Who Killed Teddy Bear?
Dir. Joseph Cates, 1965, USA, 94 minutes
| Co-Presented with Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn |
Hosted by Nick McCarthy Admission only $10.
A seedy specimen of psychosexual noir, WHO KILLED TEDDY BEAR? captures mid-60s NYC seediness through a haze of cigarette smoke and desultory delirium. Directed by Joseph Cates, this proto-queer relic of urban moral decrepitude brilliantly balances exploitation with earnestness. After receiving unsavory phone calls from a mysterious sexual predator, a young hostess Norah (Juliet Prowse) at a divey discoteque confides in the club’s manager, the straight-shooting lesbian Marian (Elaine Stritch, who steals scenes and exudes the same sardonic spirit she did up until her recent death), and an increasingly invested detective, Lt. Dave Madden (Jan Murray).
As a busboy with a depraved backstory, Sal Mineo turns in a hyper-physical performance–which includes a female-gazey, elongated workout sequence that’s off-the-charts homoerotic. In addition to its deliciously sincere sleaze, WHO KILLED TEDDY BEAR? also serves as an inspiration for the raw sociological autopsy of NYC grit later seen in 70s American cinema. And after the film you’ll be humming the Four Seasons-esque tunes and eerily-catchy theme song as you head to the shower to wash off the grunge.
Directed by: Joseph Cates Starring: Juliet Prowse, Sal Mineo, Elaine Stritch, Jan Murray