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Before Stonewall (1984)

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

Directors:

, (co-director)
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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Release Date:

27 June 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(some images in black and white)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Edited from St. Louis Blues (1929) See more »

Soundtracks

Secret Love
(uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Performed by Doris Day
Played during the Greenwich Village sequence
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User Reviews

 
Warmly presented and informative
19 January 2016 | by See 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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