Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Boys in the Band (1970)

Director: William Friedkin

Stars: Kenneth Nelson, Peter White, Leonard Frey, Cliff Gorman, Robert La Tourneaux

It's Harold's birthday, and his closest friends throw him a party at Michael's apartment. Among Harold's presents is "Cowboy", since Harold may have trouble finding a cute young man on his own now that he's getting older. As the party progresses the self-deprecating humor of the group takes a nasty turn as the men become drunker. Climaxed by a cruel telephone "game" where each man must call someone and tell him of his love for them.

This is the first gay movie that centers around a group of gay men. This was a ground breaking movie. I mean this was released in 1970. You really did not about gay people at all. There is not even openly gay characters in movies or on TV. This movie helped to start gay cinema.

This movie was made in 1970. For that time period this movie really did work. This movie got gay people out there in the public eye, at least in big cities. I cannot imagine this movie playing in small towns back then, but I am sure that it happened at least once. Anyway, This was an important movie. Gay men were finally seeing themselves on the big screen. All minorities know how important that is to have that presence in the entertainment media. It means that you matter in the eyes of the world to some degree. Now the trick is to see gay people in a positive way instead of being sometimes to joke about, laugh at or pity.

This movie shows these men as a bunch of bitches. This movie was released over forty years ago, and I guess this was the only way to show gay men in a movie. The problem that I had with the movie was the script. I know that this movie was originally a play, but I just do not understand why this movie and the play had to be so dramatic. It seems like they just went overboard.

For one thing, these men would not be friends. I know that they wanted to try and show each "type" of gay men that we knew of at that time. You have all of these different personality types that are hanging out together, and mostly all they do is verbally attack one another. I do not mean being bitchy and chatty. I mean straight up cruel for no real reason. The way they spoke to one another was the way you spoke to people that you don't even like, not your friends .

In the conversations and behavior in this movie among these gay men, you would think that this is the way that gay men treat one another. If you were to see this movie at the time of release and you did not know any gay men, you may think that this is the way gay men behaved among one another. This is how straight people might have thought about gay men, I mean who really knows. These men are just horrible in their words. People could believe after watching this movie that gay men are so desperate for other gay male friends that they will put up with any behavior just for a type of companionship or sex. I'm sure that in the late 60's this was pretty far from the truth. I just could not understand that any gay man would act that way.

The cast for the movie was good. You have these extremely brave men risking their career to be a part of this movie. I mean in today's world, you career could be over, if you are in a gay movie. Just depends on who you are. In those days, you may never act again, but many of these actors went on to have a long working career. I was really surprised by that fact. The director went on to do The Exorcist. The creation of the movie was great. I only really had a problem with the dialogue in the movie. It was just so mean for no real reason.

I do not think that a young gay male would want to watch this movie at all. They would not really understand how gay men had to live their life back in those days. It was not much of a choice if you watched to survive. You could only be somewhat openly gay in major big cities, and then you could still be injured or killed.

This is one of those movies that I have been wanting to watch for over twenty years. It is so hard to find a copy of it without just having to buy a copy. This movie was decent to watch. It was not one of the best or worst movies that I have seen. It is one of those movies that is worth watching once, but I just do not know about this movie being a rewatcher. I just don't see it. There is just too much self hate in it for me. Enjoy.
The Boys in the Band (1970) Trailer
The Boys in the Band (1970) Full Movie

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