7.7/10
495
6 user 10 critic

Before Stonewall (1984)

Unrated | | Documentary, History | 27 June 1985 (USA)
The history of the Gay and Lesbian community before the Stonewall riots began the major gay rights movement.
Reviews

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

ON DISC
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Documentary/Historical retrospective of the Gay Rights movement from the 1969 Stonewall riots to the present.

Director: John Scagliotti
Stars: Anita Bryant, Melissa Etheridge, Barney Frank
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This film tells the story of the massive police raid of Stonewall in June 1969.

Directors: Kate Davis, David Heilbroner
Stars: Paul Bosche, Alfredo del Rio, John DiGiacomo
We Were Here I (2011)
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A deep and reflective look at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco and how individuals rose to the occasion during the first years of this unimaginable crisis.

Directors: David Weissman, Bill Weber
Stars: Ed Wolf, Daniel Goldstein, Guy Clark
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A documentary surveying the various Hollywood screen depictions of homosexuals and the attitudes behind them throughout the history of North American film.

Directors: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Stars: Lily Tomlin, Tony Curtis, Susie Bright
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A documentary of the successful career and assassination of San Francisco's first elected gay councilor.

Director: Rob Epstein
Stars: Harvey Fierstein, Harvey Milk, Anne Kronenberg
Documentary | History | News
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of two coalitions -- ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) -- whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.

Director: David France
Stars: Peter Staley, Larry Kramer, Iris Long
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Documentary presenting the realities of coming out in lesser developed countries.

Director: John Scagliotti
Stars: Janeane Garofalo, Maher Sabry
Stonewall (1995)
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A group of homosexual people try to live with dignity and self-respect while events build to the opening battle in the major gay rights movement.

Director: Nigel Finch
Stars: Guillermo Díaz, Frederick Weller, Brendan Corbalis
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.

Director: Jennie Livingston
Stars: André Christian, Dorian Corey, Paris Duprée
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An examination of the life and work of the revered and controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

Directors: Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato
Stars: Debbie Harry, Fran Lebowitz, Robert Mapplethorpe
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The emergence and devastation of the AIDS epidemic is chronicled in the lives of several gay men living during the 1980s.

Director: Norman René
Stars: Stephen Caffrey, Patrick Cassidy, Brian Cousins
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young boy falls in love with a handsome policeman who is investigating his family's criminal activities.

Director: Auraeus Solito
Stars: Nathan Lopez, Soliman Cruz, J.R. Valentin
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rita Mae Brown ...
Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Maua Adele Ajanaku ...
Herself - activist and teacher
Red Jordan Arobateau ...
Himself - writer
...
Herself - university professor
Lisa Ben ...
Herself - former secretary
Gladys Bentley ...
Herself - Nightclub Singer (voice) (archive footage)
Ivy Bottini ...
Herself - former housewife, co-founder N.Y. N.O.W.
George Buse ...
Himself - newspaper reporter, former Army Chaplain
Carroll Davis ...
Himself - performer
Martin Duberman ...
Himself - historian and playwright
Grant Gallup ...
Himself
...
Himself
Barbara Gittings ...
Herself - gay activist
Barbara Grier ...
Herself - publisher
Mabel Hampton ...
Herself - dancer, former domestic worker
Edit

Storyline

New York City's Stonewall Inn is regarded by many as the site of gay and lesbian liberation since it was at this bar that drag queens fought back against police June 27-28, 1969. This documentary uses extensive archival film, movie clips and personal recollections to construct an audiovisual history of the gay community before the Stonewall riots. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 June 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(some images in black and white)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Features The Killing of Sister George (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Watch Out for the Vice Squad
(uncredited)
Written and Performed by Lisa Ben
Played after the paddy wagon sequence
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Landmark Documentary
5 November 2000 | by (Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

I have lost count of the number of times I have seen this wonderful documentary. The archival material alone -- film clips and still photographs of gay life in America between 1900 and the '60s -- is enough to make this film a treasure; but it is the interviews with survivors of the pre-Stonewall era that make Before Stonewall a priceless heirloom of gay studies and a must in the personal education of any socially conscious person interested in gay culture.


18 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Before Stonewall (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?