“Life’s a goddamn laugh riot…”
A group of gay men get together to celebrate a mutual friend’s birthday, and learn about themselves and each other in the process.
Response to Peary’s Review:
In his review of this groundbreaking Hollywood film — the first to deal explicitly with homosexuality — Peary argues that it represents a “negative, [stereotyped] image of gays”; I disagree. While these characters are certainly bitter in many ways, there are plenty of other movies which paint an equally depressing picture of humanity, and this one doesn’t stand out as particularly pernicious; instead, it simply reveals what can happen when people of any sexual orientation are forced to confront the most personal, uncomfortable parts of themselves. The more recent film Love! Valour! Compassion! (1997) — also about a group of gay men who come together for a short period of time — appears to owe much to Boys in the Band, though with the added spectre of AIDS hovering over its characters.
- The first Hollywood film explicitly about homosexuals.
- Fine acting by Leonard Frey and Cliff Gorman, among others.
Yes, simply for its place in the history of gay cinema.