Down 1,355 this week

I Am Divine (2013)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary  |  1 April 2014 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,250 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 9 user | 57 critic | 13 from

How Divine, aka Harris Glenn Milstead, became John Waters' cinematic muse and an international drag icon.


Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video


IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 18 Jan 2014
a list of 48 titles
created 15 Apr 2014
a list of 29 titles
created 4 months ago
a list of 45 titles
created 4 months ago
a list of 49 titles
created 1 month ago

Related Items

Search for "I Am Divine" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: I Am Divine (2013)

I Am Divine (2013) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of I Am Divine.
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Divine Trash (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The life and times of Baltimore film maker and midnight movie pioneer, John Waters. Intercut with a 1972 interview of Waters are clips from his first films and recent interviews with his ... See full summary »

Director: Steve Yeager
Stars: John Waters, Pat Waters, John Waters Sr.
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

MANOS: The Hands of Felt is a puppet musical re-imagining of the cult classic MANOS: The Hands of Fate. The film's story of a family vacation gone horribly wrong combines with the backstage... See full summary »

Director: Bob Koerner
Stars: Nik Doner, S. Ann Hall, Jana Hutchison
Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Jeff Garlin's documentary on the work of John Waters.

Director: Jeff Garlin
Stars: John Waters
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The story of matinee idol Tab Hunter from teenage stable boy to closeted Hollywood star of the 1950s.

Director: Jeffrey Schwarz
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Portia de Rossi, Paul Newman
Polyester (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A suburban housewife's world falls apart when her pornographer husband admits he's serially unfaithful to her, her daughter gets pregnant, and her son is suspected of being the foot-fetishist who's been breaking local women's feet.

Director: John Waters
Stars: Divine, Tab Hunter, Edith Massey
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A group of unscrupulous characters seek buried treasure in the old west.

Director: Paul Bartel
Stars: Tab Hunter, Divine, Lainie Kazan
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Notorious Baltimore criminal and underground figure Divine goes up against Connie & Raymond Marble, a sleazy married couple who make a passionate attempt to humiliate her and seize her tabloid-given title as "The Filthiest Person Alive".

Director: John Waters
Stars: Divine, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce
Comedy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Beautiful young women who work at the offices of a phone-sex company are being stalked by a psychotic killer.

Director: Michael Schroeder
Stars: Cameron Dye, Lynn Danielson-Rosenthal, Karen Black
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A documentary on Candy Darling, The Life and Times of the Andy Warhol Superstar.

Director: James Rasin
Stars: Candy Darling, Andy Warhol, Holly Woodlawn
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A spoiled school-girl runs away from home, gets pregnant while hitch-hiking, and ends up as a fashion model for a pair of beauticians who like to photograph women committing crimes.

Director: John Waters
Stars: Divine, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce
Hairspray (1988)
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A 'pleasantly plump' teenager teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after landing a spot on a local TV dance show.

Director: John Waters
Stars: Sonny Bono, Ruth Brown, Divine
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

John Waters' first sixteen-millimetre film, about a deranged nanny who kidnaps young girls and forces them to 'model themselves to death' in front of her boyfriend and their crazed friends.... See full summary »

Director: John Waters
Stars: Lizzy Temple Black, Divine, Howard Gruber


Cast overview, first billed only:
Himself (archive footage)
Vincent Peranio ...
Frances Milstead ...
Diana Evans ...
Dennis Dermody ...
Pat Moran ...
Herself (as Sue Lowe)
David Lochary ...
Himself (archive footage)
Mary Vivian Pearce ...


How Divine, aka Harris Glenn Milstead, became John Waters' cinematic muse and an international drag icon.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

1 April 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ego, i Divine  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$5,196 (USA) (1 November 2013)


$63,661 (USA) (3 January 2014)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


See  »

Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

The closing credits list certain people as "Perverts," "Maniacs" and "Sh*tkickers," among other designations. See more »


Referenced in Spidarlings See more »


You Think You're a Man
Performed by Divine
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"We were freaks, not hippies" - Sue Lowe of John Waters' Dreamland Studios
18 July 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I remember, in the early 2000's, perusing through my uncle's eclectic, medium-sized DVD collection, looking at the fronts and backs of covers of films I probably shouldn't have been let within a foot of, wrapping my mind around films about slashers, serial killers, necrophiliacs, bum-fights, and, finally, barbaric cross-dressers. The cover that wound up burning itself in my retina was the one for the anniversary edition of John Waters' Pink Flamingos, showing what appeared to be a very homely woman dressed up in a red-colored dress, holding a pistol at arm's length with a load of makeup on, with Daily Variety quoting it as "one of the most vile, stupid, and repulsive films ever made." I had to watch this, but I was only eight-years-old at the time. Damn the NC-17 rating.

When I finally grew a bit older, I watched it, and proceeded to write a review of it soon after, simultaneously condemning and praising its ability to go so far with one of the most shocking and asinine premises I had ever seen. To date, it's my favorite film by Waters, and it was largely watchable because of that person on the DVD cover, whom was the cross-dresser that went by the stage name of Divine. Born Harris Glenn Milstead, Divine was born in conjunction with the rise of trash filmmaker John Waters, who teamed up with him at a young age to make homemade films that explored and romanticized the idea of filth and exploitation. Waters cast Divine in numerous projects, with arguably his most famous being the aforementioned filth-fest Pink Flamingos and the inspiring, PG-rated musical Hairspray, both of which starred a crossdressing Milstead.

Jeffrey Schwarz's I Am Divine provides us with a look at one of the most seriously passionate and awe-inspiring performers of the last century. Coming from a humble, conservative home in Baltimore, Maryland, Milstead was an overweight child, one who exercised more feminine traits than masculine ones, and, according to Waters, was constantly harassed, teased, and beaten up in school. However, when Milstead soon got out of that madness, he found incredible success with Waters in film and TV, making a name for himself as Divine, the cross-dressing, "cinematic terrorist," who was equal parts terrifying, sexy, and a commanding force on screen.

"I love everything that's bad about America" and that's what I make movies above," John Waters states in I Am Divine, and with that, we realize why Divine was such a great person to use for his movies. Divine had enough charisma and force to make an entire scene her own, with the loyal costume and makeup designer of Van Smith, who helped Divine make his makeup look spot on and the sets on John Waters' films look equally incredible. Smith wound up shaving a great deal of Divine's hair, up until about half way up his head because he felt that there was not enough room on the human face to fit as much makeup and glamor required to make him what he needed to go into character.

The documentary dares to explore every part of not only Divine, which we learn was a character not a lifestyle, but also Milstead, who we learn struggled with weight issues all his life and was a constant over-eater. "If I don't eat it, someone else will," John Waters recalls Milstead saying one day when they were out to lunch. But he didn't feel like changing, nor did he feel like he should compromise things in his life if he was happy with them. What you saw was what you got with Divine and, if you didn't like it, "f*** you very much," was his tagline.

Divine continued to act and star in numerous projects, some directed by John Waters and some not, even forming relationships with several actors, including Tab Hunter, whom he worked with on Waters' Polyester before joining forces on Paul Bartel's Lust in the Dust later in his career. However, one of Divine's biggest breaks, aside from the constant one-woman-shows, concerts, plays, and performances, came in the form of Hairspray, which went on to be one of the biggest musicals of all time, where Divine worked alongside Ricki Lake as a mother/daughter duo. Lake comments that Divine eventually grew to become like her mother, and upon release, the film was beautifully received by critics and was met with sold-out showings and insatiable demands for more screenings.

Yet in the wake of all this happiness and glee, with the Divine character etching out of the gay/lesbian audience and trash-seeking cultists into a more mainstream audience, Milstead died from an enormous heart attack shortly after Hairspray was released, unable to read many of the great reviews of the film, which would come later in the film's theatrical and home video run. His untimely death even cut short his ability to play the uncle character on the forthcoming FOX sitcom Married... With Children, which could've helped Milstead branch out to a form of comedy without having to put on a dress and an hour's worth of makeup. The entire circumstance was deeply unfortunate, but also a result of a poor diet investment and a workaholic attitude, which Milstead fearlessly kept until his final night.

I Am Divine tags all these bases in a winning ninety-minutes, effectively establishing a character and a cinematic force that still finds himself far too unrecognized in a mainstream sense. From hitting personal bases, such as Milstead's longstanding conflict and estrangement from his parents to more openly public things, like his filmography and performing art talents, the film is a captivating portrait of one of cinema's most anarchic and liberating stars.

Directed by: Jeffrey Schwarz.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
On Netflix moonmp3
Biopic? Cultfilmophile
I AM DIVINE Fan Fundraising Campaign [+Video] ZootCatchy
DJ Lance Rock mazigazi
Where was Cookie? tfrazier
Discuss I Am Divine (2013) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page