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Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon is the rather compelling documentary about Jack Wrangler, the first truly openly gay “adult film” star, who knew what he wanted and how to get what he wanted.
The docu tells the story of his life, from his modest upbringing as a weedy boy in the 1950s with a head that looked “like an alien on this tiny body”, always seeking approval from his father who wanted him to be a typical jock on the school football team, to the mega star in gay porn who had guys queuing round the block to watch him on the big screen in the local adult cinema.
It is a fascinating insight into this alpha male who grew up thinking he was ugly and undesirable, but became a national icon both in the gay and the straight world. With interviews from the man himself and the people who have known him throughout his life and career(s), and with clips from his vast catalogue of movies, it is easy to see how this extremely sexy man had the world in the palm of his hand.
Buff, hung and charismatic, he was the man that created a media storm around him – not just during working hours but also in his personal life.
What makes this even more watchable is that Jack wants the world to know he is so much more than a porn star, and seems to moan that this is how everyone introduces him when he has many more... er... fingers in many pies. Not that he would do anything differently but the other adult stars interviewed wisely state that no matter what you do in life, if you shoot just one pornographic movie then “so many doors close on you”.
However, it seems that no matter what Jack sets his mind to, he succeeds and this is what makes this documentary so riveting. You want to keep watching and Jack draws you in – not just because of his good looks, physique and bulges – there is something about him that makes you want to be drawn into his world, wherever it takes you.
Yet when all is said and done, what is most revealing is that with all the praise showered on him from all angles he still seems, after all these years, to still be the little boy who wants to impress his father. But then, maybe that has been the key to his success.
Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon is from TLA Releasing and is out now.
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