Follow TV Tropes


Film / Myra Breckinridge

Go To

"Who is Myra Breckinridge? What is she? Myra Breckinridge is a dish, and don't you ever forget it, you motherfuckers - as the children say nowadays."
Myra Breckinridge

A 1970 film based on the novel of the same name by Gore Vidal. Stars Raquel Welch and Rex Reed, along with Mae West and John Huston.

The titular character is a transgender woman played by Welch. After her successful gender-reassignment surgery, Myra heads out to Hollywood to claim her uncle's estate.

Myra Breckinbridge contains examples of:

  • All Just a Dream: It's strongly suggested through the scenes at the start and at the end with Myron in the hospital that Myra's life—complete with Myron's own sporadic pop-ups as her alter ego, the last of which was him running her over only for her to die as himself—was all a dream of Myron's prior to a sex change surgery that presumably didn't take. This is honestly the least unfortunate and terrifying interpretation of the story, and Rex Reed wouldn't play the part otherwise.
  • Advertisement:
  • Ambiguously Bi: Part of Myra's plan for world domination involves seducing people of all genders in order to break down walls between the sexes.
  • And You Were There: Part of the All Just A Dream ending above. Myron awakes after his accident to find that his alter-ego Myra was inspired by a magazine cover of the real Raquel Welch and that Mary Ann is his nurse.
  • Black Comedy Rape: In arguably the film's most (in)famous scene, Myra rapes Rusty with a strap-on, set to a psychedelic montage of old movie clips and one-liners.
  • Blackmail: Myra blackmails Rusty into letting her "examine" him. She also blackmails Uncle Buck into giving her the job in the first place by pretending Myron is her late husband.
  • Camp Gay: Irving, who wears make up and jewelry.
  • Casting Couch: Inverted by Leticia Van Allen, who does this with hot male actors rather than would-be starlets. (Her office has an enormous satin-draped four-poster bed hidden behind a wall.)
  • Advertisement:
  • Coming-Out Story: The film is basically a gay man's fantasy about his struggle with coming out of the closet.
  • Corrupt Hick: Uncle Buck, though he isn't quite corrupt as he is just plain sleazy.
  • Dirty Old Woman: Leticia Van Allen (It's Mae West, what the hell do you expect?)
  • The Ditz: Mary Ann.
  • Dumb Muscle: Rusty.
  • Double Entendre: Most of what Leticia Van Allen says.
    Leticia Van Allen: Hi cowboy, how tall are you without your horse?
    Stud: Well ma'am, I'm 6 feet 7 inches.
    Leticia Van Allen: Well, never mind about the 6 feet, lets talk about the 7 inches.
  • Easy Sex Change / Magic Plastic Surgery: From Rex Reed into Raquel Welch.
  • False Widow: Myra claims to be Myron's widow in order to get her own inheritance.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Mary Ann and Myra.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Subverted and arguably deconstructed with Myra.
  • Mind Screw: The entire movie is very bizarre and doesn't have much of a coherent plot.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality / Villain Protagonist: Myra is a seductive, manipulative, blackmailing, sex-maniacal sadist. It's unclear which of the two tropes she is, but she's gotta be one of them.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Goofy music plays during a rape scene.
  • Stock Footage: Old movie clips appear often, many times for comedy's sake. Many of the depicted people complained and sued about this, and the White House downright asked for the removal of a Shirley Temple clip given she was now an U.S. embassador.
  • Take Over the World: Part of the motive for Myra's reassignment surgery is that she plans to singlehandedly destroy the very concept of gender by sleeping with everyone, thus bringing equality to the sexes. Or something.
  • That Man Is Dead: Myra about Myron. He's a very lively ghost, though.
  • Transgender: Myra.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: Myra, when she lifts up her skirt and drops her panties in front of Uncle Buck and his lawyers, declaring "Gentlemen…I am Myron Breckinridge!"
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Myra's iconic star-spangled swimsuit.


Example of: