Top 40 Queer/Gay Movies

This list constitutes some of my favourite movies, as well a roster of films that I believe have said something explicit and insightful about gay sex and/or queer identity. To that end, many older films that had to deal with such subjects tacitly have not been included.

The list progresses in no real, or definitive order.

I'm a gay man, so I must own that most of the films deal with man on man relationships, although I believe that the films that I've included that deal with lesbian sexuality are some of the best on the list.

There will no doubt be many that disagree with the contents of this list - although it is nothing more than the subjective meandering of a gay brain, obsessed with cinema.

Many European/foreign language films of note have no doubt been omitted.

Lastly, I would have liked to include at least one film by Bruce LaBruce (Hustler White), but was unable to include any as his oeuvre is not available in IMDB's list-making facility.

Here is my list:
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1.
Victim (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A prominent lawyer goes after a blackmailer who threatens gay men with exposure (homosexual acts still being illegal). But he's gay himself... (90 mins.)
Director: Basil Dearden
 
2.
Weekend (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
After a drunken house party with his straight mates, Russell heads out to a gay club. Just before closing time he picks up Glen but what's expected to be just a one-night stand becomes something else, something special. (97 mins.)
Director: Andrew Haigh
 
3.
The Hours (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The story of how the novel "Mrs. Dalloway" affects three generations of women, all of whom, in one way or another, have had to deal with suicide in their lives. (114 mins.)
Director: Stephen Daldry
 
4.
Maurice (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After his lover rejects him, a young man trapped by the oppressiveness of Edwardian society tries to come to terms with and accept his sexuality. (140 mins.)
Director: James Ivory
 
5.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The story of a forbidden and secretive relationship between two cowboys, and their lives over the years. (134 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
 
6.
Shortbus (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A group of New Yorkers caught up in their romantic-sexual milieu converge at an underground salon infamous for its blend of art, music, politics, and carnality. (101 mins.)
 
7.
High Art (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A young female intern at a small magazine company becomes involved with a drug-addicted lesbian photographer, both of whom seek to exploit each other for their respective careers, while slowly falling in love with each other. (101 mins.)
Director: Lisa Cholodenko
 
8.
Edward II (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
In this Derek Jarman version of Christopher Marlowe's Elizabethan drama, in modern costumes and settings... (87 mins.)
Director: Derek Jarman
 
9.
The Dying Gaul (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A grief-stricken screenwriter unknowingly enters a three-way relationship with a woman and her film executive husband - to chilling results. (101 mins.)
Director: Craig Lucas
 
10.
Sitcom (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The adventures of an upper-class suburban family abruptly confronted with the younger brother's discovery of his homosexuality... (85 mins.)
Director: François Ozon
 
11.
A Single Man (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An English professor, one year after the sudden death of his boyfriend, is unable to cope with his typical days in 1960s Los Angeles. (99 mins.)
Director: Tom Ford
 
12.
The Kids Are All Right (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Two children conceived by artificial insemination bring their biological father into their non-traditional family life. (106 mins.)
Director: Lisa Cholodenko
 
13.
Prick Up Your Ears (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
This film is the story of the spectacular life and violent death of British playwright Joe Orton. In his teens... (105 mins.)
Director: Stephen Frears
 
14.
My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
An ambitious Asian Briton and his white lover strive for success and hope, when they open up a glamorous laundromat. (97 mins.)
Director: Stephen Frears
 
15.
Fox and His Friends (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Working class and middle-upper class worlds come together in this interesting look at class conflict... (123 mins.)
 
16.
Chuck & Buck (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
An oddly naive man-child stalks his childhood best friend and tries to reconnect with their past. (96 mins.)
Director: Miguel Arteta
 
17.
La Cage aux Folles (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Two gay men living in St. Tropez have their lives turned upside down when the son of one of the men announces he is getting married... (103 mins.)
 
18.
Bound (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Corky, a tough female ex con and her lover Violet concoct a scheme to steal millions of stashed mob money and pin the blame on Violet's crooked boyfriend Caesar. (108 mins.)
 
19.
Cruising (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A police detective goes undercover in the underground S&M gay subculture of New York City to catch a serial killer who is preying on gay men. (102 mins.)
 
20.
Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Biography of British painter Francis Bacon focuses on his relationship with his lover, George Dyer, a former small time crook. (91 mins.)
Director: John Maybury
 
21.
Gods and Monsters (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The last days of Frankenstein director James Whale are explored. (105 mins.)
Director: Bill Condon
 
22.
I've Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Scatterbrained Polly gets a job as a secretary in Gabrielle's art gallery. Polly aspires to be a professional photographer... (81 mins.)
Director: Patricia Rozema
 
23.
Sister My Sister (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Two sisters separated in childhood reunite years later as servants at a household in France. Their happiness to be reunited spirals into an incestuous relationship. (89 mins.)
Director: Nancy Meckler
 
24.
Swoon (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The true story of gay lovers, Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold Jr. who kidnapped and murdered a child in the early 1920s for kicks... (93 mins.)
Director: Tom Kalin
 
25.
Milk (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California's first openly gay elected official. (128 mins.)
Director: Gus Van Sant
 
26.
Cabaret (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A female girlie club entertainer in Weimar Republic era Berlin romances two men while the Nazi Party rises to power around them. (124 mins.)
Director: Bob Fosse
 
27.
Ma Vie en Rose (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Ludovic is a transgender girl who is coming out. She talks of marrying her neighbor's son and can not understand why everyone is so surprised about it... (88 mins.)
Director: Alain Berliner
 
28.
My Summer of Love (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
In the Yorkshire countryside, working-class tomboy Mona meets the exotic, pampered Tamsin. Over the summer season, the two young women discover they have much to teach one another, and much to explore together. (86 mins.)
 
29.
Priest (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Father Greg Pilkington (Linus Roache) is torn between his call as a conservative Catholic priest and his secret life as a homosexual with a gay lover... (105 mins.)
Director: Antonia Bird
 
30.
Sebastiane (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Reassigned to a lowly outpost, a Roman guard's Christian beliefs clash with his gay commander's desire for closeness. Being tortured becomes pleasurable. (86 mins.)
 
31.
Bad Education (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An examination on the effect of Franco-era religious schooling and sexual abuse on the lives of two longtime friends. (106 mins.)
 
32.
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Petra von Kant is a successful fashion designer -- arrogant, caustic, and self-satisfied. She mistreats Marlene (her secretary... (124 mins.)
 
33.
Wonder Boys (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An English Professor tries to deal with his wife leaving him, the arrival of his editor who has been waiting for his book for seven years, and the various problems that his friends and associates involve him in. (107 mins.)
Director: Curtis Hanson
 
34.
The Killing of Sister George (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
George lives with her lover, Childie and plays a cheerful district nurse in a BBC soap opera. However... (138 mins.)
Director: Robert Aldrich
 
35.
Fire (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Ashok runs a family business that sells takeout food that also has a video rental store at the side... (108 mins.)
Director: Deepa Mehta
 
36.
Boys Don't Cry (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Female-born Teena Brandon adopts his male identity of Brandon Teena and attempts to find himself and love in Nebraska. (118 mins.)
Director: Kimberly Peirce
 
37.
Farewell My Concubine (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The story of two men, who met as apprentices in the Peking Opera, and stayed friends for over 50 years. (171 mins.)
Director: Kaige Chen
 
38.
Beginners (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A young man is rocked by two announcements from his elderly father: that he has terminal cancer, and that he has a young male lover. (105 mins.)
Director: Mike Mills
 
39.
The Boys in the Band (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Tempers fray and true selves are revealed when a heterosexual is accidentally invited to a homosexual party. (118 mins.)
 
40.
Nighthawks (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
A homosexual man is forced to hide his sexuality by day while living his secret life by night. (113 mins.)
Director: Ron Peck