Sal Mineo/Don Johnson Play Thought Lost Is Found

Sal Mineo (1939-1976) experienced a meteoric rise in the film world thanks to Rebel Without a Cause (1955), but one of his latter-day passion projects was the 1967 stage play Fortune and Men's Eyes by John Herbert (1926-2001).

Men's thighs

The play, about a newbie in a prison, is rife with queer themes and was also controversial for depicting male rape.

Mineo directed and starred in the play multiple times, but not in the 1971 film version, so no footage of him in it was thought to exist. Though the play was a shocker at the time and also starred gay actor Michael Greer (1938-2002) and a very, very young and nubile Don Johnson (b. 1949), it has long been assumed that only photographs existed — no video.

Until now.

Collector Jarrod LaBine has generously shared the only footage showing Mineo, Greer and Johnson in the play, shot in 16mm at the Coronet Theater in L.A. 50 years ago this year.

The footage contains 15 minutes of the play, and was used as a sampler for the run at the Coronet. As LaBine points out, producer Martin Poll (1922-2012) saw this production and hired Johnson and Greer to star in the much-maligned hippie opus The Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart (1970).


Transfer by Daniel Kremer and Movette out of San Francisco.

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