Tab Hunter Confidential (2015) - Rotten Tomatoes

Tab Hunter Confidential (2015)

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Critic Consensus: Tab Hunter Confidential offers clear-eyed perspective on a less-examined chapter from Hollywood's past -- and an enjoyable look at the life of a retired former heartthrob.

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Movie Info

In the 1950s, Tab Hunter is America's Boy Next Door. Nothing, it seems, can damage his skyrocketing career. Nothing, that is, except for the fact that Tab Hunter is secretly gay. Now, Tab Hunter's secret is out. In this documentary we will meet, for the first time, the real Tab Hunter as he shares with us the whole story of a happy, healthy survivor of Hollywood's roller coaster.

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Critic Reviews for Tab Hunter Confidential

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (12)

Hunter's memories of a double life in the waning days of the studio system are fascinating.

December 1, 2015 | Full Review…
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Tab Hunter Confidential is a well-crafted if not particularly deep bio-documentary of the genial actor, who is now 84 years old and provides a number of on-camera recollections.

December 1, 2015 | Rating: 3/4
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

It's refreshing to see an actor tell his own story with some real honesty. Overall, however, Tab Hunter Confidential is too much like every other Hollywood True Story out there.

November 19, 2015 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Schwarz deftly demonstrates how frightened 1950s Hollywood was of the sexuality of its stars.

November 5, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Seattle Times
Top Critic

In all, it's a relaxed portrait of a likable fellow.

November 5, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Schwarz and Hunter never dig all that deep - in fact, it all seems pretty tame by today's reality TV standards - but the film remains an evocative, enjoyable ride.

October 29, 2015 | Full Review…
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Tab Hunter Confidential

An interesting look at closeted gay man who had to pretend to be a leading man in order to continue his career. A twinge of sadness but we are glad that Tab Hunter can finally tell his tale.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

An honest and straightforward memoir from one of Hollywood's brightest stars from the 1950's. Tab Hunter engagingly recounts his life and behind-the-scenes Tinseltown business and politics. Those interested in Hollywood history or LGBT history will really enjoy this gem of a film.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

I saw this at the 2015 Cleveland International Film Festival. Directed by Jeffrey Schwarz who has made several films about the lives of Hollywood people or people on the outskirts of the Hollywood mainstream. Produced by Allan Glaser, Tab Hunter's longtime partner. This doc is packed with archival clips and interviews. Tab Hunter himself tells his story over multiple interview sessions, although he's been kept in the closet about being gay for so long that it still seems difficult for him to reveal this private part of his life. Tab Hunter, born Arthur Kelm, was as much a character created by the studio system as Marilyn Monroe. Not only was he a star of war pictures and westerns, but he also had hit songs on the charts. Every woman following his career and the love life created for him by the studios in the fan magazines wanted to be with him. The studio publicists in the 50s and 60s sure were busy inventing wholesome dreamlike lives for all their stars. The biggest surprise of this story was his relationship with Anthony Perkins for a short time. The fact that there were closeted gay actors working in Hollywood and that audiences were fooled into thinking all these idols were perfectly straight is not news nowadays, but hearing the confidential details of stories like this makes the suppression and persecution of this lifestyle more real for those of us who are not LGBTQ. And, so, it is an important and, not to mention, entertaining film to open people's eyes.

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer

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