50 Essential Gay Films

50 Essential Gay Films, 50 Movies to see Before You Die, by Out Magazine, March 2011
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1.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
A teenage boy is haunted in his dreams by Freddy Krueger who is out to possess him in order to continue his murder spree in the real world. (87 mins.)
Director: Jack Sholder
 
2.
Another Country (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Based on the life of the young Guy Burgess, who would become better known as one of the Cambridge Spies. (90 mins.)
Director: Marek Kanievska
 
3.
Beautiful Thing (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In a suburb of London, young Jamie is escaping sport hours, to avoid being the victim of his comrades. Young Ste, his neighbor, is beaten by his father, and comes to sleep overnight. They discover new feelings, sleeping in the same bed. (90 mins.)
 
4.
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
 
5.
Happy Together (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Yiu-Fai and Po-Wing arrive in Argentina from Hong Kong and take to the road for a holiday. Something is wrong and their relationship goes adrift... (96 mins.)
Director: Kar Wai Wong
 
6.
Clueless (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A rich high school student tries to boost a new pupil's popularity, but reckons without affairs of the heart getting in the way. (97 mins.)
Director: Amy Heckerling
 
7.
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.)
 
8.
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus. (125 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
 
9.
Entertaining Mr. Sloane (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Sloane, a handsome, sexy and completely amoral young man, joins Kath's household as a lodger and proceeds to manipulate her and her brother... (94 mins.)
Director: Douglas Hickox
 
10.
Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A famous fashion photographer develops a disturbing ability to see through the eyes of a killer. (104 mins.)
Director: Irvin Kershner
 
11.
Female Trouble (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A spoiled schoolgirl runs away from home, gets pregnant while hitch-hiking, and ends up as a fashion model for a pair of beauticians who like to photograph women committing crimes. (89 mins.)
Director: John Waters
 
12.
Just One of the Guys (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Terry Griffith has got it all -- looks, popularity, the perfect college boyfriend, and an article that's... (90 mins.)
Director: Lisa Gottlieb
 
13.
Mala Noche (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A story of amour fou. Walt is madly in love/lust with a young illegal Mexican immigrant. However, the... (78 mins.)
Director: Gus Van Sant
 
14.
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
 
15.
Mean Girls (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Cady Heron is a hit with The Plastics, the A-list girl clique at her new school, until she makes the mistake of falling for Aaron Samuels, the ex-boyfriend of alpha Plastic Regina George. (97 mins.)
Director: Mark Waters
 
16.
Midnight Cowboy (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A naive hustler travels from Texas to New York to seek personal fortune but, in the process, finds himself a new friend. (113 mins.)
 
17.
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
 
18.
Outrageous! (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A story about a female impersonator who rooms with a pregnant schizophrenic. (96 mins.)
Director: Richard Benner
 
19.
Paris Is Burning (1990 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A chronicle of New York's drag scene in the 1980s, focusing on balls, voguing and the ambitions and dreams of those who gave the era its warmth and vitality. (71 mins.)
 
20.
Parting Glances (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
As Michael and Robert, a gay couple in New York, prepare for Robert's departure for a two-year work assignment in Africa... (90 mins.)
Director: Bill Sherwood
 
21.
Personal Best (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
The intertwined lives and loves of three highly-ranked athletes striving for the national team; Chris bounces between the beds of male coach Terry and her female friend, competitor, and role model Tory. (124 mins.)
Director: Robert Towne
 
22.
Pink Narcissus (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
An erotic poem set in the fantasies of a young male prostitute. (65 mins.)
Director: Anonymous
 
23.
Rope (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Two young men strangle their "inferior" classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and invite his friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the "perfection" of their crime. (80 mins.)
 
24.
Saved! (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
When a girl attending a Christian high school becomes pregnant, she finds herself ostracized and demonized, as all of her former friends turn on her. (92 mins.)
Director: Brian Dannelly
 
25.
Shaft (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Cool black private eye John Shaft is hired by a crime lord to find and retrieve his kidnapped daughter. (100 mins.)
Director: Gordon Parks
 
26.
Sleepaway Camp (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Angela Baker, a traumatized and very shy young girl, is sent to summer camp with her cousin. Shortly after her arrival, anyone with sinister or less than honorable intentions gets their comeuppance. (84 mins.)
Director: Robert Hiltzik
 
27.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
When two male musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in. (120 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
28.
Spartacus (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic. (248 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
 
29.
Strangers on a Train (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A psychotic socialite confronts a pro tennis star with a theory on how two complete strangers can get away with murder - a theory that he plans to implement. (101 mins.)
 
30.
Teen Witch (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
High school misfit Louise, at a loss for romance, discovers magical abilities, but the teenage witch finds that she cannot conjure herself true love, so what? (90 mins.)
Director: Dorian Walker
 
31.
The Angelic Conversation (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
An unseen woman recites Shakespeare's sonnets - fourteen in all - as a man wordlessly seeks his heart's desire... (77 mins.)
Director: Derek Jarman
 
32.
The Ballad of Little Jo (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Based on a true story, this is the tale of Josephine Monaghan, a young woman of the mid-19th century... (121 mins.)
 
33.
The Hotel New Hampshire (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
The film talks about a family that weathers all sorts of disasters and keeps going in spite of it all... (109 mins.)
Director: Tony Richardson
 
34.
The House of Yes (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A mentally unbalanced young woman - who is convinced she is Jackie Kennedy - flies into a murderous rage when her brother returns home to reveal he is engaged. (85 mins.)
Director: Mark Waters
 
35.
The Hunger (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A love triangle develops between a beautiful yet dangerous vampire, her cellist companion, and a gerontologist. (97 mins.)
Director: Tony Scott
 
36.
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
 
37.
The Last of Sheila (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A year after Sheila is killed in a hit-and-run, her multi-millionaire husband invites a group of friends to spend a week on his yacht playing a scavenger hunt-style mystery game. The game turns out to be all too real and all too deadly. (120 mins.)
Director: Herbert Ross
 
38.
The Lost Boys (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
After moving to a new town, two brothers discover that the area is a haven for vampires. (97 mins.)
Director: Joel Schumacher
 
39.
The Naked Civil Servant (1975 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The life and times of Quentin Crisp, an outrageous and flamboyant homosexual, coming of age and growing into old age in conservative England. (77 mins.)
Director: Jack Gold
 
40.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. (100 mins.)
Director: Jim Sharman
 
41.
Tootsie (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Michael Dorsey, an unsuccessful actor, disguises himself as a woman in order to get a role on a trashy hospital soap. (116 mins.)
Director: Sydney Pollack
 
42.
Torch Song Trilogy (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Tony Award-winning actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein re-creates his role as the unsinkable Arnold... (120 mins.)
Director: Paul Bogart
 
43.
Trash (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
The story of Joe [Dallesandro] and his lover-protector, Holly [Woodlawn], who is something to behold... (110 mins.)
Director: Paul Morrissey
 
44.
Two Moon Junction (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  
A young Southern débutante temporarily abandons her posh lifestyle and upcoming, semi-arranged marriage to have a lustful and erotic fling with a rugged drifter who works at a local carnival. (104 mins.)
Director: Zalman King
 
45.
A Song of Love (1954 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Two prisoners in complete isolation, separated by the thick brick walls, and desperately in need of human contact, devise a most unusual kind of communication. (26 mins.)
Director: Jean Genet
 
46.
Up the Sandbox (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A young wife and mother, bored with day-to-day life in New York City and neglected by her husband, slips... (97 mins.)
Director: Irvin Kershner
 
47.
Velvet Goldmine (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
In 1984, British journalist Arthur Stuart investigates the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by hard-living and rebellious American singer Curt Wild. (118 mins.)
Director: Todd Haynes
 
48.
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
 
49.
Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A demented widow lures unsuspecting children into her mansion in a bizarre "Hansel and Gretel" twist. (91 mins.)
 
50.
X, Y and Zee (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
The venomous and amoral wife of a wealthy architect tries, any way she can, to break up the blossoming romance between her husband and his new mistress; a good-natured young widow who holds a dark past. (110 mins.)
Director: Brian G. Hutton