- Rated: R
- Closed captioning available
- Run Time: 1 hours, 41 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: May 29, 2001
- Originally Released: 1996
- Label: Sony Pictures
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Single Side - Dual Layer
- Special Edition
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Dolby Digital 2.0 - English
- Additional Release Material:
- Outtakes: RESCUED FROM THE CLOSET - 55 Minutes of outtakes
- Audio Commentary:
- Robert Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman - Filmmakers
- Lily Tomlin - Narrator
- Howard Rosenman
- Arnold Glassman
- Vito Russo Lecture
- SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER
- THE OPPOSITE OF SEX
- Filmographies: Cast & Crew
- Web Link to GLAAD Website
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Memorable Quotes and Dialog:
"The sissy made everyone feel more manly or more womanly by filling the space in between."
- Lily Tomlin, discussing one of Hollywood's recurring caricatures
"I thought of Gene Kelly, my mother, and a little bit of Eve Arden."
- Tony Curtis, discussing his inspiration for the character he played in the classic comedy SOME LIKE IT HOT
"We did the picture wrong."
- SHIRLEY MACLAINE, about her 1961 film THE CHILDREN'S HOUR, which played down its lesbian theme.
Premiere - 04/01/1996
"...Snappy, glamorous, enjoyable..."
Rolling Stone - 03/21/1996
"...The force of prejudice this film reveals will send you reeling..."
Sight and Sound - 07/01/1996
USA Today - 04/05/1996
"...The film is packed with savvily chosen screen scene..." -- 4 out of 4 stars
Variety - 09/11/1995
"...An immensely entertaining, galloping reflection on screen perceptions of lesbians and gay men, from the humorous to the heinous to the heartening..."
Los Angeles Times - 03/15/1996
"...A remarkable and involving documentary that is literally eye-opening..."
Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's documentary chronicles the way movies have portrayed homosexuals for the past 100 years and how these images, both positive and negative, have helped shape America's attitudes toward gays. Among the topics examined via interviews and film clips are the various gay stereotypes that recur onscreen, gay subtexts in such macho films as SPARTACUS and BEN-HUR, and how negative images of homosexuality created emotional conflict within the gay moviegoer. But the film also shows how the times have greatly changed, bringing more--and more realistic--gay characters to the silver screen. Interviewees include Susan Sarandon, Tony Curtis, Shirley MacLaine and Tom Hanks, among others. The film is based on the 1981 book by Vito Russo.
Lily Tomlin narrates this in-depth examination of the film industry's portrayal of homosexual characters throughout its history. This fascinating documentary points out not only where and how such characters appear but also where and how they've been avoided.
- Shown at the New York Film Festival October 13 & 14, 1995, and at the Venice Film Festival. Aired--one time only--on HBO January 30, 1996.
- Released theatrically in New York City March 15, 1996.
- The film won a Teddy Bear Award (for gay and lesbian film) for best documentary at the 46th Berlin International Film Festival.
- Vito Russo published the book on which this documentary is based in 1981. He died of AIDS in 1990.