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March 10, 2019

‘Daily Beast’ Goes Deep Inside ‘Most Expensive Gay Porn’ Film

One of the most bizarre and legendary true tales from the so-called “Golden Age” of porn received a stunningly detailed and exhaustively researched treatment from  writers Ashley West and April Hall, in an article published on Friday by the online magazine The Daily Beast. And while West and Hall’s lengthy behind-the-scenes account of the gay porn epic Centurians of Rome—which may be read online at this link—is a story about a movie, the events the journalists describe would make quite a movie themselves. Released in 1981 and alleged to be the “most expensive gay porno of all time,” the article says, Centurians of Rome was as the (misspelled) title implies, an epic costume "drama" (as far as it goes) set in ancient Rome, telling the story of "two Roman countrymen sold into slavery for not paying their taxes during Caligula’s reign as Emperor,” West and Hall describe. “They have to earn their freedom by bewitching their captors. It was Caligula meets Boys in the Sand.” But the story depicted in the all-male film is nothing compared to the story of the man who financed it—with cash he stole the previous year in a daring Brinks armored truck robbery. The then-25-year-old George Manuel Bosque pulled off the robbery almost on the spur of the moment, alone.  In fact, as a contemporary Washington Post report explained, Bosque was a Brinks guard in San Francisco who, as a spokesperson for the armored security company told the Post, “seized upon an opportunity to remove a truck away from the surveillance of other crew members.”  Bosque grabbed bags of cash totaling $1.85 million—worth about $5.6 million in today’s dollars—and then simply vanished, eluding a nationwide manhunt for 15 months. His success in not being captured was especially remarkable considering that his cash haul made the robbery, at that time, the second-largest in American history. Only the infamous Mafia “Lufthansa heist” at JFK Airport in New York City in 1978—later depicted in the 1990 film Goodfellas—was bigger. But who was George Bosque? Unlike the Lufthansa robbers, he was certainly no mobster. In fact, as a teen and a young man in Miami, Florida, his life’s inspiration was the Clint Eastwood movie Dirty Harry, and he became known among friends and schoolmates as a right-wing extremist who railed against criminals and held an unwavering admiration for police. As West and Hall recount, Bosque applied to West Point military academy but didn’t get in. He later attempted on several occasions to join the police force, but was rejected for reasons that still remain murky.  Bosque—despite often expressing his vehement hatred of “homosexuals”—was gay. He relocated to San Francisco with a teenage boyfriend in 1976, and somehow got hired as a guard by the Brinks security firm. After the robbery, West and Hall discovered, Bosque lived in New York, sometimes posing as a wealthy businessman and philanthropist—but mostly spending his stolen cash at a rate of about $4,000 per day and doing his best to stay off police radar. But when he met filmmaker John Christopher, already a veteran of the porn industry, though to that point exclusively in straight porn, Bosque had the idea of his life—to use his cash to create an all-gay Roman porn epic.  “Something really classy. Something that’s never been done before,” Bosque told Christopher. “How much would you need?” They started with a budget of $100,000—but quickly exceeded that already inflated amount as the production spiraled into what one performer described as “a gay blooper movie,” largely due to Bosque’s rambunctious on-set presence, constantly second-guessing Christopher and insisting on absurd new scenes and dialog on the spur of the moment. Read the Daily Beast article, linked above, to get the rest of the wild story. For Bosque, however, there was no happy ending. He was arrested in late 1981 with only $100 in his possession, after a friend turned him in for a $50,000 reward. He was convicted of the Brinks robbery and sentenced to 15 years in prison, but paroled in 1986, according to the Los Angeles Times.  On July 1, 1991, George Bosque was found dead in his San Francisco apartment, of an “apparent drug overdose.” Photo via 'Rialto Report' YouTube Screen Capture 

 
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