Retro: The Unquiet American


John Waters
USA 1974
95 min

This 1975 feature is the best of John Waters’s movies prior to <![CDATA[<i>]]>Hairspray<![CDATA[</i>]]> and his ultimate concerto for the 300-pound transvestite Divine, whose character will do literally anything – including commit mass murder – to become famous. As in all of Waters’s early ­outrages, the technique is cheerfully ramshackle, but Divine’s rage and energy make it vibrate like a ­sustained aria, with a few metaphors about the beauty of crime borrowed from Jean Genet. With Edith Massey and Mink Stole, as well as some ­doubling on the part of Divine that allows the star to have sexual congress with himself, giving birth to … guess who?

  • Mink Stole
  • Divine
  • David Lochary
  • Mary Vivian Pearce
  • Edith Massey
  • Cookie Mueller
  • Susan Walsh
  • Michael Potter
  • Ed Peranio
John Waters
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