Savannah Moviegoers on "Brokeback Mountain" - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/11/06

Savannah Moviegoers on "Brokeback Mountain"

Maybe you have heard about the movie Brokeback Mountain. It's stirring up critical acclaim and a little controversy. A theater in Utah banned the film.

Brokeback Mountain, dubbed the gay cowboy movie by mainstream media, opened in Savannah this past weekend. The touchy subject matter is sure to raise some eyebrows. We caught up with Savannah moviegoers, some expecting picket lines and protests, to see if there is anything to fuss about.

The movie is about two ranch hands who fall in love on Brokeback Mountain. Based on a novel, the critically acclaimed film hit Savannah theaters last weekend.

Brokeback Mountain is playing at two theaters in Savannah, the Wynsong Cinemas and the Regal Cinemas on Eisenhower Drive. Managers here say a few thousand people have seen the film and only one person has complained--and he didn't know what the film was about.

Betty Matousek, who drove in from Statesboro to see it, is surprised it's playing in Savannah at all. "There have been a couple of art films that never played here," she said. "I was afraid it wouldn't be here or wouldn't last long."

Over the weekend, a Utah cinema cancelled plans to show the movie. Critics of the film in Utah say the story of two gay men who marry women but carry on their relationship in secret sends the wrong message to young people.

"Immorality is immorality, let's not say it is anything else," one critic said.

"What century are we in?" asked Matousek of the controversy. "I'm absolutely stunned. Are we still in the dark ages? In some areas of the country, it's ridiculous."

After the movie, we got some reviews. Most feedback was positive. "It was a gay movie for cowboys who want to get together sometimes," said Robert Bennett of Savannah. "It was interesting. But it was good."

"I just loved it," said Matousek. "Tragic. Shakespearean almost."

Matousek admits there are some intense scenes, but the movie was worth her trip. "It did go through my mind there might be some complaint, but it's a movie that should be seen," she said.

So far, Wynsong says Brokeback Mountain has been its biggest draw during the day. Wednesday afternoon, 29 people paid to see it. The other movies averaged around six people.

Reported by: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com

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