Tempers fray and true selves are revealed when a heterosexual accidentally intrudes on a homosexual party.Tempers fray and true selves are revealed when a heterosexual accidentally intrudes on a homosexual party.Tempers fray and true selves are revealed when a heterosexual accidentally intrudes on a homosexual party.
The reason that I liked it so much then, and even went to the trouble to hunt down a very hard to find copy for a weekend mini-film-festival that some friends and I held two years ago, is that it is a brilliant play about people. You could substitute a group of straight folks, set it in downtown Shanghai or Moscow or Rome and nearly every line would still ring true. Good art must be universal or it is just advertising! "The Boys in the Band" is very good art. It portrays the everyday, not particularly larger than life, not particularly unique everyday flaws and quirks of people. The message of this film is "What the hell, were all the same under these cheesy facades we polish so brightly and value so highly and couldn't justify for two seconds in the light of any true intelligence and logic."
I don't mean to hurt anyone's sensibilities or detract from the real ground breaking value of this film. This was a big first. Gay guys right up there on the silver screen just like Rock Hudson and Doris Day, BUT admitting it. In a sense, being a "Period Piece" is the highest compliment that you can pay to a production based on "social commentary." Of course it looks like 1970, Folks, it was 1970. Now if you want a period piece, I just saw "Endless Summer" on AMC the other weekend. Talk about dated!
As far as filmed stage plays go, the production effort on "The Boys in the Band" is not really fabulous, but it isn't bad enough to detract from the story or it's impact. As literature I rate this film a solid 10. As a movie I rate it as a 7.5. Compared with other similar efforts of the time, "Butterflys are Free" or Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf" for instance it stands up.
If you can find it (which ain't easy), rent it. It is well worth an evening.
- Aug 27, 1999