American Experience: Season 23, Episode 10

Stonewall Uprising (25 Apr. 2011)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Documentary, History
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This documentary, part of American Experience (1988) series, examines the events leading up to what is now seen as the defining moment in the establishment of the gay rights movement in the... See full summary »


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Title: Stonewall Uprising (25 Apr 2011)

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Episode credited cast:
Virginia Apuzzo ...
Paul Bosche ...
Martin Boyce ...
David Carter ...
Raymond Castro ...
Alfredo del Rio ...
John DiGiacomo ...
William Eskridge ...
Dana Gaiser ...
Danny Garvin ...
Noah Goldman ...
J. Michael Grey ...
Jerry Hoose ...
David Huggins ...
Richard A. Inman ...
Himself (archive footage)


This documentary, part of American Experience (1988) series, examines the events leading up to what is now seen as the defining moment in the establishment of the gay rights movement in the United States: the riot at the Stonewall Inn in New York City in the summer of 1969. At that time, homosexuality was not only illegal, it was classified as mental illness. Bars like Stonewall were controlled by the mob and the police were paid to either look the other way or conduct their raids early in the day. On this night however, the police arrived when the bar was full. The reaction was swift with crowds quickly forming outside the bar. The next night, a crowd estimated in the thousands again confronted the police. As a result of these actions, the gay community made themselves known for the first time. A year later, in the summer of 1970, many of those involved staged the first Gay Pride parade. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

25 April 2011 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


In 1969, homosexual acts were illegal in every state except Illinois. See more »

Crazy Credits

Based on Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter See more »


Features Activity Group Therapy (1950) See more »

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User Reviews

We Have Arrived.
2 May 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've been a fan of The American Experience since PBS introduced it in 1988 and forgive PBS completely for only airing it sporadically (6-8 episodes per season), since SUPERBLY researched and produced documentaries can't be ground out in a week. It's 2011 now, and over the course of 23 years, T.A.E is WELL on its way to creating a completely magnificent mosaic of what America is, where it's been, and where it's going. OK. In addition the being a history buff, I'm also a gay man, one who's been around long enough to have followed news flashes of Stonewall as it was happening, and to watch the SLOOOOOW, painful evolution of the treatment of My Kind by the news media and by Hollywood. And over the 23 years of T.A.E., I'd speculated: Would I live long enough to ever see gay America added to their POWERFUL mosaic...could we EVER progress to where OUR stories could stand astride the civil rights struggle, the various Great Wars, and all the other facets of our great national history? Short answer: YUP!! This doc is as powerful as any that T.A.E has ever done. Gay veterans of The Uprising are interviewed, THE COPS who made that ill-fated venture into Fagville on that violent night are interviewed (and a few are genuinely ashamed of their involvement, which moved me to tears - I FORGIVE YOU), and some painstaking recreations of the scenario (news crews were NOT there) have been SUPERBLY executed. Which simply means that this is a TYPICAL episode of The American Experience, except...THAT'S US UP THERE! WE are now part of The American Experience!! Can you tell that I'm weeping while typing? THANK YOU, PBS! I believe I can say it and FINALLY believe it to be true: WE HAVE ARRIVED.

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