The Boys In The Band

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_Lightkeeper, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. B_Lightkeeper

    B_Lightkeeper New Member

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    Finally! After 40 years, it's now released on DVD! Transfer is absolutely wonderful - much better than the VHS video I purchased years ago.
    Colors are vivid and the extra features make it even better. And yes, Donald's ass is briefly shown! LOL
     
  2. D_CountdeGrandePinja

    D_CountdeGrandePinja Account Disabled

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    What a classic - I remember reading the play - it was a type of coming out with family!!!

    Why must we build closets????????????????/
     
  3. Northland

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    I first saw it several years ago when a local station got up the nerve to air it-at 11:00P.M. on a Sunday night. Being cowardly I watched with the volume as low as possible and then at various intervals, I laughed and cried-well, I would have cried, except I was taught not to. It began a long term interest in Laurence Luckinbill who portrayed Hank (and later was Spock's half-brother Sybok, in one of those Star Trek movies).

    Good to see it has finally made it over to DVD. Thanks for the information Dirty Videophile.
     
  4. nudeyorker

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    Oh maybe I can watch this again, I saw it when It came out, I was verrrrrrrrry young and it depressed me. Saw it again 20 years ago or so...we'll see!
     
  5. MarkLondon

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    I saw it in the cinema in the 70s. I was very disappointed. I went under the impression it was the first openly gay film to deal realistically with gay men. Huh, it seemed to be a bunch of disfunctional neurotic bitchy men having a mass hissy fit.

    Like Nudeyorker, I found it depressing too.
     
  6. Northland

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    Sorry to be the one to break the news to you; but, in 1970 which is when this film was released, being gay was still something of a matter which many men and women had difficulties with. Even now, society is not exactly welcoming gays into their homes-or did you miss the recent elections and ballot votes which stripped down rights for homosexuals?

    Stonewall took place in late June of 1969, when Boys In The Band was released on the big screen the following March it was still a big deal and each actor who appeared in was taking a risk. Hollywood; although acknowledging that homosexuality existed was not yet ready to fully embrace this as an everyday topic and occurance.

    Even when the Mart Crowley play was put forth, it was a risk. To give you an idea of how it was received I offer this review from April of 1968 in Time Magazine: The Boys in the Band - TIME The following is the first paragraph which sums up how homosexuality was then viewed:

    In the theater, as in today's urban society, homosexuals have abandoned discretion and invisibility. For better or worse, homosexuality and the gay-life subculture are becoming acceptable as dramatic themes, to be treated with the same frankness as heterosexual relations. Probably the most overt example of this trend is The Boys in the Band, which opened off-Broadway last week. Neither patronizing nor proselytizing, it coolly takes the milieu of the homosexual for granted. It is also a funny, sad and honest play about a set of mixed-up human beings who happen to be deviates.

    Oh how nice-'homosexuals have abandoned discretion and invisibility. For better or worse, homosexuality...becoming acceptable' and the comment at the end of the paragraph where the homosexuals aren't just mixed up human beings, they happen to be 'deviates'. This was the pervading self loathing which ran through America in the 1960s, 1970s and even continues today. It is aided and abetted by ignorant persons who believe homosexuality-or anything other than good old fashioned so called "normal" heterosexuality-is bad, evil and should be ended.

    Of course the men seemed neurotic-many homosexual men seemed that way then. Keep in mind that Stonewall Inn was in New York City's Greenwich Village, an at the time, extremely liberal open minded area which pretty much allowed just about anything-drugs of various sorts proliferated the streets from all directions around Washington Square Park, though at the time WSP was not itself as much of a drug mart-beyond pot, was not entirely comfortable with open homosexuality. It would be okay if kept behind closed doors, or on certain parts of certain streets.

    So it was that the cops from the 6th precinct zoomed over and raided the bar on a regular basis, usually citing liqor law violations. That night in 1969 the patrons fought back. More here: Stonewall 25: Cases 1-2


    Things have improved somewhat since then; yet, there are still many hurdles to be taken over. There is still the sneer and frown and grimmace to be found from people who still view homosexuality as an abomination. The Boys In The Band (the off-Broadway play in '68 and the film in '70) and Stonewall (interestingly sandwiched between the two openings in '69) were but 2 small steps. In short, Boys was a realitstic portrayal at that time-this is before gay pride parades.
     
  7. earllogjam

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    I am so over the depiction of gays as self loathing, hateful, bitchy, campy, pathetic, sex addicted, emasculated men.

    I am so over depicting gay men as a stereotype of how straight society see us.

    As a gay man - I have never related to any of the sad desperate characters in this film and never will.
     
  8. nudeyorker

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    Yeah sorry, I have to agree with the previous posters. Being a bitchey burned out queen is not the best foot forward for the issues we are discussing 40 years later when we are opposing the recent election on Prop 8. Because the mainstream America thinks this is what gay life is all about!
     
  9. silvertriumph2

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    I saw it when it first came out and I was horrified at how gays were depicted. Those
    sad, unmanly, and repulsive characters were not like me, nor were they like any of the gays that I knew at the time. And, I am glad to say I've only met a few like them since.

    I was BI, and had many gay experiences, but I had not had any experiences being a
    part of a "gay society" since I had not been in a big city where it was found. I had just
    moved to NYC and I thought, if this is what "being gay" is, then I don't want any part of
    that awful, unhappy life. At the time, I thought all gays must be unhappy, bitchy, self-
    loathing, rude, swished and paraded around like women, and I really was worried that if
    I met any of them in NYC that I would become one of them. They were nothing like me nor any one I had EVER known and I certainly didn't want to become one or be a part of
    that type of lifestyle.

    So, for years I kept my distance from them as if they had the plague. But fortunately,
    I later found out that it was not a true depiction of all gays or Bis. I didn't like "Boys in
    the Band" then, and I'm certain I would not like it now. I think Boys in the Band" did
    great harm, delaying the cause of the LGBT community for a couple of decades.
     
  10. beretta8

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    This was the 1st movie I saw that had any sort of gay content...I saw it on channel 2 out of Chicago at 1:00 in the am 1989.....I couldn't believe what I was watching at the time...I felt I had discovered a secret....I just love this movie...its over dramatic...funny...sad...and I feel honest regarding how being queer and in the closet can affect people's lives.....but after all it is just a movie...........and Im glad to have had the pleasure to see it.....

    HEAVEN KNOWS....ANYTHING GOES.....
     
    #10 beretta8, Nov 14, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  11. catman

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    A, I later realized, gay friend talked me into seeing this (in all honesty I thought it was about well, guys in a band...or something like that...music maybe?) I remember being very saddened by it, then realized what my friend was trying to tell me and felt so sorry for him in that instance..

    I also remember, decades later, a funny quote (I am sure I am misquoting but memory is the first to go...right?)

    (someone throws up) another character tells him to use an air freshener..

    the guy says "Greaaaat, now it smells like someone barfed/puked in a gardenia patch"...
     
  12. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    It's a brilliant play, but it's no more representative of gay men in general than Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf is of straight life. It's also an unfortunate period piece. I remember seeing it and thinking that it was ok for me to see it because I knew that wasn't how it really was but that I hoped no straight people saw it :)rolleyes:) because they were likely to think that that was how we really were.
     
  13. Meniscus

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    I don't disagree with any of the critical comments made in this thread. But The Boys in the Band was the first gay-themed film I ever saw, and at the time, it meant the world to me. Yeah, it was depressing, but it also depicted a world in which gay men could be part of a same sex couple and have an circle of friends composed primarily (or exclusively) of other gay men. I suppose it's a sad, sad, commentary that gay men were so desperate to see themselves depicted in film that we'd settle for something that depicted us as neurotic and bitchy. Nevertheless, Boys will always have a special place in my heart. I'd like to see it again. Also, the cowboy was cute.

    [Side note: It seems that many gay films are about a group of gay male friends. I always wanted to be part of such a group, but I never have been. My friends have always been straight (with the exception of a couple of "bisexual" women...who were married to men), and throughout my life, I've always been the token gay guy.]

    Growing up I used to watch a program called "The Movie Loft" on TV-38 from Boston, hosted by Dana Hersey. It was one of the first, if not the first, "hosted" movie shows on TV.

    The Movie Loft used to show uncensored movies, including nudity, and the program didn't shy away from controversial topics. I would often tune in without even knowing what the movie was going to be about, because it was often good. That's how I saw The Boys in the Band, which at the very least included an ass shot. (I don't recall if there was any full frontal nudity, but I wouldn't be surprised if there had been.) Other gay-themed films I saw on the Movie Loft included Partners and Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon, which featured Leonard Frey, who played Harold in Boys.
     
  14. Meniscus

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    I highlighed in purple text the aspects of this review that reflect what I liked about the film.
     
  15. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    it was, and remains an honest depiction

    less true of the current gay self-image that it was when first produced and distributed (hence the current denials, and self-delusion), but entirely honest and accurate


    or so I hear from those fellows who would have been in a position to know

    that the current and contemporary population may not feel the same issues, reposes in part on the fact that morals and adherence to religion obtains less now, than it did then, hence the absence of the same angst

    nothing to celebrate here, folks, move along
     
    #15 B_Nick4444, Nov 14, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  16. silvertriumph2

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    I was a part of those years and it certainly was NOT an honest depiction of anyone that
    I knew, or of myself. It may have been for some in Hollywood or NYC or in some other
    big city where there were large numbers of gays and areas for them to congregate, but I
    certainly don't think it was typical nor the norm in most places here in the States or in
    other parts of the world.

    In the 1960's, before I moved to NYC, my job took me all over the world and I traveled hundreds of thousands of miles internationally (Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa, India, So. America, Canada, Mexico, and the Pacific) and I met Gays where ever I went. It was not very difficult to do. During this time, I NEVER met anyone like ANY of the characters that were protrayed in that movie. And, if it were the norm everywhere, I don't see how I failed to notice it. :shrug:

    Sorry....
    but I don't think that I was or am in denial, or that I was or am self-delusional.
    I called it as I saw and remembered it.
     
  17. Meniscus

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  18. nudeyorker

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    It was and still remains an honest depiction of people who choose to live in a gay ghetto.
    But for anyone to tell me or any one else that this film is an honest depiction of gay life...Is insane in this day and age unless you are spending all of your time in the clubs and bars and drowning in self pity instead of living your life and falling in love and trying to make a difference in the world.
    Watch the movie and get depressed
    Meanwhile Aids was not a part of the equation at the time also. I feel so sorry for them that they did not loose their best friends to give them a party.
     
    #18 nudeyorker, Nov 14, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2008
  19. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    oh, BTW, thanx for the word

    I have the laserdisc version, and I have a DVD issued under license to a small independent studio, but it has slight defects in the visuals

    so I definitely will be whipping out the plastic for this one

    thanx!
     
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