Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Saturday, June 29, 2013


Forbidden kiss between two men in The Sergeant

GREAT OLD MOVIES EXTRA: Gay-themed movies.

In honor of the 2013 Gay Pride March in New York this Sunday June 30th, here is a group of gay-themed movies in  review. Gay men and lesbians were generally invisible in movies for decades aside from the occasion "nance" or caricature. Then there was a new wave of liberalism, if that's what you want to call it, in the sixties, and a new cinematic frankness in regard to sexual themes. Unfortunately, the gay community did not benefit from this as much as you might expect, as there were less enlightened, realistic portraits of gay people then there were more caricatures, evil "fags" and nasty "dykes," all manner of homo-villains, and a plethora of suicides among gays who hated themselves even more than society did. Even the supposedly sympathetic The Boys in the Band presented mostly negative, pre-Stonewall [modern day Gay Liberation] attitudes. For better or worse, here are some gay-themed movies that run the gamut [full reviews below or click on a link]: Advise and Consent, where one character's closeted homosexuality is a major plot point; the unrequited love story of The Leather Boys; the lesbian burlesque of The Killing of Sister George; the tortured sturm und drang of The Sergeant; and the more modern sitcom-like Straight-Jacket.

Other gay-themed movies [or films that at least have gay characters or sub-plots] that have been reviewed on this blog include Streamers; Prayers for Bobby; Scream of the Butterfly; Reflections in a Golden Eye; Walk on the Wild Side; The Legend of Lylah Clare; Fellini Satyricon; Something for Everyone; and even The X Files: I Want to Believe; among others.

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