7.6/10
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Before Stonewall (1984)

Unrated | | Documentary, History | 27 June 1985 (USA)
Trailer
2:21 | Trailer
The history of the Gay and Lesbian community before the Stonewall riots began the major gay rights movement.

Directors:

Greta Schiller, Robert Rosenberg (co-director)
Reviews
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rita Mae Brown Rita Mae Brown ... Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Maua Adele Ajanaku Maua Adele Ajanaku ... Herself - activist and teacher
Red Jordan Arobateau Red Jordan Arobateau ... Himself - writer
Ann Bannon ... Herself - university professor
Lisa Ben Lisa Ben ... Herself - former secretary
Gladys Bentley Gladys Bentley ... Herself - Nightclub Singer (voice) (archive footage)
Ivy Bottini Ivy Bottini ... Herself - former housewife, co-founder N.Y. N.O.W.
George Buse George Buse ... Himself - newspaper reporter, former Army Chaplain
Carroll Davis Carroll Davis ... Himself - performer
Martin Duberman Martin Duberman ... Himself - historian and playwright
Grant Gallup Grant Gallup ... Himself
Allen Ginsberg ... Himself
Barbara Gittings Barbara Gittings ... Herself - gay activist
Barbara Grier Barbara Grier ... Herself - publisher
Mabel Hampton Mabel Hampton ... Herself - dancer, former domestic worker
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Storyline

New York City's Stonewall Inn is regarded by many as the site of gay and lesbian liberation since it was at this bar that drag queens fought back against police June 27-28, 1969. This documentary uses extensive archival film, movie clips and personal recollections to construct an audiovisual history of the gay community before the Stonewall riots. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 June 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,588, 23 June 2019

Gross USA:

$18,724

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,724
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (some images in black and white)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Features The Soilers (1923) See more »

Soundtracks

Ladies of the Chorus
(uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Alan Hale and the chorus
From This Is the Army (1943)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Warmly presented and informative
19 January 2016 | by mashington_rileySee all my reviews

A humanising and edifying account of the emerging gay rights movement across the early to mid twentieth century. Before Stonewall documents the struggles gay people faced leading to the protests of the 1960s. Containing archive footage of early depictions of gays on film, original interviews with gay rights activists, frequenters of early gay scenes of New York and San Francisco and authors including Allen Ginsberg. This film made me realise what a force for the creative voice the gay scene was in how it championed the subversive and the ironic. It is testament to the boundless positivity and optimism of the prominent individuals of the gay rights movement featured in this film that despite the often painful experiences they had to endure, their stories are retold in a witty and engaging way. Highly recommended for both educational and entertainment purposes!


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