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It's Christmas Eve 1971 in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, and the regulars of the local gay bar "The Blue Jay" are celebrating. Not much has changed since the Stonewall riots, and while the situation is not yet "peace on Earth, good will toward men," the times they are a-changin'. Written by
Havan Ironoak <Havan_Ironoak@bigfoot.com>
More cases of unhappy homosexuals (de rigueur for the 1970s)
It's the Blue Jay Bar at Christmas time, and the regular patrons (gay men and a few straight women) gather to swap anecdotes and insults. A.I.P.'s paltry, low-budget answer to "The Boys in the Band", written and directed--both poorly--by Mervyn Nelson, is so wretchedly filmed (with dim lighting and gloppy photography, static staging, flabby editing and amateurish performances) that any document on the rise of gay-themed films in 1970s cinema need not even mention this entry. It has attained some interest in the last two decades for featuring a number of future TV stars (Fannie Flagg, Rue McClanahan, Gary Sandy and Gil Gerard), none of whom kept this title on their resumes for long. There's nothing wrong within this milieu in 'letting it all hang out', but first Nelson needed something to say. The picture has no enlightening attributes, no insight into why some straight women prefer to hang out with gay men, nor the slightest hint of verisimilitude when it comes to the "colorful" characters (they seem to exist just to put each other down). Gay audiences who buy into the trap that homosexuals are only happy when they're flocking together--and yet still miserable because they can never attain what they want--have been watching too many melodramas on the late show. * from **** (for Gil Gerard's subtle performance, which looks Oscar-worthy compared to those of his co-stars).
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