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Before Stonewall (1984)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 437 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 9 critic

The history of the Gay and Lesbian community before the Stonewall riots began the major gay rights movement.

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Title: Before Stonewall (1984)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rita Mae Brown ...
Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Red Jordan Arobateau ...
Himself - writer
...
Herself - university professor
Lisa Ben ...
Herself - former secretary
Gladys Bentley ...
Herself - Nightclub Singer (voice) (archive footage)
George Buse ...
Himself - newspaper reporter, former Army Chaplain
Carroll Davis ...
Himself - performer
Martin Duberman ...
Himself - historian and playwright
...
Himself
Barbara Gittings ...
Herself - gay activist
Barbara Grier ...
Herself - publisher
Mabel Hampton ...
Herself - dancer, former domestic worker
Harry Hay ...
Himself - political activist
Dorothy Hillaire ...
Herself - Native American activist (as Dorothy 'Smilie' Hillaire)
Evelyn Hooker ...
Herself (as Dr. Evelyn Hooker)
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


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Details

Official Sites:

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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

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Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Edited from St. Louis Blues (1929) See more »

Soundtracks

Somebody to Love
(uncredited)
Written by Darby Slick
Performed by Jefferson Airplane
Played during the '60s sequence
See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE documentary to watch
9 February 2011 | by See all my reviews

Before Stonewall is a unique piece because it was made in 1984, 15 years after Stonewall: It was still fresh in people's memory, it wasn't so long before.

Above all, it means that the people interviewed in the program were old enough to remember what the 20-30s were like, remember an experience in the army during the Second World War, remember life as a young gay person in the fifties. Most of those people wouldn't be able to be interviewed today: Most probably died of old age and many probably died of the greatest tragedy to ever affect the gay community a bit after the documentary was made: the aids epidemic.

Thus this documentary is invaluable to anyone interested in gay history, and one can really feel grateful that it was made back then, that someone decided to collect all those memories and amazing life experiences, or they would have been lost for ever.


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