6.6/10
778
7 user 8 critic

Tongues Untied (1989)

Not Rated | | Documentary | July 1989 (USA)
Marlon Riggs, with assistance from other gay Black men, especially poet Essex Hemphill, celebrates Black men loving Black men as a revolutionary act. The film intercuts footage of Hemphill ... See full summary »

Director:

Marlon Riggs
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

4 wins. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A black and white, fantasy-like recreation of high-society gay men during the Harlem Renaissance, with archival footage and photographs intercut with a story. A wake is going on, with ... See full summary »

Director: Isaac Julien
Stars: Ben Ellison, Matthew Baidoo, Akim Mogaji
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A collection of vignettes highlighting different aspects of the life, work, and character of the acclaimed Canadian classical pianist.

Director: François Girard
Stars: Colm Feore, Derek Keurvorst, Katya Ladan
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In the old days it was called hypochrondria, or black melancholia. Now, apparently, it's termed the Asthenic Syndrome. Whatever it is, Nikolai, a teacher of epicly indifferent pupils, has ... See full summary »

Director: Kira Muratova
Stars: Olga Antonova, Sergei Popov, Galina Zakhurdaeva
The Rapture (1991)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A telephone operator living an empty, amoral life finds God and loses him again.

Director: Michael Tolkin
Stars: Mimi Rogers, David Duchovny, Darwyn Carson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The story of Norbu, a horse thief, who is thrown out of his tribe in an effort to purge it of evil. Norbu repents after the birth of his son, but he is forced to steal again after the birth... See full summary »

Directors: Zhuangzhuang Tian, Peicheng Pan
Stars: Daiba, Jiji Dan, Drashi
Comedy | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

With full disturbing and weirdo graphic plus sexual scenes, Flaming Creatures is one of most daring and controversial film of all time, According to Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures is a comedy in a haunted music studio.

Director: Jack Smith
Stars: Francis Francine, Sheila Bick, Joel Markman
Report (1967)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A compilation of selected bits of archival footage put to a narration of news reports describing the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Director: Bruce Conner
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Puppeteer Li Tian-lu tells his life story, and through it, the story of Taiwan in the first half of the 20th century.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Tien-Lu Li, Giong Lim, Kuei-Chung Cheng
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An elderly, asthmatic filmmaker travels to China, hoping to film the wind.

Director: Joris Ivens
Stars: Joris Ivens, Henxiang Han, Zhuang Liu
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Cheryl is young, Black, and lesbian, working in Philadelphia with her best friend Tamara and consumed by a film project: to make a video about her search for a Black actress from Philly who... See full summary »

Director: Cheryl Dunye
Stars: Cheryl Dunye, Guinevere Turner, Valarie Walker
Documentary | Short | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A documentary short depicting a Hauka ceremony where young workers are possessed by British colonial officers.

Director: Jean Rouch
Stars: Jean Rouch
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A short film documenting the seas and shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

Directors: Jean-Daniel Pollet, Volker Schlöndorff
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marlon Riggs
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michael Bell
Kerrigan Black Kerrigan Black
Blackberri Blackberri
Djola Bernard Branner Djola Bernard Branner ... (as Bernard Branner)
Ben Callet Ben Callet
Gerald Davis Gerald Davis
Kenneth R. Dixson Kenneth R. Dixson
Larry Duckette Larry Duckette
Gideon Ferebee Gideon Ferebee
Brian Freeman Brian Freeman
Gene Garth Gene Garth
Essex Hemphill Essex Hemphill
A.J. Honey A.J. Honey
Paul Horrey Paul Horrey
Edit

Storyline

Marlon Riggs, with assistance from other gay Black men, especially poet Essex Hemphill, celebrates Black men loving Black men as a revolutionary act. The film intercuts footage of Hemphill reciting his poetry, Riggs telling the story of his growing up, scenes of men in social intercourse and dance, and various comic riffs, including a visit to the "Institute of Snap!thology," where men take lessons in how to snap their fingers: the sling snap, the point snap, the diva snap. The film closes with obituaries for victims of AIDS and archival footage of the civil rights movement placed next to footage of Black men marching in a gay pride parade. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

July 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tongues Untied: Black Men Loving Black Men See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Signifyin' Works See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Connections

Edited from Eddie Murphy: Delirious (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
brother to brother, brother to brother...
14 February 2017 | by framptonhollisSee all my reviews

I must admit, this Valentine's Day I have certainly picked unconventional romance movies to watch...

"Tongues Untied" plays out like a visual poem, featuring monologues and images dealing with black homosexuality, all edited to create a truly powerful portrait to a little discussed subject matter.

The main thing this film has going for it is its style. As I previously stated, its like a visual poem. Its a rhythmic and emotional odyssey through the lives of these people who, especially in 1989, have been represented very little in the media. At times, it gets a little to SJW and over the top, but their rage is somewhat valid. In the late 80s, being black and gay was much harder than it is in the mid 2010s.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 7 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed