Watch This: Queering the Biblical Text with 1933’s LOT IN SODOM

There aren’t many films from 1933 that get the YouTube “This Video May Be Inappropriate For Some Users” gate, but LOT IN SODOM is no ordinary film. Made by the wealthy dilettante – and heir to large sums of the Western Union fortune, James Sibley Watson, who became interested in avant-garde literature while at Harvard and later expanded his interests to film.

1933’s LOT IN SODOM follows the story of the righteous Lot who escapes from the sinful city of Sodom with his wife and daughters. The parable is reproduced here with the same Biblical result for Lot’s wife. The major difference here is that there is no doubt that Watson and his collaborators find the moral abandon of Sodom, with its writhing orgies of shirtless young men, much more compelling than the righteousness of the long-suffering Lot. The influence of Jean Cocteau’s BLOOD OF A POET (1932) seems apparent here, though as Sam Staggs noted in an article for the Gay and Lesbian Review, it is, if anything, more homoerotic than Cocteau’s film.

We’ll let you judge for yourself. Just tell YouTube that you understand and wish to proceed. No turning back.

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