Boys in the Band Showtimes and Tickets
Release Date: 1999-03-19
Duration: 1hr 59min
(1970) "You show me a happy homosexual and I'll show you a gay corpse." In what Pauline Kael likened to "the gathering of bitchy ladies in The Women, but with a 40s-movie bomber crew cast," eight queens Â including nelly Cliff Gorman ("I'm your topless cocktail waitress"), an is-he? or isn't-he? closet case, and one midnight cowboy party favor Â gather in a Greenwich Village apartment for the birthday of self-described "ugly, pockmarked Jew fairy" Leonard Frey (later Motel the Tailor in Fiddler on the Roof) Â but nasty host Kenneth Nelson insists on playing those truth games. Alternately hilarious, contrived, gut-wrenching and sentimental, Crowley's pathbreaking play moved from headline-making Off-Broadway smash to the first American movie exclusively about male homosexuals (using Â miracle of miracles Â the original New York cast in its entirety), a subject that had previously been a Hollywood no-no ("And it still is," the author points out) Â although the movie was still slapped with an R rating for its "homosexual dialogue." And although its hoary stereotypes caused grumblings from a burgeoning gay rights movement, as Vito Russo noted in The Celluloid Closet, it offered "the best and most potent argument for gay liberation ever offered in a popular art form" Â within two years of its release, two dozen movies with gay themes emerged. And its endless barrage of catty zingers introduced the mainstream moviegoer to the joys of "gay humor."