The Celluloid Closet

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A witty, touching study of Hollywood's (mostly on screen) treatment of homosexuality. Epstein and Friedman approach the question chronologically and by type, with astringent comments from an array of unusual suspects, including Gore Vidal (hilarious on how Stephen Boyd played up the gay subtext in Ben-Hur, while Heston obliviously rendered his Francis X Bushman impersonation), Tom Hanks, Shirley MacLaine, Armistead Maupin, Richard Dyer and Harvey Fierstein ('I'd rather have visibility than nothing'). There's no great radical agenda here, just an honest assessment of lives relegated to the shadows of the screen. The montage of homophobic slurs from mainstream contemporary movies is especially telling.

Release details

Duration: 101 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Screenwriter: Robert Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, Sharon Wood, Armistead Maupin
Cast: Tom Hanks
Shirley MacLaine
Gore Vidal
Susan Sarandon
Harvey Fierstein
Armistead Maupin
Richard Dyer
Tony Curtis
Whoopi Goldberg
Antonio Fargas
Lily Tomlin
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