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Before Stonewall (1984)

Unrated | | Documentary, History | 27 June 1985 (USA)
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2:20 | Trailer

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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
3 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:

Homosexuals should be judged as individuals 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 »

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

Featured in Somewhere Over the Rainbow (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Over the Rainbow
(uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Performed by Judy Garland
Played during the '50s sequence
See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE documentary to watch
9 February 2011 | by TheLurkingFoxSee all my reviews

Before Stonewall is a unique piece because it was made in 1984, 15 years after Stonewall: It was still fresh in people's memory, it wasn't so long before.

Above all, it means that the people interviewed in the program were old enough to remember what the 20-30s were like, remember an experience in the army during the Second World War, remember life as a young gay person in the fifties. Most of those people wouldn't be able to be interviewed today: Most probably died of old age and many probably died of the greatest tragedy to ever affect the gay community a bit after the documentary was made: the aids epidemic.

Thus this documentary is invaluable to anyone interested in gay history, and one can really feel grateful that it was made back then, that someone decided to collect all those memories and amazing life experiences, or they would have been lost for ever.


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