Gods and Monsters
is a 1998 film which focuses on James Whale (a famous director of the 1930-40's) in the final days of his life. Having recently suffered a stroke, Whale (Ian McKellen
) is slowly losing his mind; unable to concentrate and often lost in his dark and hedonistic past. Out of boredom he starts sketching his gardener (Brendan Fraser
), while he is also enjoying the *ahem* view. See, James Whale was gay, openly so, and a large portion of the film focuses on what it was like to be a gay back at the turn of the 20th century.
It received a large amount of praise and won an Academy Award
for Best Adapted Screenplay (as well as being nominated for two others).
Contains Examples of the Following Tropes:
- All Gays Are Promiscuous: Whale is depicted as his having pool parties filled with young men and it being heavily implied that such and event caused his stroke in the first place. He is also all over Boone, however that's more of a long term ploy than this trope...maybe.
- Badass Gay: Whale is a World War I veteran.
- Camp Gay: Mr. Kay, the young student who comes to interview Whale.
- Creator Backlash: An in-universe example as Whale is fed up with only being remembered as the guy that brought the world Frankenstein
- Driven to Suicide : Whale at the end of the film, that at least, happened in real life too.
- Phony Veteran : Boone.
- Flash Back Stares: A rare example of this trope being played straight in a modern work, as it shows Whale succumbing to his past as it overwhelms his senses.
- Gaydar: Boone doesn’t fully realise Whale is gay until he’s told, first by his friends and later by Hanna.
- Gayngst: completely averted, which is surprising for a period piece set in the 1950s.
- Mercy Kill: Whale attempts to get Boone to do this.
- Nobody over 50 Is Gay: Averted as Whale (and McKellen himself of course) is gay and over 50, but discussed by Boone who says Whale is too old to think about things like sex.
- Old Retainer: Hanna, Whale's maid, who has served him for many years and is very loyal to him (altough she's convinced he'll go to hell for being a homosexual).
- Sanity Slippage
- Shout-Out: Clayton has a flat top haircut. His silhouette looks just like the classic Frankenstein's Monster, which Whale designed.
- Strip Poker: Whale asks Mr. Kay to remove one piece of clothing for every question related to Frankenstein that he answers. The game goes on until Kay is in his underwear.
- Subordinate Excuse: Hanna seems to have some romantic feelings for Whale, even though she knows about his sexual orientation. In the end after he commits suicide , she kisses him in the lips.
- Tragic Dropout: Whale recounts his parents forcing him from school, at the age of 14, to work in a factory.