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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
My road trip adventures in a bus never matched this amazing tour., 19 December 2012

A relatively low budget Australian film about drag queens took the world by storm, almost caused a riot at the Cannes film festival and drove a million young queens to the dressing up box in the hunt for sequins, sparkles and pink flip-flops! The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of The Desert gave us such classic lines as, "Just what this country needs, another cock in a frock on a rock!" and "Listen here you mullet, why don't you just light your tampon and blow your box apart, it's the only bang you're ever going to get, sweetheart"

It is without exception the best and arguably the most successful drag queen movie of all time, breaking box office records and capturing the top of the charts in numerous countries around the world. It was an Academy award winning extravaganza of glitter, glam and lip-syncing with the most outrageously camp costumes the world had seen outside Madame JoJo's or Funny Girls! Uproariously funny and yet deeply affecting it proved to be way more than just a camp outing of tried and tested queer humour.

The late eighties was a bit of a coming of age time for Australia's gay population, especially Sydney, it really came alive and blossomed into one of the bigger gay populations in the world. Australia has a reputation for all the big butch manly men, which considering how the modern nation of Australia started, would seem pretty accurate, only it's not, it's completely different, ever so much more vibrant and colourful. It is that vibrancy, that colour and that hopefulness that is so perfectly depicted in Priscilla.

Stephen Elliott, the director and writer, who incidentally has a small cameo in the movie as a cute door boy in Alice, says he saw drag shows in other places, like the US and England, which were essentially men in dresses lip-syncing to other peoples songs. In Australia they did the same, but took it in a completely new direction, it became a completely new strange variety of theatre, so much so that he even used to go to drag queen jelly wrestling, pushing the envelope to the maximum. It was this experience along with watching a drunken drag queen at the Sydney gay Mardi Gras, which gave birth to the movie idea, which took hardly any time at all to write.

From the very opening you know this film has deep rooted soul, first shots of Hugo as Mitzi mouthing the words to the poignant Charlene song, 'I've been to paradise, but I've never been to me' give the impression of an emotively sad song, yet this is so rapidly defused by the appearance of a lethargic priest and Felicia nursing a baby rubber chicken. You have left in no doubt after that that is no ordinary Australian movie and the jokes and gags just tumble on from there in rapid succession. However it's not all giggles, there are some key moments of high emotion - seeing the graffiti sprayed on the side of the bus in pink paint the morning after shocks the trio along with the audience and strikes a chord with those of old enough to have lived through a time of such prejudice and discrimination and how true those word seem when they ring in our ears, that no matter how tough we think we are, such things still hurt.

There are deeply moving scenes, such as the gay bashing of Felicia and the confrontation between Mitzi and his son in Alice, which really seem seep through the comedy to dance in your heart and make you fall in love with the film.  One of the key aspects of the movie is the superb casting; Terrence Stamp previously typecast as your typical British villain, took a risk on the role of Bernadette and knocked it out of the water in a downbeat, down trodden put upon yet completely resilient way. Hugo Weaving is the less visually striking member of the trio and the central character of Mitzi, who really is the lynch pin between the two worlds. The role of Felecia is taken by the simply stunning Guy Pearce who had literally just left long running soap Neighbours, in which he played goodie two shoes Mike and was an inspired choice and oh so pretty. Guy's superb performance takes the movie to new heights and is so good that the he has had trouble-convincing people he is actually straight in real life, even to this day. Bill Hunter a massive Australian character actor shines outstandingly as the gruff and butch Bob, the mechanic and unlikely love interest for one of the three.

Priscilla is a beautiful magical combination of humour, catty bitchiness, kitsch costumes, stunning disco soundtrack and subtle sentiment with provocative thoughtful scenes and a delicate brush of honesty. Some jokes are obvious so too is the stereotypical veneer of the characters upon first glance, yet look a little deep as the film rolls on, you see more and more layers being unpeeled and exposed in a gently moving and comical way. It is one of the most enjoyable gay movies of all time; each subsequent viewing cements that sentiment further into fact. Read more and find out where this film made it in the Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time book, search on Amazon for Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time, or visit -

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Delightful Fun, 19 December 2012

Put simply this is a glitzy, colourful, modern remake of La Cage aux Folles in which Robin Williams stars as the hairy and sweaty Armand, South Beach drag club owner alongside the incomparable Nathan Lane as the star and Armund's lover and partner Albert.

Just like the original version, their lives are turned upside down and inside out when Armund's son, Val, comes home to announce he is getting married to an ultra-conservative senator's daughter called Barbara. Everything goes haywire and speeds up to comic high gear when those future in-laws come down to meet their daughters intended and his family. Scandal is what the senator wants to avoid at the great cost, you cannot blame him, and his co-founder of the coalition for moral order partnership has just been found dead in the bed of an underage black prostitute.

There are laughs a plenty when first Armund and then Albert try and play it butch, they desperately need a woman and it's so not often you hear a couple of middle aged gay men scream that! In steps the wonderful and delightful Christine Baranski who always lights up the screen with a presence that is electrifying. However, is life that simple, that easy? You bet your sweet little arse it ain't!

Barbara tells her parents that Armand is a cultural attaché to Greece, whilst Albert is a housewife, and that they divide their time between Greece and Florida. It is only a little white lie really, just as changing their last name from Goldman to Coleman is. The evening of the meeting arrives, the apartment above the drag club is transformed from gay paradise to near austere monastery, Val's real mother, Katherine (Baranski) is held up by traffic and a boat and out pops Albert as a wonderful creation of freakishly good yet awfully bad middle-aged mother. Armand and Val are both horrified at first but have no option to go along with the façade, which for some bizarre reason in this movie world works. More jokes, no proper meal and the most amazing china dinner service of naked boys playing leap- frog and still the senator and his wife do not catch on. Until that is at the door arrives Katherine, introducing herself as Val's mother and the whole charade is shot to pieces, just as TV news crews arrive out front

How on earth can the senator and his wife leave the drag club without some kind of mass scandal erupting and ending his political career? The answer is simple, drag up and we are treated to the wonderful scene of Gene Hackman in a dress making the late great Bea Arthur look as feminine as a virginal princess.

It is a great feel good movie, full of lightness, the jokes and funny situation fire by in rapid succession that you will probably not catch them all on the first viewing. Robin William's is superb as the nightclub owner even if he does sweat profusely at times and almost cracks up completely in the kitchen scene with the houseman come butler. I adore Nathan Lane, with his scene stealing 'Starina' performance and utter camp flamboyant majesty. Gene Hackman is equally good as the chocolate addicted extreme right wing senator with his sour face and dry delivery.

As a modern re-make of a seventies classic it is both successful and complimentary, it also stands up on its own, which is a jolly good job, and for I am sure, the vast majority of its audience would not have seen La Cage aux Folles. Sure, it is lightweight, sure, it plays a little to stereotype, but it goes beyond them, reaching in to the human side and honest inner core aspect admirably. It is outrageously camp, unashamedly so, blatantly exotic and wonderfully charming, a great feel good movie. Read more and find out where this film made it in the Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time book, search on Amazon for Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time, or visit -

Shortbus (2006)
0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
No Short Measures With Shortbus, 19 December 2012

Shortbus the 2006 American sexually charged comedic drama shocked and delighted audiences around the world, it has since gone down in history as one of the most sexually explicit films ever to be granted a general distribution certificate by film boards around the world. There is no skirting the issue, this is an explicit movie, it has full on sex which is as real as the bodily fluids that get spurted on faces and bodies, although not pictures. However, before you jump to the conclusion this is just hard-core porn by another name, be aware that it was written and directed by respected filmmaker John Cameron Mitchel, him from Hedwig fame and it transcends normal sexually explicitness with a deeply affecting storyline and a journey of self-discovery.

It achieved a worldwide box office total or around $5.5 million, although DVD sales have way more than matched that, it also went to win many awards at various festivals all over the world and was critically acclaimed, at least in the most part. It certainly has gained a fair slice of publicity for the many actors in the film, not least the lovely Jay Brannan, who plays Ceth and has a song on the soundtrack, the deceptively deep SodaShop. His infectious smile, simpering nervous giggle and delicate voice hint at a vulnerability that makes everyone want to look after him, before or after they shag him senseless.

John Cameron Mitchell bases the plot around an endearing sex therapist/couples counsellor Sofia Lin in New York City, she is married to the dishy but dim Rob who has amazingly potent and dexterous contortionist sex, yet there is a problem. One of the couples seeking counselling she encounters is James, allegedly a former rent boy and Jamie a former child actor, they need to communicate more, however in the common cruel twist of therapy it is the clients that come to help the therapist. She confides in them that although she is a sex, sorry couple's therapist, she is pre-orgasmic; meaning she's never had an orgasm, not ever! To help her hunt for the big O, they invited her to the freakishly good underground sexually expressive artistic boutique like salon they go to called Shortbus!

The host of Shortbus, the club is an infamous New York entertainer, Justin Bond, who helps Sofia open her eyes and her mind to all the new experiences around her, of which there are plenty. Not least of all a mass orgy scene of writing naked bodies engaging in all manner couplings and sexual expressions, even the director is somewhere in the mêlée of human flesh on display. She strikes up a friendship with a dominatrix whore by the name Severin, who we saw earlier in a side scene whipping her client to surprising and incredibly far reaching conclusion.

One of the guests at the salon is a young handsome model come singer by the name of Ceth, who is seen using a hand-held device to find a suitable mate, gosh sounds so familiar to these days when gay guys about town are switching on their mobile smart phones and turning to Grindr! What's the about art imitating life? Anyway, that flunks out and he meets James and Jamie and jingle jangle sparks fly and we have ourselves a funky threesome of fine fanciable fellas.

All this is closely watched by a stalker kind of character, which does not quite make a whole ton of sense, but then this is the movies and anything can happen, although on the DVD you will find excess deleted scenes which exemplify this character with an even more implausible line of story as an assistant to the US President. The hard on three-way sex scene between Jamie, James and Ceth is one of the best and one of the funniest sexual explorations I have ever seen in a film of this sort. It is erotic, exotic, sexy yet also strangely empowering and thus works on many levels and I wonder how many people have since gone on to use a penis as a microphone and sung a national anthem into such a place? I don't know about you, but I think I noticed a few bum notes!  It has an interesting and charming cast, from sad song singer Jay Brannan as the delightfully giggly Ceth, to PJ DeBoy and Paul Dawson as Jamie and James. I adored Canadian radio star Sook-Yin Lee as Sofia Lin who excels at this role and performs with such understated passion and honesty that I was practically feeling her orgasm with her. Raphael Barker is the cheeky straight boy next door, the jock with a heart, Rob and is interesting to watch. Peter Stickles is exemplary as the stalker character and I feel almost betrayed that the bizarre deleted scenes were not in the final cut of the movie, such is the ability of that actor. Justin Bond should be credited for a fine performance, how I would love to have him at my next garden party. A small, but nonetheless significant role was that of the former New York mayor, played by Alan Mandell, who spoke so eloquently and for older gay folk everywhere with aplomb. Read more and find out where this film made it in the Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time book, search on Amazon for Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time, or visit -

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
They don't make 'em like this anymore...., 19 December 2012

Harvey Fierstein started performing as a drag artist in Manhattan clubs from the age of 15; even before that age he knew he was just a bit different. He became widely known on the New York club circuit and was more often than not to be found playing drag roles in off off Broadway shows. Following a bad break-up Harvey set about writing a play detailing the difficult and painful experience, this became the play 'The International Stud' and was presented in New York during 1976. The play introduced the character of Arnold Beckoff to the world, writing a further two semi-autobiographical plays about Arnold's life. Eventually Harvey conjoined and amalgamated these three plays into just one, 'Torch Song Trilogy' which, had its stage debut off off Broadway in 1981, where it ran for almost 1230 performances.

Torch Song Trilogy was adapted from stage for cinema and came out in 1998, directed by Paul Bogart and not surprisingly starring Harvey as Arnold Beckoff. Also included in the cast were Brian Kerwin, sexy stunner Matthew Broderick, screen legend Anne Bancroft and infamous American female impersonator Charles Pierce.

The play version ran for over four hours, something not possible in film and thus many cuts, exclusions and edits had to be employed to bring it down to a studio demanded running time of two hours. Without wishing to ignore the onset of AIDS whilst also not wishing to alter the entire fabric of the story the time line of the movie was shifted back several years, started in 1971.

It is a deeply affecting film, emotional and funny to the extreme and yet it works marvellously well, which I am sure is thanks mainly to the authentic way Harvey tells it as Arnold. There are such wonderful moments, high drama, deep sadness and almost unbridled joy, that watching Torch Song Trilogy could be considered of riding on a roller coaster of emotions. However, that should be seen as and is indeed a good thing; it allows you scope to feel things that perhaps you had not even noticed in yourself, or others. It gives you the power to see the good and bad in the characters of others, in all our Technicolor differences.Read more and find out where this film made it in the Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time book, search on Amazon for Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time, or visit - 

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A Simple Triumph, 19 December 2012

Colin Firth heads a superb cast in this delightful motion picture drama based upon the sensitive poignant Christopher Isherwood novel 'A Single Man'. An exquisitely created cinematic debut from director Tom Ford that floats effortlessly along an agonisingly sorrowful tale of love, life and death.

Wonderfully shot in just three weeks this film is achingly beautiful film takes place on 30th November 1962 revolving around a day in the life of emotionally challenged English professor teaching at a Los Angeles college at a time of the Cuban missile crisis. The award winning Colin Firth takes up the lead role of George Falconer, a native Englishman, now residing under the Californian sun, who is finding the going a little tough. It has only been eight months since Jim, his beloved partner of sixteen years died in a terrible car accident. An event that still haunts George on a daily basis, even though he wasn't there at the time of the accident. The only reason Jim and George were not together at the time of the crash was that Jim was on his way to visit his horribly homophobic and stuffy family. Colin Firth shows his true ability as master craftsman of this acting business in a tear- making scene back at the time of the accident when Jim's family inform him of the accident, death and the fact that he is not welcome at the funeral. Mr Firth plays such rapid flux of emotions from concern to shock, pain, anger and total obliteration with just his eyes and face as few others have the ability and skill to even attempt, let alone triumph. All the way through the film, there is a delicate and gentle narration from Firth as George, which provides tender insights highlighting the story.

The film then follows the emotionally charged and surprisingly full last day in Georges life. There are so many moments of pure beauty that it would take a months worth of Sundays to list them all here, yet I've never seen such a film that held 100% of my attention 100% of the time.

There is even a brief little cameo appearance from Don Bachardy in one scene, Don was the long-time partner of Christopher Isherwood, and according to Tom Ford, was a great help during the writing of the screenplay. In the scene he's in, he wears Isherwood's lucky red socks!

It is a deeply moving drama, heavily accented with sorrow and depression, yet delicately light and compelling from start to finish. I am not always a fan of slipping into black and white to indicate the recollection of memories in movies, however the delicate and enchanting colour changes here are perfect and tell the story of emotion in visual beautifully. Such exquisite cinematography and intelligent scripting and interpretations helped ensure box office and critical success for this 2009 dramatic masterpiece of love and longing. The fact that this was Tom Ford's first outing as a director and he financed the entire film himself is incredible and amazing and he should be applauded and celebrated for creating something so utterly magical and compelling. The setting, sets, scenery, costumes and musical score are all wonderful aspects of a movie made with care, attention and I dare say a big dollop of love, so perfect are they all, either in isolation or together. I am trying to find fault with this film, but such a task is proving difficult, I will settle with the fact that it was not long enough and for me could have been eked out another ten minutes or so! Seriously, it is a faultless movie and whilst the influence it offers is still relatively limited due to its recent nature, I am sure it will be felt for years to come. It achieved an impressive total of £16 million approximately at the box office. I would also add that maybe this has set a bar in terms of quality that other serious mid-budget films will forever onward have to match to be considered truly great. Read more and find out where this film made it in the Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time book, search on Amazon for Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time, or visit -

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Still The Best Laundrette In Town, 19 December 2012

Critically acclaimed, My Beautiful Laundrette is a true masterpiece of British cinema, a remarkable film detailing a collide of cultures, minds and values set against a backdrop of Thatcher's troubled and dysfunctional Britain. The incredible images, impressive camera work, superb cinematography combined with an epic screen play with intricately created dialogue of a highly charged and provocative story make this one of the greatest British films, not just of the eighties, but of all time.

Directed by Stephen Frears and written by Hanif Kureishi, My Beautiful Laundrette took the world by storm in 1985/86 for its portrayal of gay love, homophobia, racism, capitalism and colliding cultures in such a vibrant and honest way. It was truly a landmark film and for any gay teenager growing up in the 80's a tour de force of hope and possibility. It seemed to come with such authentic honesty that many at the time believed it must have come from the mind of a gay man; however, Hanif Kureishi the writer was a heterosexual male with an incredible vision and remarkable ability.

Essentially this is the story of life, love and passion, a love story set during rapidly changing society during a time of great differences between those that have and those that didn't and those trying to moving between the two.

Described like this, it is perhaps hard to see why it was such an important and landmark film, yet it managed to encapsulate all the tensions of the economically troubled times with panache and tenacious realistic style. There are numerous aspects of importance at work here, not least the prejudicial racial tensions, demonstrated on both sides of the English / Asian divide, which were oh so common during those days of Thatcher's Britain. Homophobia ran rampant and unchallenged by authority indeed it was practised most by the Tory government and so homosexuality was also a key ingredient to this film along with the rather matter of fact way it was presented, which left little room for argument. There are also issues evolving around the merging of Asian ancestral behavioural and cultural loyalties with the British way of living, which often does not run smoothly. As this was originally a 'made for TV' movie it could quite easily have descended into soap opera and over sentimentality, yet it managed to stay way above that line, thankfully so. Also with comedic touches here and there it is prevented from falling into a possible gloomy pit of self-obsessed depression, again this is a fine testament to the skills of both the writer and director. My Beautiful Laundrette remains to this day a wonderful and remarkable piece of British cinema.Read more and find out where this film made it in the Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time book, search on Amazon for Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time, or visit -

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Ground breaking in its time, now an education of times past., 18 December 2012

Longtime Companion was perhaps one of the very first movies to put a face, heart and soul to the epidemic of HIV/AIDS at a time when movie makers as well as society as a whole, ran as fast as they could away from not only the disease itself, but also those that had it. For that, alone it should be congratulated and celebrated. Head on it tackled the issues without glitz or glamour and with an authentic honesty of emotion and interaction that is quite breath taking.

Essentially, Longtime Companion is the story of how life takes a sudden change for a group of gay friends from the very onset of the whole HIV/AIDS crisis in 1981. Back then the New York Times carried an article that mentioned an outbreak of a 'rare cancer' in the gay community, often termed 'gay cancer' which was tragedy in itself as it shielded the actual method of transmission of the illness that was spreading with alarming speed. During the film we travel with the group of friends from the streets of New York to the hedonistic freedoms of Fire Island where the mentality of 'it couldn't happen to me' 'you can't catch a cancer' ruled the heads of many.

Nobody was invincible and nobody was immune to the onslaught of this new horrific disease, which is exposed to the full in this highly charged and emotive film. Coming as it did in 1989/90 it was the first time that a vast majority of its audience had seen beyond the all too often misleading newspaper headlines, it was especially heart wrenching. There is not a particular plot line to follow, except watching with tear festooned eyes the lives of a whole circle of friends crumble and falter in the face of illness and death. There are few punches held back, nor emotions left unstirred as the action takes place at a reasonably fast pace. Many critics at the time had issues with the clinical approach of the piece, but those issues are unfounded and groundless.

Longtime Companion gives a wonderful vent to the sense of confusion, misinformation and huge sense of loss that existed at the time. It is only with the benefit of hindsight that we see how tragically accurate this was. I firmly believe this should have been mandatory viewing in secondary schools during the early nineties for the way in which it dealt with homosexuality, relationships, and the whole HIV/AIDS crisis from its early beginnings. It would have done so very much more than a pathetic iceberg and a strap-line of 'Don't die of ignorance' that was pretty much all the UK got in the way of warning and advice,

One of the amazingly beneficial aspects of Longtime Companion is the matter of fact style of presentation was see the story unfold, some have even said it a shadow of 'documentary' which is no bad thing. We see the lives of men cut down in their prime, of devastated lovers and partners, of a whole community decimated and challenged, which was exactly the reality of the times. Read more and find out where this film made it in the Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time book, search on Amazon for Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time, or visit -

Maurice (1987)
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Profound, entertaining and charming., 18 December 2012

 Quite simply one of the most exquisitely cinematic explorations of gay love that has ever created produced by Ismail Merchant, directed by James Ivory and adapted from the classic E. M. Forster novel, Maurice is a true masterpiece.

A quintessentially English example of love between men in the early 20th century at a time when homosexuality was still illegal and persecution was everywhere. This delightfully considered and delicately fragrances tale starts with a windswept walk along the beach for an eleven-year-old Maurice Hall and his bumbling although well-meaning school master Mr Ducie, played by a darling of the British theatre scene and all round nice guy, Simon Callow. Mr Ducie tries to explain the rudimentary "sacred mysteries" of sexual intercourse with the aid of sand drawings to the fatherless young man on the very periphery of puberty. Years later, in 1909, Maurice Hall is attending Cambridge, striking up friendships with aristocratic Lord Risley and the jolly lip smacking lovely Clive Durham. Durham, played by a devilishly handsome and not yet type cast Hugh Grant who seems to fall quite madly in love with the long tall blonde Maurice Hall, and who could really blame him. He surprises Maurice by fessing up to his emotions, which take young Maurice on the hop a bit. At first, he is muddled and confused by the declaration, yet soon comes to realise and accept he has similar feelings for his friend. Maurice is sent down, leaves under a cloud from the academic hot seat of Cambridge and yet, he maintains a strong friendship with Clive Durham. Maurice, with a little help, finds work embarking on an unrewarding career as a London stockbroker. A big fat spanner is thrown well and truly into the workings of a 'happy ever after' life when our two platonic lovers get frightened as university chum Lord Risley is not only arrested, but also sentenced to six months hard labour. His crime was supposedly soliciting sex from dashing army soldier, who may well have been up for it at the time!

Maurice is heartbroken he cant have Clive who is now set to marry, he seeks to rid himself of his gay feelings. Maurice and his aloof ways come to the attention of the supposedly uneducated under- gamekeeper working on Durham's country estate. How Maurice fails to notice the adorable Alec Scudder, played supremely by Rupert Graves is a mystery to all bar himself, yet the young handsome manly servant is not put off. One rainy evening a few nights later, Scudder risks everything and yet nothing by climbing a ladder and into Maurice's bedroom, they kiss and spend most of the night 'getting to know' each other.

Long-term joys are not on the horizon, in just a couple of days Alec Scudder is booked on a passage to a new life in the new world. Somehow, Scudder misses the boat, confusion reigns supreme for a good long while. Maurice muddled by everything confesses all to Clive Durham who understands little and off Maurice trots to the boathouse. Oh, the rapture and the wonder then he find dear young Scudder there, waiting for him. It's bewilderingly romantic and powerfully affecting, Scudder apparently sent a telegram to Maurice, though it was never received, informing him that he'd left his family and the chance of a new life overseas to stay with Maurice and telling him to come to the boathouse. They melt into each other's arms and the effervescent glow of love surrounds them in a bubble of happiness as Scudder whispers "Now we shan't never be parted."

Oh, how I wanted my own Scudder, or indeed to be someone else's Scudder when I first saw Maurice back in 1987 or 88, such was the magnificence and beauty of the story. The stunning production qualities, wonderful photography and cinematography in plump richness, exuberant colour with the finest of details all ensure this is one of the finest costume period drama ever made. Gay or otherwise! Forster wrote this mainly between 1913 and 1914, yet it was only published for the first time in 1971 a full year after his death. Forster himself was reticent about its publication mainly because of the legal and public attitudes towards homosexuality at the time. Indeed, a handwritten note on the original manuscript allegedly said "Publishable, but worth it?" He wanted it to have a happy ending, not the one made up in the film version, but perhaps one of the Scudder and Maurice years later as a pair of woodcutters, having lived a long and happy life together, although this epilogue of sorts was discarded by Forster himself.

Many academic types, including those at Kings College, believe Maurice to be a substandard Forster novel, compared with A Passage to India and Howards End. They very nearly did not give permission for the film to be made, or indeed shot on location at Kings. Thankfully, they relented, and the world could enjoy a cinematic masterpiece, filmed in part, where Forster himself would have walked during his days at Cambridge.

James Wilby and Hugh Grant excel as Maurice and Clive; indeed many still believe this to be Grant's career best performance. Rupert Graves is magnificent as the beautiful Alec Scudder. In addition, there is a potent supporting cast including Denholm Elliott, Simon Callow, Billie Whitelaw and Ben Kingsley.

This movie had a profound impact on my early teenage years, not only igniting a love of literature but also in my acceptance of sexuality, profoundly moving, entertaining and liberating. There are parts now, even after all these years, still make me swoon and moisten my eyes.Read more and find out where this film made it in the Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time book, search on Amazon for Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time, or visit -

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Dated But Parting Glances Emotions Endure, 18 December 2012

Parting Glances was made in 1984 and had a somewhat limited release in 1986 and is without a doubt a powerful and important film in the genre that is gay cinema. It was one of the very first American films to feature the then relatively new disease of HIV/AIDS at a time when much was still unknown about the disease and prejudice against it was at its highest. Bill Sherwood, the writer and director passed away from an AIDS related complication in 1990, Parting Glances was his first and last film.

The main aspect of the story focuses on a New York gay couple, Robert and Michael, in their twenties. Robert is heading off on an incredibly long assignment for the World Health Organisation to deepest darkest and most isolated Africa, Michael, his partner, is staying behind. The film is set out over the two days prior to Robert's departure, with some scenes taking place at an amusing farewell party hosted by the couple's friend, Joan. Some other scenes take place at a dinner party thrown by Richard's unconventional boss and there is a whole bulk with Nick, an old friend and ex-lover of Michael's who happens to be living with AIDS.

The script is fun, witty, exciting and interesting, some of the lines given to the character of Nick are so sharp they cut the dialogue like acid through skin, they really are that potent. There are many different character types populating the movie, especially at the party scenes, which show off New York's society rather well and make you hanker for a live in Manhattan in the early eighties.

Parting Glances was one of the first movies to deal with the subject of AIDS in such a frank, direct and honest way, which for the time was a real revelation. It did not gloss over, nor shy away from the implications or the savagery associated with the disease, at a time when everything like it was still new. There are some deeply searching moments, not least when Nick talks of the decadent and hedonistic days back in the freedom of the seventies creeping into the early eighties. This low budget but important film was made on a budget of a couple of dollars over $40,000, which in movie terms is not even the shell on a peanut. The shooting was completed in a whirlwind seven days, which is remarkable to say the least, you'd certainly not think it was made that quickly when you watch it.

I am fond of this movie, it may seem a little dated at first, but then we are going back almost thirty years since it was made, so it is bound to show some signs of age. Yet, through an exceptionally shrewd script and some talented acting the complexities and nuances of the human relationships shine on the screen, yes even now, after all this time, they still have the power to move. I would suggest a couple of viewings are required to get the full impact of this film to the innocent virginal viewer, otherwise you might not catch some of the intriguingly witty throw away lines peppering the dialogue. Read more and find out where this film made it in the Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time book, search on Amazon for Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time, or visit -

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A True Classic, 18 December 2012

A magnificent enchanting and deeply touching tale of class and hypocrisy surrounding the young inhabitants of a history English public school. This is a highly moving expose of the supposed teenage school days of infamous spy Guy Burgess is rich, deep and luxurious. It is aesthetically pleasing with authentic although slightly mixed locations and the moody atmospherics employed heighten the enjoyment factor no end. The running undercurrents of class, breeding, expectation and tradition are the key features of this moving and entertaining story showing the underbelly of a traditionally British educational establishment.

Rupert Everett stars as both an old Guy Bennett in a small apartment in snowy cold Moscow recounting his school days to a young female writer as well as the fresh faced young man he was in 1931. His performance bristles with the authenticity of class and ability. He is perfect as the too clever by half and defiantly too clever for his own good schoolboy Guy heading toward his last year of school, hoping to receive the adulation and power of school god. Such dizzy heights seem well within his grasp, after all, this is what his entire school days have been building up to, plus it's the level his ancestry achieved in generations gone by.

His best friend is the broodingly attractive Marx reading communist loving Tommy Judd, played with skill and passion by the young Colin Firth, already demonstrating the skills that have taken him to the very top of the British acting profession. Guy and Tommy are friends, mainly because they are on the outside of the establishment, in that they simply don't follow the accepted norms of behaviour. Guy simply for his open homosexuality and Judd for his communist Marxist leanings and beliefs. Their friendship is one of surprising depths, based on mutual respect and affection, a respect that would later have far-reaching implications. The public school setting of the 1930's could really be anywhere in the United Kingdom and at any decade of the last one hundred and fifty years or so, such is the timeless charm of tradition, still played out in many schools up and down the country to this day. A master on his way somewhere hears a noise and stumbled upon Martineau, an endearingly cute blonde haired lad and a boy from another house engaged on a sexual act in one of the school changing rooms. It is a mutual act, which we are lead to believe is commonplace in the darker places of a school of this type and time and is usually ignored, a blind eye turned to it. However, there are no blind eyes when it comes to the masters and Martineau faces expulsion for the most scandalous of reasons, a fate he just cannot allow to endure. Thus, the poor troubled boy takes his own life in the school chapel.

Master and pupils alike are aghast at this course of action and they must pull together to prevent a scandal striking at the school, for all their sakes, they pull ranks and tighten the positions and time to rule with a rod of steel. What follows is essentially a power-based annihilation of homosexuality that may or may not be prevalent in each house of the school. Bennett, who is rather more open than most about his preference, is subject to increased scrutiny and investigation. The unspoken message seems to be that no gay boy will be allowed as a school god; it is a simple as that. No commies and no queers..... Read more and find out where this film made it in the Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time book, search on Amazon for Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time, or visit -

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