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Small Town Gay Bar (2006)

Jim Bishop , Malcolm Ingram  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jim Bishop
  • Directors: Malcolm Ingram
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 7, 2007
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002SAMMLK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,558 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Small Town Gay Bar" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and touching film for any audience July 15, 2007
By Bina
I was lucky enough to see this film last summer when it made the LGBT film festival circuit, and even got to meet the filmmaker. This is a brilliant piece of documentary film making. Clever, evocative, great subjects (the stories about the fights they used to have out in the woods - Marines vs. trannies - you will laugh for days) and crisply edited. This is an entertaining and educational look at what life for gay Americans can be like in thousands of little towns making up that large expanse of land between New York and Los Angeles.

There is a product image available now. You can visit the film on MySpace to see it, here: [...]
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fine look at gay life in small town, rural America August 3, 2007
Small Town Gay Bar gives us a rare look at gay life in small town rural America. We see gay people struggling to make friendships and social networks in two towns in rural Mississippi, the heart of the Bible belt. The stories they tell will touch you with their honesty; and at times the price these gay people pay for being gay is remarkably and shamefully high.

The movie focuses on two gay bars and the people who patronize them. Although straight people are welcome, most conservative straight people in these towns don't appear to be comfortable enough to go into either of the two bars in their respective towns. We also get some of the history of other gay bars that have come and gone in the past.

I liked the stories of the patrons in particular. Just as people have already noted, the gay bar in this region of the country serves as a safe haven, a place where once they get in the door no one can harm them. Unfortunately, sometimes just getting in and out the door can be a huge hassle--we hear stories of how right wing religious groups take down automobile license plate numbers of the patrons and read them aloud on the radio the next morning; and there are gay bashings left and right. It amazes me that these gay people don't throw up their arms in exasperation and move to a big city!

One especially troublesome story is that of a young man who was killed because three other young kids his age thought he was gay. We also get an interview with a Reverend whose bigotry and hatred for gays becomes crystal clear by the language he uses to describe gays and their lifestyle.

Nevertheless, these people persevere against incredible odds. Toward the end of the film we see a lesbian couple purchase an old run down property in order to make it into a gay bar once again.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality Bites November 29, 2007
Director Malcolm Ingram and executive producer Kevin Smith - he who wrote and directed the 1997 straight man wants gay woman Ben Affleck vehicle "Chasing Amy" - have a well-put together, engrossing and very informative little documentary here. It tells of the difficulties faced by LGBT people living in north east Mississippi and the action focuses mainly on two bars; Rumors in Shannon and Crossroads in Meridien.

I don't want to give too much away but we are also introduced to the Reverend Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, who runs a psychotic organisation called "God Hates Fags". I'd already met him and his cohorts via a BBC documentary I saw last year sometime. Maybe psychotic is too strong a word but his homophobia is definitely affecting his mental health. One of his theories, for instance is that God hates America because America is too tolerant of gays and this is why God punished America by inflicting on it the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I think people who've lost their grasp on reality are called psychotics but I'm not 100% sure.

Then there's Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association who manages to find the time with his band of merry men, to camp outside gay bars writing down car number plates and then broadcasting them over the radio.

We also get to hear, sadly and briefly, about 18 year old Scotty Weaver, who was murdered simply for being gay in July 2004.

So it would seem that even in this day and age and in certain parts of a country as ostensibly civilised at the United States of America, it's still incredibly difficult to be gay. This documentary is no barrel of laughs (the friend I was watching it with had to leave the room half way through) but it's not all doom and gloom and it does carry a powerful message.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Looking for a Place to Belong October 3, 2007
Malcolm Ingram's Small Town Gay Bar is one of those rare documentaries that honestly makes you think and it allows its viewers to see a different aspect of their world without beating them over the head with politics.

The rare gay bar in rural bible belt Mississippi has become a haven for the gay community which is often persecuted for their lifestyle. The film focuses on two small communities Meridian and Shannon, Mississippi.

Shannon, Mississippi was home to Rumors a small bar owned and run by Rick Gladish. Rumors was people friendly and all inclusive. one gets the picture that all were welcome at this bar. We meet patrons, performers and family members who saw this bar as a light in the darkness in the small town. Rumors was a place where you could be yourself without fear of reprisal if you could just get into the confines of the bar. In short it was a place where all felt welcome.

Meridian is a larger city. It is the home of Fred Phelps. Phelps for want of a better description is a hell fire and damnation preacher who is actively and rabidly anti gay. Meridian was also the home to Crossroads, a bar where anything was possible. Crossroads drew a diverse crowd and often became a freakshow but yet was a place of inclusiveness. The bar closed after its owner had a run in with the police.

We see the rampant homophobia of small town life but also much more. The viewer is shown a world that he often does not see. The bar is a place where anyone can belong: it acts as an outlet and a safe haven in a world that is not always fair and just.

This is an excellent documentary that is worth checking out.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
this dvd is more documentary, but it is interesting.
Published 3 months ago by M W
4.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable Stories
This is a great documentary that I originally saw at the Washington DC gay film festival (Reel Affirmations). Read more
Published 11 months ago by JOHN C
5.0 out of 5 stars A (Big) Slice of Gay Americana & History in Rural USA
From 2006, the documentary is a must see for anyone who is: gay, maybe knows someone gay, drag queens, people from the South (especially Mississippi), you despise hate crimes or... Read more
Published 14 months ago by C. Clay
5.0 out of 5 stars ENTERTAINING EDUCATION
FOR THE DAD WHO WANTS TO DISOWN HIS SON FOR BEING WHO HE IS HOPEFULLY THIS DOCUMENTARY WILL GIVE YOU REASON TO WANT TO HOLD YOUR SON AGAIN AND LET HIM KNOW HIS DAD LOVES HIM.
Published 16 months ago by blaq
5.0 out of 5 stars Small Town but a Great Community
A great depiction of small town life & one of the few shining examples I have ever seen of the LGBT community pulling and working TOGETHER ! Read more
Published on September 15, 2012 by GayboyJax
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful documentary
In depth, intriquing look at a minority population lives within a very conservative area. It is a great documentary that looks into a small town and how the gay culture is... Read more
Published on September 29, 2011 by Amanda L. Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars The challenges of being gay in a small town
This documentary sheds some light on what it's like to be gay and living in a small town in the United States. I would give it 3. Read more
Published on December 23, 2009 by Davewise
4.0 out of 5 stars A Different Slice of Life
Small Town Gay Bar attempts to put a twist on America's current obsession with sexual identity by examining gays and lesbians who live in the rural South. Read more
Published on November 30, 2009 by stoic
1.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Disingenuous
After spending half an hour examining Rumors, a gay bar located outside Tupelo, Mississippi, SMALL TOWN GAY BAR shifts focus to the murder of Scotty Weaver in Bay Minette in order... Read more
Published on March 7, 2008 by Gary F. Taylor
3.0 out of 5 stars If you want to open your mind a bit, and see the human struggle with...
Sure, STGB is not the definitive description of what the Community is like across the board, but it is a slice of "real" life and a true account of what it is like in this country... Read more
Published on December 29, 2007 by Noelle
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