around at the time. We first see him as a truck driver in a filthy sleeveless athletic undershirt, another of my obsessions: remember Paul Newman in an a-shirt (e.g. Hud or Cool Hand Luke)? Nowadays, they cheapen this garment who confuse it with something tank troops wore in World War I. The a-shirt is an undershirt, usually with thin bands over the shoulders; a tank top is a shirt without sleeves, akin to a "muscle shirt," only with wider bands over the shoulders. But, I digress....)

The purpose of this photo/comment column is to present a record of my obsessions. These are wide-ranging and diverse. This blog is not intended to be pornographic. The only pornography today is in politics.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Half Century of Infatuation with Alain Delon

My earliest obsessions were males.  The Boy Scout Manual had plenty of boys my age, and there were musclemen magazines I would hide on shelves of my bedroom until my mom discovered them and pretended her son was not queer.  The movies yielded idols aplenty, from Jody McCrae to Tab Hunter, but always I adored the pretty boys; not Presley, who for some reason did not appeal to me, but men like Alain Delon and Tony Perkins, both rumored to be bisexual (Perkins died of AIDS and was linked to Mr. Hunter, who "double-dated" with Tony so that Confidential magazine would be thrown off the scent of scandal).  I cannot recall the first time I saw Delon, but I was instantly infatuated: a fan.  I still think of him as the prettiest man ever born, and when I say "pretty" I mean handsome. (The very fact that I must use words to say anything admits of their uselessness.)  It's tomato/toma'to, this pretty vs. handsome, for too many people a Harrison Ford is handsome, and he left me cold even in his youthful roles, a kind of "Establishment" type.  I will post photos of pretty men and comment on them from time to time.

Although I would not see it until many years after its release, Count Luchino Visconti's Rocco e i suoi fratelli (Rocco and His Brothers, 1960) showed a youthful Delon at his most beautiful.  There was a frank homosexual subplot in the film: one of Rocco's fratelli is a skilled but amateur boxer whose career is guided by a wealthy promoter who attempts to seduce him.  Cinematographer Giuseppi Rotunno captures Delon's physical attractiveness better than any lighting cameraman since.  Delon was only 25 when he made the film and a relative newcomer, his most important screen role previously being Tom Ripley in Rene Clement's Purple Noon (remade as The Talented Mr. Ripley, from the novel by lesbian author Patricia Highsmith).


  1. I agree, what a BEAUTIFUL man and so Charming!!!! Nobody like him!!

  2. Tab Hunter wrote in his autobio. that he went to see "Rocco" 5 nights in a row when it came out.He said he was "stunned" by Delon's brilliance every time. I also believe he was "stunned" by AD's beauty,charm,SEX appeal, etc. Come on Tab,admit it,you fell in love with him just like the rest of us.He is HOT and GORGEOUS,the 1 and only,OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Beachin, I just saw the three-part made for TV "Fabio Montale" with Alain playing an aging detective in Marseilles involved in some harrowing criminal activity just days before retirement. If you have Netflix, you should get it. Delon is craggy faced and graying in the film, but the guy just gets more handsome as he goes, just like Cary Grant in his time. There is a real plus to "Fabio": his sidekick, a younger cop, is played by another French actor named Cedric Chevalme, and boy is he hot! I have noticed in Delon's films, Alain is quite free with his hugs and loving attitude toward not only women but men, and it has long been rumored that he is bi. Many actors who worked with Visconti had affairs with that director, e.g. Helmut Berger. But I do not know if Delon did, though he acted in Visconti's "The Leopard" many years after "Rocco." Take care, --jim

  4. There is a big debate going at Queerty over Delon's unfortunate remarks about gay marriage, which he is opposed to. I took the position that it matters not a whit, his movies stand on their own: he was both a beauty and a fine actor and still is. To an atheist, being a believer in God is a spot of negativity in many another extraordinary man or woman. Perhaps my willingness to give Delon the benefit of the doubt reflects my disinterest in gay polemics in general, and my inability to identify with the phenomenon of gay marriage in particular. I have long held that gay marriage is nothing but emulation of straight people, and although it is not for me, I dislike hearing people dissing it and/or spending money that might go to the poor on campaigns to defeat the gay marriage movement, which is huge and promises to be nationwide in another generation or two.

  5. Nothing can diminish the magical impact of Alain Delon........Not even Alain Delon. He is visual poetry. The man is gorgeous. Don't care what his views on gay marriage are. His films are timeless.

  6. I can only say this: I love him, I adore him, I don't care what era, what age, what movie - I just know I love him. What beauty, what charisma, you can't look at anything else when he's on screen. His politics don't matter to me. I know that sounds awful but I don't care. He lives in Switzerland so what he says about French politics doesn't matter anyway. As for gay marriage, I have no problem with it, but he is from another generation. I look at the charity he does for the elderly, for hospitals, for animals. I look at the valuable manuscript of the French government he purchased at auction for a princely sum and returned to the French government. I look at him arranging for Romy's son to be re-buried next to her. None of us are perfect - well, he is, on the outside anyway.