2 user 8 critic

Coming Out Under Fire (1994)

A historical account of military policy regarding homosexuals during World War II. The documentary includes interviews with several gay WWII veterans.


Arthur Dong
9 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Salome Jens ... Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Phillis Abry Phillis Abry ... Herself - Radio Technician, Women's Army Corps
David Barrett David Barrett ... Himself - Storekeeper, U.S. Navy
Alan Bergreen ... Additional Voice (voice)
Pat Bond Pat Bond ... Herself - Medical Technician, U.S. Women's Army Corps (scenes deleted)
Margarethe Cammermeyer Margarethe Cammermeyer ... Herself - Former Colonel & Chief Nurse, Washington National Guard (archive footage)
Bill Clinton ... Himself - President of the United States (archive footage) (as President Bill Clinton)
Daniel R. Coats Daniel R. Coats ... Himself - Indiana Senator (archive footage) (as Sen. Dan Coats)
Max Cole Max Cole ... Himself - Communications and Boat Officer in the Amphibious Force, U.S. Navy (scenes deleted) (as Ernest Max Cole)
Sarah Davis Sarah Davis ... Herself - Aviation Machinist Mate, WAVES
Elwood Burton Gerrits Elwood Burton Gerrits ... Himself - Pharmacist Mate Third Class, U.S. Navy (scenes deleted)
Nicolai Gioscia Nicolai Gioscia ... Himself - Psychiatrist, U.S. Army (scenes deleted)
Herbert Greenspan Herbert Greenspan ... Himself - Psychiatrist, U.S. Navy (as Dr. Herbert Greenspan)
Victoria Hochberg Victoria Hochberg ... Additional Voice (voice)
David E. Jeremiah David E. Jeremiah ... Himself - Vice Chairman of theU.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (archive footage)


A historical account of military policy regarding homosexuals during World War II. The documentary includes interviews with several gay WWII veterans. Written by Travis <mtharris@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It is World War II and the U.S. military begins to persecute homosexual soldiers for being "sex perverts" and "mentally ill." See more »



Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

January 1994 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Interview subjects Phillis Abry and Pat Bond both died between their interview dates and the release/premiere of the film. See more »

Crazy Credits

Max Cole (as Ernest Max Cole) Communications and Boat Officer in the Amphibious Force, U.S. Navy Interview date: March 29, 1993 Ernest Max Cole led the first wave of boats into the enemy shore of Rendova in the New Georgia Islands. During the invasion of Iwo Jima, his boyfriend was sent ashore where the beach "was absolutely alive with fire." When he returned along with other casualties, Cole, not wanting to reveal his affections, "didn't dare go to him because I was afraid I'd cry... The next day I saw him, and I put my arm around him and I was under control again. How glad I was to see him!" Cole is now retired and works as a radio announcer for the Riverside Church in New York City. Duration 6:14 See more »


Features Shades of Gray (1948) See more »


I Don't Care
Words by Jean Lenox
Music by Harry O. Sutton
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

One of the most important documentaries ever made
6 November 2005 | by pyotr-3See all my reviews

This documentary won at least four major awards for excellence, but that only tells part of the story. Yes, it is brilliantly made, but more importantly, it is dead-on IMPORTANT for all of humanity to know the story told here. This film is a great way to teach this part of our history to future generations.

In "Coming Out Under Fire" you get to meet 9 people whose lives were devastated in varying degrees by an unjust anti-gay policy in US armed forces. How many Americans today realize that some of our dedicated American veterans were forced to live in ANIMAL CAGES in hellish heat for months? How many Americans today know that dedicated American veterans were forced to return home branded a "sexual pervert," making it impossible to stay in their hometowns near their families and making it impossible for them to get a job in most parts of America? How many Americans know that valiant, decent, hard-working and dedicated American veterans were robbed of their veterans' benefits for no reason at all? And how many Americans realize that these sins against countless American veterans have still not been corrected or apologized for to this very day in spite of the removal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"?

This is a very important film. It sheds a bit of light on one of America's greatest shames. "Coming Out Under Fire" only shows the tip of the iceberg. There are many more stories to be told. But at least this film is a start.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed