Feature Films - Subtle or Secondary Gay Theme

A list of LGBT and gay theme movies where the gay theme is a sub-plot, subtle or could be considered secondary to the main story. I've also included some films that I find intensely homoerotic.

For me, movies that I rate 5 and above deliver an enjoyable movie experience or make up an important part of our film history. Movies that I rate 8 and above are absolute must see!

I keep a separate list of primary gay theme features as well as short films, documentaries and television shows.
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1.
American Beauty (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend. (122 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
“ Among various themes including the idea of conformity and people’s obsession with attractiveness, lies a powerful portrayal of sexuality and the repression of gay feelings. The gay theme is masterfully combined into the wider story. 8/10 ” - ausrick
 
2.
Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A vampire tells his epic life story: love, betrayal, loneliness, and hunger. (123 mins.)
Director: Neil Jordan
“ Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Antonio Banderas are excellent in this epic story thick with homoeroticism. Anne Rice says "I have written individuals who can fall in love with men and women. Obviously, my attitudes toward androgyny and erotic love of all kinds influence all of my novels.” 8/10 ” - ausrick
 
3.
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
“ The gay elements of this story are wound into the work in such a natural way that is incredible for a movie from the seventies. Al Pacino's performance is excellent. 8/10 ” - ausrick
 
4.
I Killed My Mother (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A semi-autobiographical story about Hubert as a young homosexual at odds with his mother. (96 mins.)
Director: Xavier Dolan
“ Largely autobiographical, a look at the volatile relationship of a gay 16-year-old son and his mother. The characters become incapable of living with or without each other. An intense and compassionate portrayal of this complex human interaction. French with subtitles. 7/10 ” - ausrick
 
5.
The Mudge Boy (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Sensitive, somewhat effeminate farm-boy Duncan Mudge can barely cope with grim, since Ma's death even gloomier father Edgar's manly expectations... (94 mins.)
Director: Michael Burke
“ Odd and intense, well acted and impossible to dismiss. The nature of Duncan and Perry's relationship is never entirely clear. Maybe Duncan is a free spirit who causes the uncertainty in others to declare loudly just how certain they are! Recommended. 7/10 ” - ausrick
 
6.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Scott Pilgrim must defeat his new girlfriend's seven evil exes in order to win her heart. (112 mins.)
Director: Edgar Wright
“ In a small role, Kieran Culkin plays Wallace, Scott Pilgrim's gay best friend. The character is refreshingly different: an unapologetically gay guy who is ironic without being campy and sexual without being sex-obsessed. 7/10 ” - ausrick
 
7.
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus. (101 mins.)
“ A good dark comedy about a dysfunctional family road trip. Steve Carell brings the gay theme to the story as the gay uncle.The film's message is delivered in a pure, honest and innocent way. 7/10 ” - ausrick
 
8.
Father and Son (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A father and his son live together in a roof-top apartment. They have lived alone for years in their own private world... (97 mins.)
“ A rich and wonderful art film that should be viewed and enjoyed as such. Many people focus on the possibility of a homosexual tone; the film's director rejecting this notion. From the perspective of a gay man, I agree that the film is incredibly homoerotic. Put away the labels and just enjoy this beautiful work. Russian with subtitles. 7/10 ” - ausrick
 
9.
Midnight Cowboy (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A naive hustler goes to New York to seek personal fortune but in the process finds himself a new friend. (113 mins.)
“ Clarity is not given to the nature of the relationship between Joe Buck and Ratso Rizzo in this film from the 1960's. Certainly Joe finds himself in various homosexual situations, but they appear more out of a need to survive than one of desire. 7/10 ” - ausrick
 
10.
Toast (2010 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The ultimate nostalgia trip through everything edible in 1960's Britain. (96 mins.)
Director: S J Clarkson
“ A solid British drama in the style of Billy Elliot. This is a memoir of food writer, journalist and broadcaster, Nigel Slater's early years and a nostalgic trip back into 1960's Britain. It's well acted, particularly young Nigel played by newcomer Oscar Kennedy. 7/10 ” - ausrick
 
11.
Midnight Express (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The true story of Billy Hayes, an American college student who is caught smuggling drugs out of Turkey and thrown into prison. (121 mins.)
Director: Alan Parker
“ Billy Hayes had a sexual relationship in prison. Unfortunately the screenplay has Billy rebuke the advances but still show an affectionate relationship between the men. A great 1970's movie regardless. 7/10 ” - ausrick
 
12.
The History Boys (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
An unruly class of gifted and charming teenage boys are taught by two eccentric and innovative teachers, as their headmaster pushes for them all to get accepted into Oxford or Cambridge. (109 mins.)
Director: Nicholas Hytner
“ Set in the early 80's, this is the story of eight English secondary school students and their teachers. The boys have qualified for the Oxbridge entrance exams and the movie's topics include academic competition, the purpose of education, and adolescent sexuality and coming of age. Homosexuality in some of the students and teachers is effectively incorporated into narrative. 6/10 ” - ausrick
 
13.
Give Me Your Hand (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Twin 18-year-olds hitchhike to their mother's funeral in Spain. The journey changes their lives forever. (80 mins.)
“ A slowly-paced, visual exploration of love, jealousy and betrayal. Through the bond of twins, see how siblings are similar and yet very different. Antoine and Quentin embark on a road trip to Spain. A major turning point occurs when one brother explores a homosexual relationship along the way. The story is visually conveyed which will not suit everyone. French with subtitles. 6/10 ” - ausrick
 
14.
The War Boys (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Three young vigilantes huddle on la linea ready to chase illegals back across the border into Mexico... but they soon learn that there are borderlines deep within each one of them that each of them has to cross. (93 mins.)
Director: Ron Daniels
“ A respectable crime drama with an excellent gay story arc. 6/10 ” - ausrick
 
15.
If.... (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In this allegorical story, a revolution led by pupil Mick Travis takes place at an old established private school in England. (111 mins.)
“ An allegory comparing Britain to the corrupt and crumbling school institution. There are gay themes wound into piece. Most significant is the relationship between Warwick and Webster. The gym scene is a notable homoerotic scene, handled in a non-sensationalist way. The pair are later seen asleep in the same bed and it directly contrasts other homosexuality presented as exploitation of power by older boys over younger ones. 6/10 ” - ausrick
 
16.
April in Love (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Avril is a novice in a convent of "Baptistine" sisters, a monastic order which was officially dissolved... (96 mins.)
“ A young nun absconds from her convent to locate her twin brother, and herself in process, in the French Camargue. Not a minute of this story is believable, although the actors and cinematography are appealing. Sophie Quinton is great and Clément Sibony plays her new-found gay brother. Despite the story's entire lack of believability, there is an off-beat quirky charm that makes this film enjoyable. 6/10 ” - ausrick
 
17.
Newcastle (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Tragedy befalls one of three brothers while on an outback surfing outing with friends. (107 mins.)
Director: Dan Castle
 
18.
Camp (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
After a series of Broadway flops, songwriter Bert Hanley (Dixon) goes to work at a musical camp for young performers. Inspired by the kids, he finds an opportunity to regain success by staging an altogether new production. (114 mins.)
Director: Todd Graff
“ A teen musical whose strength is solid musical numbers. Look elsewhere for a credible well developed script. The gay theme is introduced by Robin De Jesus playing Michael, a gay guy attending the camp who was rejected and beat up at his prom for showing up in drag. 4/10 ” - ausrick
 
19.
Jet Boy (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A drug dealer finds an unlikely traveling companion in an runaway kid trying to dodge social services. (99 mins.)
Director: Dave Schultz
 
20.
Danny in the Sky (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  
Danny is a romantic young man looking for love, the son of a gay dad and a top model mom who died of an overdose when he was still young... (88 mins.)
Director: Denis Langlois
“ Not much here with poor acting and a lame story. Classing this as a gay theme movie is a disservice to the genre. The father of the lead character is gay but this is not his story. There are plenty of half clad sexy men, but genuine porn would be more satisfying. French with subtitles. 2/10 ” - ausrick
 
21.
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.)
 
22.
Y Tu Mamá También (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In Mexico, two teenage boys and an attractive older woman embark on a road trip and learn a thing or two about life, friendship, sex, and each other. (106 mins.)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
 
23.
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
 
24.
Kinsey (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A look at the life of Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer in the area of human sexuality research, whose 1948 publication "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" was one of the first recorded works that saw science address sexual behavior. (118 mins.)
Director: Bill Condon
 
25.
One to Another (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Chacun Sa Nuit explores the carnal interdependencies among a host of characters who live in a town in provincial France... (95 mins.)