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Stonewall

4.4 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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(Oct 26, 1999)
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$24.70 $10.90

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Editorial Reviews

Stonewall is a 1995 historical comedy-drama film. Inspired by the memoir of the same title by openly-homosexual historian Martin Duberman, Stonewall is a fictionalized account of the weeks leading up to the Stonewall riots, a seminal event in the modern American gay rights movement. Stonewall was the final film of British film director Nigel Finch, who died of an AIDS-related illness shortly after completing filming. Stonewall stars Guillermo Díaz, Frederick Weller, Duane Boutte and Brendan Corbalis. Dwight Ewell and Luis Guzmán also make cameos. While the film is a work of fiction, Finch makes the unusual directorial choice of including documentary-style interview footage with several people who were at the Stonewall Inn during the uprising. Finch also intersperses lip synch numbers performed by the actors throughout the film to function as something of a Greek chorus.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Guillermo Díaz, Frederick Weller, Brendan Corbalis, Duane Boutte, Bruce MacVittie
  • Directors: Nigel Finch
  • Writers: Martin Duberman, Rikki Beadle Blair
  • Producers: Anthony Wall, Christine Vachon, George Faber, Matthew Hamilton, Ruth Caleb
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: October 26, 1999
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1572526483
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,490 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Stonewall" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Stonewall is a joy to watch on many levels. As an historical (with a liberal dose of fiction) account of the Stonewall riots it shows the horror of the hatred and oppressions gays, trannies and dykes had to endure. As a love story it celebrates diversity and shows the difficulties that occur when a relationship is not sanctioned by society. As a drag musical it rocks.
As a student of gay and lesbian history and the fight for human rights it was interesting to see a film that blows away the myth that gay and lesbian rights are a white middle class issue. The Stonewall riots were about multiple layers of oppression and it is well documented that it was the latinos, blacks and transvestites who, on that night, finally said enough is enough. The contrast with the conformist white middle class push for equality on someone else's terms is handled well.
As for the performances, they are uniformally excellent. Guillermo Diaz is superb as La Miranda, Fred Weller great as Matty but it is Duane Boutte who is unstoppable as Bostonia. Her role as Queen of the Scene is a showstopper. The drag musical numbers are handled simply and effectively with a great 60's girl bands soundtrack. The story involves several relationships of various people all revolving around the Stonewall Bar and leading up to the night the riots commenced. The tragic events (including wonderful footage of Judy Garland's funeral) build to boiling point with an emotional intensity. The relief and celebration once the actual riots commence are palpable. The film manages to capture the fear and pride that the rioters must have felt in actually being there.
See this film for a wonderful fictional account of one of the turning points in human rights history.
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Comment 29 of 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Enjoyed this movie. The (i believe) fictional characters provide an entertaining story and backdrop to the real Stonewall event.
We tend to forget how gays & lesbians were treated as real criminals as little as 30 years ago - when police raided gay bars just to beat up the patrons, and get their names published in the daily paper, assuring you that you would lose your job and be outted in a very public way. I was cringing in my seat at some of the stuff we had to deal with back then - considering how open we are today. Really makes you think.
Nice film with a cute story against the historical backdrop.
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The amazing thing about the Stonewall riots is that while they happened only 31 years ago, no one really knows what happened. The press coverage was completely inaccurate and homophobic, and if everyone who said they were there actually was, Manhattan would have crumbled under the weight. With that said, this is a very warm rendition of what could have happened. In some places the story is right on accurate (the drag queens and their can-can lines are fact, that is one thing that historians are pretty sure about, and at least one drag queen showed up at the daft board in full drag). In other places the movie presents a plausible idea of what might have happened (no one knows what sparked the riots, but a drag queen who was being arrested and who resisted is one of the theories). Not that the whole movie is fact, obviously the characters were made up, and in some areas the film takes poetic license with history (the final bar that the Village Voice reporter ended up in was a gay bar, but it was not the Stonewall). What is more disturbing is that the film compressed the decades of struggle by the homophile movement into one year, portrayed NYC as the only place where homophile activism was going on, and presented the movement a monolithic as opposed to multi-fractioned. In the end though, the story is sweet, even if the dialogue is laughable at times. It's a great way to get a first taste of the riots and an idea of what was going on at the time. Guillermo Diaz was amazing as La Miranda, and I loved all of the drag queens in the film who were wonderful. If nothing else, see this film so that you can see those fabulous queens lip sink to the amazing soundtrack.
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Format: DVD
I was surprised of how well-made this flick is! I thought it was going to be a tongue 'n' cheek, frivilous extravaganza; well, tongue 'n' cheek it is, and it's filled with extravagant singing numbers a la Greece, but frivolous it ain't.

This fun film has its heartbreaking and sobering moments as it tells a fictional account of the Stonewall riots that started the Gay Civil Rights movement back in 1969. Even though the story is fictional, it's very real and very relevant especially in this day and age of systematic assault on our hard-earned civil rights.

Gays these days don't know how good they have it! That's why this movie is a must-see for it's a reminder that the freedoms gays and lesbians have now weren't granted to them by society then, and by then I mean just 35 years ago! These rights and freedoms readily enjoyed were fought for with blood and lives sacrificed.

Don't think for one second that those rights couldn't be taken away any second and then you'll see you quickly people turn. Complacency is a luxury we all cannot afford in this age of Patriot Acts and other civil rights slayers.

Rent it or buy it now, but please see it!
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