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  • Warning: Spoilers
    KAMING MGA TALLADA (1962), directed by Tony Cayado from a screenplay by Chito P. Tapawan (and story by Ronnie Villamor), features 7 macho actors in gay roles, in the implausible story of seven gay brothers! Alas, this concept (already flimsy in the first place) falters in reaching its potential (if indeed, there existed a family of seven male siblings, all gay, it could make for a very dramatic tour-de-force) and is squandered by having the "pretty" boys suddenly drop their gayness, just in order to be partnered with seven pretty ladies (led by Barbara Perez) who have liked them from the start of the movie.

    I have ambivalent feelings about the caricature characterization of the mother hen, Cielo (reliably played by Lillian Laing, with relish), who, because of her too-soft approach and overmothering (smothering?) of her seven sons, cause the males to become virtually emasculated, effeminate, prettified and dolled up. (But José Mari Gonzáles, "Pretty Boy" indeed, was born to pray this role!) But if you ignore my quibbles about the mother hen (Laing is a hoot when, visiting jail, insists on the warden producing her "mga pitong dalaga") and the sudden "macho" reversal of the title males in film's denouement, you will enjoy this parody, which even has a song-and-dance number in the prologue. Picture Gonzáles, Juancho Gutierrez, Boy Alano, Tony Marzan, Charlie Davao, Rodolfo "Boy" Garcia and Rod Navarro swishing and swaying and sashaying, as the ladies who love them (Liberty Ilagan, Daisy Romualdez, Juvy Cachola, Barbara Perez, Naty Santiago, Nori Dalisay, Meldy Corrales, respectively) watch in half-amusement, half-chagrin (hoping the males would wisen up and pay attention to them REAL ladies).

    You also have the bonus of Eddie Garcia providing comic relief as a bullying sergeant, who, by the end credits, has a bizarre change within himself. Expect Sampaguita Pictures to also throw in the patriotic kitchen sink, as the boys indeed "wisen up" and engage in war (against the Moros), subsequently winning military citations that finally does their father, Captain Federico Dimaguiba (Jose Villafranca, solid) proud. And the ladies shyly and demurely wait for the "masculinized" men by the proverbial staircase.

    Cayado and producer Dolores H. Vera ("Mommy Vera"), admittedly, avoid wrestling head-on with the (by-then) somewhat touchy issue of homosexuality, and goes the safe route by filming a parody instead, banking on the pull of the male movie stars embedded in the cast to flesh out various effeminate personalities (but really, the LGBTs of today would deem the seven male characters as mere caricatures or stereotypes) and entertain the audiences (of 1962) at the same time.

    Gutierrez and company can't be faulted for coming up short with realistic characterizations of gay or "semi-gay" people, but Sampaguita Pictures (and other companies, including Quizon's own RVQ Productions) had to leave it for Dolphy to offer the Real McCoy, straight actor that he was. (There is something fascinating about macho actors like Dolphy or, say, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, all dressed up in fineries and sashaying on the silver screen -- audiences are delighted, instead of offended or turned off). Kudos anyway to everyone involved for daring to pull off a film of this kind.