7.8/10
5,829
53 user 36 critic

The Celluloid Closet (1995)

A documentary surveying the various Hollywood screen depictions of homosexuals and the attitudes behind them throughout the history of North American film.

Writers:

Vito Russo (book), Rob Epstein (story) | 3 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A documentary of the successful career and assassination of San Francisco's first elected gay city supervisor.

Director: Rob Epstein
Stars: Harvey Fierstein, Harvey Milk, Anne Kronenberg
Paragraph 175 (2000)
Documentary | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Historian Klaus Müller interviews survivors of the Nazi persecution of homosexuals because of the German Penal Code of 1871, Paragraph 175.

Directors: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Stars: Rupert Everett, Klaus Müller, Karl Gorath
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Tempers fray and true selves are revealed when a heterosexual is accidentally invited to a homosexual party.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Kenneth Nelson, Peter White, Leonard Frey
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A collection of profiles of people dead from AIDS who are remembered in the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

Directors: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Stars: Sara Lewinstein, David Mandell, Suzi Mandell
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

As Michael and Robert, a gay couple in New York, prepare for Robert's departure for a two-year work assignment in Africa, Michael must face Robert's true motives for leaving while dealing ... See full summary »

Director: Bill Sherwood
Stars: John Bolger, Richard Ganoung, Steve Buscemi
Stonewall (1995)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A group of homosexual people try to live with dignity and self-respect while events build to the opening battle in the major gay rights movement.

Director: Nigel Finch
Stars: Guillermo Díaz, Frederick Weller, Brendan Corbalis
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Documentary/Concert film covering the annual Drag festival in New York City. Highlights include a performance by drag diva, Ru Paul, and the infamous Lypsinca.

Director: Barry Shils
Stars: RuPaul, John Epperson, Debbie Harry
Adventure | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Dishonest riverboat gambler Ben Matthews is blamed for a murder he didn't commit and must find the real killer before the lynch mob finds him.

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Tony Curtis, Colleen Miller, Arthur Kennedy
Beachhead (1954)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In 1943, in the wake of the Allied amphibious landing on the Japanese held Bougainville Island, four Marines are sent to scout the location of Japanese minefields.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Tony Curtis, Frank Lovejoy, Mary Murphy
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Hilarity ensues when a casino manager spends a day at Disneyland with a cute but troublesome little girl.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Tony Curtis, Phil Silvers, Suzanne Pleshette
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Kashma Baba, the son of the famed Baghdad thief Ali Baba is a cadet in a medieval Persian military academy where he runs afoul of his rival Hussein, the evil Caliph's son.

Director: Kurt Neumann
Stars: Tony Curtis, Piper Laurie, Susan Cabot
The Outsider (1961)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Tony Curtis plays an Indian (Nicknamed "Chief" by other soldiers) who fights in WWII and helps to raise the flag at Iwo Jima.

Director: Delbert Mann
Stars: Tony Curtis, James Franciscus, Gregory Walcott
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lily Tomlin ... Narrator
Tony Curtis ... Himself
Susie Bright ... Herself
Arthur Laurents ... Himself
Armistead Maupin ... Himself
Whoopi Goldberg ... Herself
Jan Oxenberg Jan Oxenberg ... Herself
Harvey Fierstein ... Himself
Quentin Crisp Quentin Crisp ... Himself
Richard Dyer Richard Dyer ... Himself
Jay Presson Allen ... Herself
Mrs. Gustav Ketterer Mrs. Gustav Ketterer ... Herself
Gore Vidal ... Himself
Will H. Hays ... Himself (archive footage)
Farley Granger ... Himself
Edit

Storyline

A comprehensive documentary of the history of gays and lesbians in cinema, from negative to positive reflections of gay characters and the troubles of actors and actresses. Written by R. John Berggren <jberg@nina.pagesz.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some graphic footage of sexuality and violence, and for language | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

France | UK | Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 March 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Celluloid Closet See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,507,800
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Cher, Liza Minnelli, and Bette Midler were scheduled to be interviewed for this documentary, but all canceled at the last minute due to scheduling conflicts. See more »

Quotes

Shirley MacLaine: None of us were really aware. We might have been forerunners, but we weren't really, because we didn't do the picture right. We were in the mindset of not understanding what we were basically doing. These days, there would be a tremendous outcry, as well there should be. Why would Martha break down and say, "Oh my god, what's wrong with me, I'm so polluted, I've ruined you." She would fight! She would fight for her budding preference. And when you look at it, to have Martha play that scene - ...
See more »

Connections

Features Wild at Heart (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

It Couldn't Please Me More
Written by John Kander and Fred Ebb
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
8/10
16 February 2004 | by desperatelivingSee all my reviews

A documentary that follows the appearance of gays in the history of the movies, the film takes a talking heads approach with interviews, splicing in some terrific film pieces. We get to see Marlene Dietrich, in "Morocco," kiss another woman while dressed in tails -- and looking better than any man ever could. There's a brilliant in-joke clip from "Red River" where Montgomery Clift is told about the beauty of a Swiss watch and a woman -- and then asked if he's ever had a Swiss watch. The film looks at gay stereotypes such as the pansy or the sissy, the characters that Franklin Pangborn used to play. Some of the interviewees are exceptional, namely Harvey Fierstein, Gore Vidal, and the incredible Quentin Crisp. Vidal gives a hilarious recount of including a gay backstory in "Ben Hur" which Charlton Heston of course denies.

The film is also touching and kind of heartbreaking. You realize that in the century we've had movies how enormously they've shaped our culture and our perception of people, and how if the filmmakers and studio heads hadn't been pressured by the horrible Hayes code, society's collective view of gays might not be so troublesome. There's a great moment where Quentin Crisp talks about census takers in England, asking about homosexuality. They were asked whether they knew any homosexuals. If the answer was yes, they were asked what they were like, to which they replied, "just like everybody else." If they answered no, they were asked what they would expect to meet, to which they replied, someone with grand gestures and flamboyance and bright colors. So that there are two images we have in our minds -- one of what homosexuals are like, and one of what homosexuals should be like. And movies played a huge role in that. 8/10


16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 53 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed