IMDb > Before Stonewall (1984)
Before Stonewall
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Before Stonewall (1984) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 15% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
27 June 1985 (USA) See more »
The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community See more »
The history of the Gay and Lesbian community before the Stonewall riots began the major gay rights movement. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
3 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A Landmark Documentary See more (6 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Rita Mae Brown ... Narrator
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Maua Adele Ajanaku ... Herself - activist and teacher
Red Jordan Arobateau ... Himself - writer

Ann Bannon ... 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

Allen Ginsberg ... 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)
Jheri ... Himself - clothing designer
Frank Kameny ... Himself - former U.S. government scientist
Jim Kepner ... Himself - gay archivist
Audre Lorde ... Herself - poet and university professor
Nancy MacCulloch ... Herself - film editor
Bruce Nugent ... Himself - artist and writer (as Richard Bruce Nugent)
Henry Otis ... Himself - former dancer
Johnnie Phelps ... Herself - printer
Craig Rodwell ... Himself - owner of gay bookstore
Ted Rolfs ... Himself - retired Merchant Marine
Chuck Rowland ... Himself - stage producer
Jose Sarria ... Himself
Donna Smith ... Herself - retired bookkeeper
Ricky Streiker ... Herself - bar owner
Hank Vilas ... Himself - therapist
Kenneth Anger ... Watches man flexing muscles (archive footage) (uncredited)
Coral Browne ... Mercy Croft (archive footage: The Killing of Sister George) (uncredited)
John Burnside ... Himself (uncredited)

Nigel De Brulier ... Jokaanan (archive footage) (uncredited)

Louis Dumar ... Tigellinus (archive footage) (uncredited)
Betty Friedan ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
James P. Johnson ... In Speakeasy (archive footage) (uncredited)

Martin Luther King ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Mitchell Lewis ... Herod (archive footage) (uncredited)
Jimmy Mordecai ... In Speakeasy (archive footage) (uncredited)
Thomas Morris ... In Speakeasy (archive footage) (uncredited)

Alla Nazimova ... Salome (archive footage) (uncredited)

Ronald Reagan ... Johnny Jones (archive footage) (uncredited)
Bessie Smith ... Herself - standing at bar of speakeasy (archive footage) (uncredited)
Isabel Washington ... In Speakeasy (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Greta Schiller 
Robert Rosenberg (co-director)
Produced by
Robert Rosenberg .... producer
John Scagliotti .... executive producer
John Scagliotti .... producer
Greta Schiller .... producer
Cinematography by
Jan Kraepelin 
Sandi Sissel 
Cathy Zheutlin 
Film Editing by
Bill Daughton 
Production Management
Katherine Grant-Bourne .... unit manager
Amy Kato .... unit manager
Pat Mei .... unit manager
Tina Schiller .... unit manager
Sound Department
Anne Marie Forte .... additional sound
Peter Friedman .... additional sound
Beni Matias .... additional sound
Roy Ramsing .... sound
Dean Sarjeant .... additional sound (as Dean Sargeant)
Lori Seligman .... sound
J.T. Takagi .... sound (as J.T. Tagaki)
Visual Effects by
John Bauman .... opticals: Cynosure
Jauren Helf .... opticals: Cynosure
Camera and Electrical Department
Becky Butler .... assistant camera
Jeffrey Farber .... additional camera operator (as Jeff Farber)
Peter Friedman .... assistant camera
Debbie Sarjeant .... assistant camera (as Deborah Sargeant)
Greta Schiller .... additional camera operator
Editorial Department
Damian Begley .... additional assistant editor
Peter Friedman .... assistant editor
Jeff Lunger .... additional assistant editor
Noëlle Penraat .... negative matcher
Jan Stott .... additional assistant editor
Other crew
Anne Alexander .... assistant to producer
Nan Allendorfer .... additional researcher
Zane Blaney .... additional researcher
John Catania .... production coordinator
Amy Chen .... production coordinator
Michelle Cliff .... historical consultant
Mindy Cohen .... assistant to producer
Blance Cook .... historical consultant (as Blanche W. Cook)
John D'Emilio .... historical consultant
Hillary Dann .... archival research consultant
Deborah Edel .... historical consultant
Neil Elliot .... additional researcher
Bruce Eves .... historical consultant
Jeff Goodman .... additional researcher
Chaudia Gorbman .... additional researcher (as Claudia Gorbman)
Erica Gottfried .... archival research consultant
Janie Groff .... additional researcher
John Hammond .... historical consultant
Larry Harne .... additional researcher
Jim Kepner .... historical consultant
Jeff Lunger .... assistant to producer
Toby Maretta .... historical consultant (as Toby Marotta)
Nancy Miller .... personal collections coordinator
Joan Nestle .... historical consultant
Carroll Oliver .... additional researcher
Judith Oney .... additional researcher
Julia Penelope .... historical consultant
Rosetta Reitz .... archival research consultant
Vito Russo .... archival research consultant
Judith Schwartz .... historical consultant
Paul Sergio .... additional researcher
Susan Sholji .... additional researcher (as Susan Shoiji)
Ron Spalding .... titles: Kaleidoscope
Elizabeth Stevens .... additional researcher
Christina Sunley .... assistant to producer
Jeff Tennyson .... title designer
Tom Waugh .... archival research consultant
Andrea Weiss .... archival research director
Andrea Weiss .... research director
Sande Zeig .... additional researcher
Bertha Barris .... special thanks
Don Beavers .... special thanks
Alan Berliner .... special thanks
Jack Campbell .... special thanks
Matthew Coles .... special thanks (as Matt Coles)
Quentin Crisp .... special thanks
Emile de Antonio .... special thanks
Murray Edelman .... special thanks
Adrienne Edwards .... special thanks
Colin Higgins .... special thanks (as Colin Higgens)
Jim Hormel .... special thanks
Louis Landerson .... special thanks
Mike Mathis .... special thanks
Mike Palma .... special thanks
Jeannette Poillon .... special thanks
Ron Sable .... special thanks
Marc Weiss .... special thanks
Edmund White .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
87 min
Black and White (some images in black and white) | Color
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
References Calamity Jane (1953)See more »
Watch Out for the Vice SquadSee more »


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18 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
A Landmark Documentary, 5 November 2000
Author: citizen_cupid ( from Ontario, Canada

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.

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