Boys of the Band (1970): Contexts of Film Magnification


Boys of the band

Original address: The boys in the band


Period: 118 minutes

Country: United State

direction: William Friedkin

ScenarioMart Crowley

building siteMart Crowley

Song: Bert Bacharach

Photography: Arthur J Ornitz

distributionKenneth Nelson, Peter White, Leonard Fry, Cliff Gorman, Frederick Coombs, Keith Prentice, Lawrence Lockenbill, Rob La Tourne and Robin Green

Producer: Leo Films y Cinema Center Films


SummaryAdapted from a successful play by Mart Crowley. Nine boys meet at a birthday party. Eight of them openly state that they are gay, and the ninth affirms that it is not. The first gay movie with a non-tragic ending was made in Hollywood. (Affinity Film)

Let’s put ourselves in context. 1968 gay screenwriter, Mart Crowley, Writes and presents to Broadway a play starring eight homosexuals and a heterosexual person. Let’s put ourselves in the historical context, in New York where Stonewall has yet to happen, where the rights of LGTBI were evident in their absence and where cinema, theater and literature eschew this entire group. This feat has resulted in awards like TonyTwo years later, to the cinema in a film that marks the history of LGTBI cinema.

“Boys in the band” It tells the story of Harold, a gay man in his 30s who will celebrate his birthday in a friend’s apartment with his group of friends. The party will be joined, by surprise, by a heterosexual friend of the host, Michael.

Even “Boys in the band” LGTBI’s acting in Hollywood fell so poorly that the Hays icon banning casting the group was insultingly unnecessary. In fact, it was superfluous that it was not included in the code, but everyone considered homosexuality a part of sexual perversions that should not be displayed on the screen. In this context, it comes as no surprise that every time the LGTBI character is shown in the cinema, his final destination is the Rosary. It always happened, and unfortunately it still happens a lot. Cases like With love, Simon The Allah’s Land It’s still a rarity in LGTBI cinema.

Boys in the band 1970

“Boys in the band”Instead, it’s considered the first Hollywood movie with gay characters that doesn’t have a tragic ending. It is a huge achievement for that time. Strangely enough, they didn’t rewrite the script, because they’re in Hollywood.

The film, which is still a theater set, is a two-hour tragic comedy in which the characters talk, talk, talk and talk. For many viewers, it was at that time their first contact with the LGTBI community, especially gay men, given that the entire cast is completely male and gay. Characters today can be seen as stereotypical, the cliché of gay men. And that may be partly true, but every movie that broke barriers of acting, of any kind, has made use of clichés.

It was the same film crew who in 1968 took the courageous step to portray a work with these characteristics. It shows that they all know their personality, have worked with and lived with it. The nature with which they interpret and the fluidity of their dynamics are some of the strengths of this timeless adaptation of classic LGTBI theater.

Best: Before and after inside LGTBI Cinema.

worst: It contains all the limits of the illustrated theater and today it can be considered a cliché of the past.

Boys in the band 1970

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