SIFF 2015: Tab Hunter Confidential **1/2

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on May 16, 2015)

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Actor. Pop star. Teen idol. Equestrian. Figure-skater. Closeted. It’s certainly been a long, interesting ride for Tab Hunter, profiled in this documentary from Jeffrey Schwartz. Using a wealth of archival footage and assembled in a visually playful manner recalling The Kid Stays in the Picture, Schwartz largely lets Hunter tell his own story (he’s quite the engaging raconteur), with co-stars, close friends and film historians cheering from the sidelines. The candid Hunter (now retired from showbiz) recalls his life, loves and career; it’s interesting to get his take on that “chalk running backwards” phenomenon of becoming a movie star before becoming an actor. The film ultimately leans  a wee bit toward hagiography (it was co-produced by Hunter’s long-time companion Allan Glaser), but Hunter (still impossibly handsome at 83) is so positive and self-effacing that it’s nearly impossible to not succumb to his charm.

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