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Making the Boys (2011)

Edward Albee , Mart Crowley , Crayton Robey  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Edward Albee, Mart Crowley, Dominick Dunne, William Friedkin, Carson Kressley
  • Directors: Crayton Robey
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: November 22, 2011
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00551QQHK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,673 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Before Prop 8, "Will & Grace," AIDS, gay pride or Stonewall, "The Boys in the Band" changed everything. Crayton Robey's Making the Boys explores the enduring legacy of the first-ever gay play and subsequent Hollywood movie to successfully reach a mainstream audience. Beloved by some for breaking new ground and condemned by others for reinforcing gay stereotypes, "The Boys in the Band" sparked heated controversy that endures to this day. Featuring interviews with its author Mart Crowley, surviving cast members, and a who's who from stage and screen, this enjoyable documentary captures the behind-the-scenes drama and lasting legacy of this cultural milestone.

Featuring Edward Albee, Mart Crowley, Dominick Dunne, William Friedkin, Carson Kressley, Tony Kushner, Terrence McNally, Robert Wagner and more.


CRITIC'S PICK! Captivating and entertaining...sometimes you don't have to go very far into the past to be amazed at how drastically things have changed. 'Making the Boys' is fascinating recent history and a fascinating personal story as well. --Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

A fascinating slice of contemporary history. Entertaining and enlightening. --Marshall Fine, The Huffington Post

Impassioned, absorbing, illuminating and engrossing. Essential viewing! --David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
In watching Crayton Robey's entertaining and incisive documentary "Making the Boys," I was struck and disappointed by the lack of history that many contemporary youths have about the struggles that preceded them. The play and subsequent film version of Mart Crowley's classic "The Boys In The Band" is a genuine milestone in the representation of homosexual characters being pushed into mainstream awareness. The play, in 1968, was embraced by New York audiences and dealt specifically with a counterculture that had yet to express its voice. By the time the film version hit the streets, however, the Stonewall riots had occurred, the movement of open rebellion had begun, and the screen adaptation was largely vilified. "The Boys In The Band," don't get me wrong, has always been controversial. Yes, it is groundbreaking that the piece dealt specifically with homosexual issues. But it does represent negative stereotypes, bad behavior, and self-loathing as well. So should it be loved or hated?

In the cyclical nature of entertainment, however, the historical significance of the play and movie are certainly hard to deny. And Robey's documentary is a thoroughly enjoyable and genuinely moving tribute to the legacy of Crowley's vision. Part Crowley biography, part history lesson, and part behind-the-scenes expose--the film does a fantastic job of placing the work into the context of the age in which it was produced. Crowley is, obviously, a main source but the documentary is filled with notable commentators. People directly involved with Crowley or "Boys" include candid interviews with Robert Wagner, director William Friedkin, producer Dominick Dunne, playwright Edward Albee (who amusingly still loathes Boys) and actors Laurence Luckinbill and Peter White.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Vindication of a Ground-Breaking Work June 13, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
In my Amazon review of the film, "The Boys in the Band" I noted that the work has always been highly controversial among gay men and that there are just as many people who praise it for its honesty, humor and status as a ground-breaking film, as there are people who condemn it for its stereotypes and self-hating negative images. In that review, I attempted to explain the many reasons why I believe the play and the film were important developments in the history of gay culture. As most people know by now, The Boys in the Band is about eight gay men at a birthday party who are joined by an unexpected straight guest.

Now there is a documentary, produced and directed by Crayton Robey, called "Making The Boys - The Story Behind The Boys in the Band" which chronicles the complete history of the play and film and their impact on modern gay literature and the gay movement.

Mart Crowley, the playwright, began his career with no money, but many important connections. Frequently a guest at Roddy McDowell's star-studded Malibu beach-house parties, Mr. Crowley rubbed elbows with everyone who was anyone in mid-1960's Hollywood circles. Old color home-movies of these parties reveal the presence of such luminaries as Rock Hudson, Sal Mineo, Julie Andrews, Jane Fonda, Lauren Bacall, Tuesday Weld, Judy Garland and Natalie Wood. As it happened, Crowley became very close friends with Natalie Wood and then wrote a play for her about identical twin sisters, one of which is a lesbian. Natalie was game but no one would produce it. Later, also through Natalie Wood, he managed to get a job as screenwriter for the pilot episode of a TV series starring Bette Davis, which was not picked up. Crowley soon found himself washed up, broke and trying to break into the New York theatre.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OK young gay folks, learn your gay history! November 29, 2011
This is an excellent documentary. Not only does it tell a thorough story about "Boys in the Band", but it also gives a beief history of being gay in the U.S. for the past 50 years. I was saddened by the interviews with the young gay people today that showed they have no knowledge of "Boys in the Band", or any concept of the hard fought battles with authorities and with legislators, or the hurt,pain,suffering,anguish,and even death that was endured to get them the freedom that they all seem to take for granted today. Mart Crowley is a fascinating person. His stories about schmoozing with the Hollywood in-crowd of the day are priceless. To say that "Boys in the Band" is meaningless because it's so dated is not fair criticism. "West Side Story" and "Bye Bye Birdie" are dated too, but they are still gems of entertainment. When the film of "Boys" finally came out (pun intended) on DVD, I watched it with a group of friends, after which we played a game. If the film was made today, who would be cast. Granted, most of the actors we chose are not gay (not openly anyway), but here's what we ended up with. Michael-Edward Norton, Donald-James Franco, Hank-Matt Damon, Larry-Justin Timberlake, Emory-Neil Patrick Harris, Bernard-Chiwetel Ejiofor, Harold-Adrian Brody, Alan-Ryan Gosling, Cowboy-Channing Tatum. Kinda silly, but it was fun.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars TOO MUCH CROWLEY, TOO LITTLE BOYS November 28, 2011
My first encounter with The Boys in the Band was at a theatre in Bloomfield, NJ in 1970. I was 14 and wasn't allowed in, but a phrase on the poster caught my imagination. It said "The Boys in the Band is not a musical". So I marched myself to the public library, read the play, and adored it. I bought the cast album on A&M records, which I still have. Many years later, with the advent of video tape, I finally got to see the film and adored it also. And some time after that I had the privilege of working on a Spanish language version of the play, which was a hit in Miami. I thought The Boys in the Band was a masterpiece when I read it at 14, and I still do. I don't find it demeaning, or retrograde, or any of the dozens of pejoratives that it has acquired over the years. I think it's a slice of gay life, nothing more nothing less, and as such it is brilliant. Brilliant, however, is not the word for this documentary, which is actually more about Mart Crowley than it is about The Boys in the Band. As interesting as Crowley's story is, what is lacking here, at least for me, is the story of the cast itself. Crowley's play would have been just another play had it not been for his cast. Although the writing is excellent, what elevates The Boys in the Band to cult status, what makes it unforgettable viewing, is its cast of fantastically gifted actors. Once you have seen these performances, you will never forget them. They are the gay equivalent of Bette Davis in All About Eve, Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard or Giulietta Masina in La Strada. You keep coming back for repeated viewings. Yet the documentary sheds no light whatsoever on the lives of these actors. We are given snippets of information here and there, so minute that it is practically nonexistent. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT DOCUMENTARY
This is a brilliant,if sad, making of documentary of one of the best gay films of the era..IT was based on the stage show which was brilliant. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Peter M
4.0 out of 5 stars HISTORY IS MADE
having seen the Sydney production of this play, i always thought what a brave production it was, so far ahead of it's time. Read more
Published 9 months ago by col
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT PURCHASE
This video has performed perfectly, and has been viewed over and over again. I am happy with it, and will watch your site.
Published 13 months ago by T. Payton
5.0 out of 5 stars Important film!
Making the Boys is a very important film, considering how many younger gay men and lesbians really have no idea how bad things were in the past. Read more
Published 14 months ago by meesha
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-see prior to seeing the movie. Top notch!
Superb! A must-see prior to seeing the movie. Worth every penny. Offers invaluable perspective you can't get anywhere else. Riveting biography.
Published 17 months ago by Nathaniel Dickerhoff
2.0 out of 5 stars very little extra info on the making of 'Boys'
when i first read about this dvd i was sooo excited as Boys in the Band is one of my all time favorite movies just as it is for so many older gay men. Read more
Published 18 months ago by MS
5.0 out of 5 stars Making History with the Boys in the Band.
A ground braking film in its day, this book tells the story about how this movie first started as a hit off Broadway play and quickly moved to the first movie of its kind - A... Read more
Published 18 months ago by D. E. Keith
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful documentary, great footage!
This is a really excellent documentary about a very important time in the country! Full of wonderful interviews and chock full of terrific scenes.
Published 20 months ago by vicki
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting Documentary about the Making of the Boys in the Band
I loved the movie the Boys in the Band, I enjoyed this documentary of how the play and movie was made however I was more interested in learning a bit more about the actors who... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Diana Parker
4.0 out of 5 stars Important work of history
I watched this documentary with a bit of nostalgia, ache, joy, and ultimately gratitude. The younger men interviewed all pleaded ignorance of The Boys in the Band. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Paul F. Goodman
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