WATCH: James Franco Examines Last Hours Of Murdered Gay Icon Sal Mineo / Queerty

WATCH: James Franco Examines Last Hours Of Murdered Gay Icon Sal Mineo

Since October is officially recognized as LGBT history month, itís the ideal time to learn about pioneering gay actor Sal Mineo, the subject of James Francoís new art project film Sal.

For the uninitiated, Mineo was an Italian heartthrob who won fame and an Academy Award nomination as a closeted teen swooning over James Dean in the 1955 classic Rebel Without A Cause. His curly dark hair and cherubic features quickly made him a teen idol, but despite a second Oscar nod for the 1960 epic Exodus, Mineo found fame to be fleeting. After more or less coming out as gay in the late í60s, Mineoís career took a serious nose dive and the once-acclaimed actor was reduced to guest spots on TV dramas and appearing in gay-themed plays such as Fortune and Menís Eyes.

, based on a portion of writer Michael Gregg Michaudís brilliant, definitive 2011 book (do yourself a favor and buy a copy) about the actor, is not a traditional biopic in any sense. Director Franco takes an intimate look at the hours leading up to Mineoís random, tragic murder in 1976. Val Lauren, who also made waves costarring opposite Franco in the gay-themed docudrama Interior Leather Bar, delivers a magnetic, riveting performance as the title character.

You can watch Sal on VOD and iTunes October 22, or in select theaters beginning November 1 in Los Angeles at the Sundance Sunset Cinema.