Eunuchs in film

I research how eunuchs (castrated men) are portrayed in literature. I’ve written the following articles to discuss the referenced films.

Judith of Bethulia (1914)

Women of All Nations (1931)

Siren of Atlantis (1949) – As one reviewer put it, the “eternally cold and stuffy character-actor Henry Daniell plays Montez’s manservant, who the film suggests, with 1949 discretion, is a eunuch (after all, she did cut out the tongue of one of her other underlings)…she’s looking for a worthy man whom she can stand being around without having to chop off parts of him.” In the film, a white Frenchman recounts how his group of six men ventured in the desert, and he and one friend were brought to Atlantis in the Hoggar Mountains in the Sahara. A man in a light-colored suit greets them (12:30). He tells them the queen is eager to meet them, as she’s heard they are handsome. He introduces himself: “I am Blaine, the court librarian, court philosopher, or the court anything intellectual that takes my fancy. I am the most fortunate of men. The queen admired my mind and not my body. I lack the, um, appeal. But I’m very healthy.” (14:30) Under the queen’s spell and in a fit of jealousy, the man kills the friend with whom he entered Atlantis, but he comes to his senses, escapes, and lives to tell his story to the other French soldiers. It’s based on Pierre Benoît’s novel L’Atlantide.

Dark Crystal (1982) – The Skeksis “drain” the Podlings of their “vital essence” so that the Skeksis can zombify and enslave the Podlings. Is this a representation of castration?

Farinelli (1994) – About the 18th century opera singer Carlo Broschi who used the stage name Farinelli. See the Wikipedia or IMDB articles.

Dogma (1999) – The Metatron, “Herald of the Almighty and Voice of the one true God,” peels back his trousers to reveal himself “as anatomically impaired as a Ken doll.” He descends to Earth to tell a woman, depressed over her loss of her uterus and consequent infertility, that she can become “Mother to the World” by fighting the forces of evil.

Northfork (2003) – When a dying orphan asks an angel, “Are you going to be my mother or my father?” the angel responds, “I’m both. Consider the perfect soul. I search for no one and no one looks for me. Whatever I need, I look within myself to find. I am complete. I am not king or queen, yet I am both a mother and a father.”

Murder 2 A Hindi-language Bollywood film (2011). Note also: The Wikipedia article for “hijra” features a number of film titles.

The Imitation Game A dramatized biography of Alan Turing, an early twentieth-century British mathematician.

Game of Thrones, an HBO television series, began in 2011 and is based on the books by George R. R. Martin. There are two significant eunuch characters.

  • Lord Varys – A member of the king’s Small Council.
  • Grey Worm – The leader of the Unsullied, an army of 8,000 eunuchs.

White Famous, a 2017 TV series. There is one comic scene about castration anxiety.

“Happy!” Season 1, Episode 7, “Destroyer of Worlds” (SyFy, available on Netflix) has the villain do a eunuch reveal. The relevant two-minute scene occurs approximately 34 minutes into the episode. It is described on Geek.com. The episode aired in January 2018.

Killing the Eunuch Khan (2021), written and directed Abed Abest, featured at the Slamdance Festival. It’s set in the 1980s during the Iran/Iraq War. Summary: “The serial killer intends slaughter so much that the blood spills over the ditches of the city. To reach this target, he designs a plan in which victims kill victims.” More info on Wikipedia and Pöff.

And also in podcast:

“The Magic Tavern” has a recurring character, Benedict Whisperbrew.