Making Love (1982)

Making Love (1982)

Taglines: A provocative tale of hidden desire.

A successful young L.A. doctor and his equally successful television-producer wife find their happily-ever-after life torn assunder when he suddenly confronts his long-repressed attraction for other men. Zach and Claire live a comfortable life secure in their love for one another when Bart, a swinging L.A. novelist, walks into Zach’s office and awakens unfamiliar feelings in him.

In a move which leaves him wracked with guilt, Zach cancels dinner with his wife in order to go out with Bart. He is inexplicably drawn to this man who seems intent on keeping him at arms distance. Why can’t Bart allow their relationship to grow? he wonders. Exasperated, he asks Bart, “Do you snore? Does anybody ever get a chance to find out?”

As Zach’s absences become more and more frequent, Claire’s concern manifests itself in the suspicion that he is having an affair with another woman. Jilted by Bart and feeling alone for the first time in his married life, Zach resolves to tell Claire the truth about himself. Predictably, Claire is shocked that she could have known so little about the man she has loved for so many years and accuses him of deceiving her from the very start.

Making Love is a 1982 American drama film starring Kate Jackson, Harry Hamlin and Michael Ontkean. The film tells the story of a married man coming to terms with his homosexuality and the love triangle that develops around him, his wife and another man.

Making Love (1982)

About the Story

Zack Elliot (Ontkean) is a successful young doctor (an oncologist) in the Los Angeles area married to Claire (Jackson), an equally successful television network executive during the early 1980s. They have been married for eight years and are generally happy in their relationship, sharing in common a love for Gilbert and Sullivan and the poetry of Rupert Brooke, to whom they were introduced by their elderly former neighbor, Winnie Bates (Wendy Hiller). Intending to start a family, the couple buys a big house.

Unknown to Claire, Zack has been struggling with feelings of attraction to other men. He picks up men in his car and starts frequenting gay bars in West Hollywood on his lunch hour, although he does not follow through sexually. This changes when he meets Bart McGuire (Hamlin), a gay novelist who comes to see him for a medical check-up. Bart leads a fairly hedonistic single lifestyle, picking up multiple sexual partners, frequenting gay bars and clubs, occasionally taking recreational drugs. Zack and Bart are mutually but unspokenly attracted to each other and go out for lunch.

A few days later, Zack asks him on a dinner date. He lies to Claire, saying he has to work late. At Bart’s house, it becomes clear Zack is not yet able to identify as gay, instead labeling himself “curious.” Zack and Bart go to bed, which is the first time Zack has had sex with another man. Zack wants to stay the night, but Bart, following his usual pattern, brushes him off. Angered, Zack leaves, but later challenges Bart’s fear of intimacy which stems from his own troubled childhood with his domineering and emotionally abusive father growing up. Bart makes plans for them to get together during the weekend.

Making Love Movie Poster (1982)

Making Love (1982)

Directed by: Arthur Hiller
Starring: Michael Ontkean, Kate Jackson, Harry Hamlin, Wendy Hiller, Arthur Hill, Nancy Olson, John Dukakis, Terry Kiser
Screenplay by: Barry Sandler
Production Design by: James Dowell Vance
Cinematography by: David M. Walsh
Film Editing by: William Reynolds
Set Decoration by: Rick Simpson
Music by: Leonard Rosenman
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: February 12, 1982