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|“||Don't you LAUGH at me! I will not sit back and watch my only son become a c**ksucker.||„|
|~ Frank Fitts to his son Ricky.|
|“||How come these faggots always have to rub it in your face? How come they be so shameless?||„|
|~ Frank Fitts repressing his homosexuality.|
Colonel Frank Fitts is the main antagonist of the 1999 drama film American Beauty.
Frank, his wife Barbara and their teenage son Ricky are new neighbors who just moved in to the same street as Lester Burnham and his family. An ex-Marine, Frank runs his family like a platoon. He insists on discipline and order at all times, especially from Ricky, whom he sees as a disappointment. His marriage is a loveless one; he and Barbara barely speak to one another. He also has his own office where he keeps a collection of firearms and Nazi memorabilia, one being a plate emblazoned with a swastika.
Frank is also virulently homophobic. Near the beginning of the film, Frank is greeted at the door by his new neighbors Jim Olmeyer and Jim Berkeley, who are a gay couple. Frank is disgusted by their openness about their homosexuality, and complains to Ricky about "faggots" living in the neighborhood. He soon comes to believe (incorrectly) that Ricky may be gay, and bullies him incessantly to keep him on the "straight and narrow". He finds a video Ricky secretly shot of Lester working out in the nude, and fears that Ricky and the much older Lester are lovers.
He is also extremely violent, which is first shown when he breaks into Ricky's room and assaults his son while interrogating him about his entry to the office, accusing him of looking for money for drugs. Ricky confesses that he was giving his girlfriend, whom he identifies as Lester's daughter, a tour of their home and about the Nazi plate. Although Frank somewhat believes him, he insists for Ricky to keep out of his office. Frank then later accuses Ricky of being gay and beats him again after spying on the latter's drug session with Lester, which he mistakes for a sexual affair. He kicks him out of the house, saying he would rather see his son be dead than gay when Ricky falsely admits the charges.
That night, Frank comes over to Lester's house and finds him working out. When Frank asks about Lester's wife Carolyn, Lester replies that their marriage is just for show. Frank misunderstands Lester and tries to kiss him; when Lester gently rebuffs his advances, Frank starts crying and leaves. Soon afterward, Frank seeks payback and breaks into Lester's house and shoots him in the back of the head with a SIG-Sauer P226, killing him. This exacerbates his life as he returns home in a carnaged t-shirt and breathing anxiously of what to make of himself after what he's done.