Synopsis by Mark Deming
Gore Vidal's best-selling satiric novel gets an inarguably unique screen treatment in this off-center psycho-sexual farce. Fussy film buff Myron Breckinridge (Rex Reed) goes to Europe and gets a sex-change operation from a slovenly chain-smoking doctor (John Carradine) and returns to the United States as the glamorous and willful Myra Breckinridge (Raquel Welch). Myra appears at the door of former cowboy star-turned-acting school entrepreneur Buck Loner (John Huston), who also happened to be Myron's uncle; Myra insists she's Myron's widow and demands her fair share of Loner's inheritance to her late husband. Loner, suspicious of the appearance of Myron's bride, tries to find a way out of giving her any of his money, while giving Myra a job in his acting school to keep her busy. Myra's new career allows her to make the acquaintance of Leticia Van Allen (Mae West), an aging sexpot and talent agent who represents "leading men only." Through Leticia, Myra meets alpha-male aspiring star Rusty Godowsky (Roger Herren) and his naïve girlfriend Mary Ann Pringle (Farrah Fawcett); as part of her own bid to ferment sexual anarchy, Myra attempts to introduce Mary Ann to the pleasures of lesbianism, while forcibly expanding Rusty's sexual boundaries. In the midst of the action, director Michael Sarne uses clips from dozens of vintage Hollywood films of the 1930s and '40s as a comic counterpoint to the story. Both Gore Vidal and Rex Reed expressed their dissatisfaction with Myra Breckinridge after the film hit theaters, though Vidal has also claimed not have seen the finished product; the film has gone on to develop a devoted cult following, despite the fact the film's only authorized video release has been out of print since the late '70s.
sex-change, transsexual, inheritance