Groomed as a potential leading man and heartthrob for the Hollywood studio system of the 1950s, George Nader went from a debut in an acknowledged camp classic (Robot Monster) through roles alongside the likes of Tony Curtis, Maureen O’Hara, Esther Williams, Hedy Lamarr and John Saxon, eventually winding up in the career-defining role of FBI G-man Jerry Cotton in an unforgettable series of two fisted German action films that drew equally from the Bondian excess of the Eurospy craze and the wild and wooly vibe of the Edgar Wallace krimi.
With their gritty vibe, surprising stunt sequences and dark undertones, these 8 films even seemed to draw from the contemporaneous NYC sexploiter, while bearing enough lineage with the Wallace (and arguably, Mabuse) films (whose recurrent director Harald Reinl helmed three entries, and whose go-to composer Peter Thomas composed the films’ jaunty theme and provided most of their scoring) to elevate the second tier Hollywood expat to the second most popular film star in Germany!
Join us as we return from a long hiatus to zcover these highly entertaining films, as we discuss the “first gay action hero”, George Nader and the Jerry Cotton series!
Week 44: The First Gay Action Hero? George Nader and the films of Jerry Cotton