Who could have guessed that a bunch of men in dresses would breath life into the movement to win equal rights for gay men and lesbians? Certainly not the police who raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular "drag" bar in Greenwich Village. After a long history of police raids, extortion, and brutality, a gaggle of drag queens at the Stonewall decide they have had enough and begin to riot when the police try to load them into a paddy wagon. Told by "La Miranda" (Hector), a regular customer at the Stonewall Inn, the film is a recounting of events that led up to that fateful day in 1969. "Matty Dean" is the handsome angry young man that La Miranda meets at the Stonewall one day and with whom she/he quickly falls in love. "Bostonia" is the self-styled Queen Mother of the drag queens and guides each initiate gently "into the life." Her lover, Vinnie, is the closeted proprietor of the Stonewall. His tragic response to the suffocation he feels bearing down on him from a homophobic world -- perhaps...Written by
Mark Fleetwood <email@example.com>
Early in the film, there is a shot of a sign being posted that said "We homosexuals plead with our people to please help maintain peaceful and quiet conduct on the streets of the Village." This was an actual sign which was prominently and publicly posted outside the original Stonewall Inn in early summer 1969, about one month prior to the Stonewall Riots began. See more »
The sip-in depicted took place in 1966, not 1969. It was not the Stonewall Inn that refused service, but a bar called Julius (which is shown as the sip-in's first stop in the film). See more »
I love this movie! The mixture of fact & fiction works very well. The music of the girl group The Shangri-Las immersed into the storyline is also an asset. These characters are so appealing & they feel like friends, so you just can't wait to see what happens next. The acting of Guillermo Diaz as La Miranda is so natural & relaxed it makes him so likable. Sexy Fred Weller as Maddy Dean is adorable. His character's faults make him all the more appealing. I get choked up every time I see him sing & play the guitar, with the others on the bus coming back from their rally, not exactly defeated, but far from being winners either. Mizz Moxie & Helen Wheels add just the right touch of campy, comic relief. Duane Boutte as Bostonia is excellent & insightful. His interaction with his homophobic homosexual lover, the Italian/American Vinny & owner of The Stonewall Inn, is passionate & sparks fly between them when they are confronting each other concerning their relationship issues circa 1969. The only character I'm not too crazy about is Brandan Corbalis as Ethan. I found him pretentious & condescending. Aside from his nice butt in the shower (if in fact that was his butt) there's nothing appealing about him really. The riot scene is fast & somewhat clumsy, yet it's electrifying & very exciting to view. All gay people should watch this film & get a feel for what happened on that hot summer night in '69. It gives you a sense of your history & what others before you endured. (The premature death of icon Judy Garland adds a bittersweet footnote to the precedings).
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