becomes Naboth’s spouse-he even introduces him as ‘the wife’ to some winos. To characterise this as a homoerotic subtext is to rather understate the case. Naboth is given a token girlfriend by way of disavowal and she’s the one who gets to deliver the verdict on this relationship; ‘Know what? I think he bloody well fancies you.’ Twice Teddy walks in on them having sex, performing as a kind of nagging rival —‘Did the kids go to school?…Would you like a nice cup of tea?’ —and departing with the bitchy observation that ‘you’ve got a blackhead on yer arse’. He steals clothes for him, makes sure he eats properly and, in the biggest displaced love scene of all, pays for him to have a massage in a Soho parlour. This sheds new light on the otherwise unproductive alcoholism back story. Whereas Naboth’s drinking has driven Jill away, it constantly binds him to Teddy, intensifying his dependence on his sidekick’s ‘maternal’ instincts-it’s certainly the only relationship the film accords any value. His girlfriend-a nurse, a rival carer-is less visible as the film goes on. She sits watching television, ‘fed up being wet nurse to a grown drunk’, while Naboth goes off on his worst binge-it’s Teddy who takes better care of him and who enjoys the final scene with him. Such emotionally charged ‘buddy’ relationships in mainstream movies tend to emerge from heterosexual masculinity’s unconscious, but The Squeeze is more knowing-Russell Davies, in the Observer (27 February 1977), saw Starr as ‘an oddly bisexual presence’ in the film. Nevertheless, these homosocial dynamics aren’t so very far from The Sweeney, where close male relationships are made possible by ‘work’ and given greater value than emasculating, domestic ones with women. Teddy is the detective’s ‘partner’ as well as a more lasting ‘wife’ —he is a loyal and adoring Carter to Naboth’s Regan, as well as an idealised version of Jill (he won’t mind him wetting the bed).