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The Boys in the Band (1970)

Kenneth Nelson , Peter White , William Friedkin  |  R |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kenneth Nelson, Peter White, Leonard Frey, Frederick Combs, Cliff Gorman
  • Directors: William Friedkin
  • Writers: Mart Crowley
  • Producers: Dominick Dunne, Joe Allen, Kenneth Utt, Mart Crowley, Robert Jiras
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: November 11, 2008
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,470 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Boys in the Band" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Frederick Combs, Leonard Fray, Cliff Gorman. A surprise birthday party takes a turn towards tension and turmoil when an unexpected guest-who is supposedly straight-crashes the party. Based on the groundbreaking off-Broadway play of the same name. 1970/color/119 min/NR/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
197 of 198 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time Heals Everything July 31, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have been waiting for this film on DVD for years; apparently the people at the studio have no idea how important a piece of gay history this film really is.

There is no denying that Boys in the Band is controversial. Among gay men, it seems to provoke either fierce defense or intense outrage. Indeed, there seem to be 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. There seems to be no middle ground. Many people who know me well might be surprised to find that I am one of its defenders.

Although I was only 16 years old in 1970, I was already totally "out" as a gay person in most aspects of my life. As such, I had heard about this film (but couldn't get in to see it) almost as soon as it came out. But you can bet I acquired a copy of the play shortly thereafter, and what I found thrilled me. Yes, "thrilled" is the only way to describe my initial reaction to The Boys in the Band. I guess when you're used to being totally ignored, having your life acknowledged, even in a negative way, can be surprisingly positive.

First of all, BITB was the first mainstream Hollywood film whose main subject matter was homosexuality; that in itself was a giant step forward. In 1970, depictions of gay men in Hollywood movies were unheard of, unless we were presented as swishy stereotypes or evil predators. And yes, that's precisely what the controversy is about - back in 1970, as today, many gay men felt that Boys in the Band presented nothing more than a rehash of the same, tired stereotypes that Hollywood had been foisting on us for years. But I am not at all sure that I agree.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There Are Straight Fans Too August 25, 2008
I, as well, eagerly acquired a fullscreen DVD of this film from a VHS master. I discovered this play via the film when I was a teenager. (I had a VERY progressive-minded grandma, for an old-world Russian immigrant, who took me to see it -- and her only question, when it was over, was, "If you're with people like that, could you be like them?" I assured her it didn't work like that, which she seemed to need to hear. Over her, happily many, remaining years she could not have been warmer to my gay friends and colleagues.) I thought it was just swell, bought the cast album (which I still own) and while I agree it can be viewed as an artifact of another time, it was pretty powerful stuff for a young and naive straight male to see IN its time, because it was really the first compassionate, coherent mainstream presentation of a subset of society that had otherwise been marginalized, ridiculed, handled dismissively or simply inaccurately. The film is a somewhat darker experience than the play (Friedkin and/or Crowley introduce an unexpected rainstorm into the proceedings, which forces a patio party into the living room where Michael's claustrophobic variation of the Truth game takes place) but it sure is something to experience the energy of those original guys.

A good number of the play's original cast (and its director, Robert Moore) did indeed perish of AIDS-related illnesses, as reported here by others, but not all.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! At last! Hooray! August 1, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
How long have I been waiting this release! I originally heard this original cast on an LP (which I probably would have ruined from continued hearings had I not transferred it to cassette tape), then got hold of a VHS version, then a laser disk version, which I "burned" to DVD when I got my burner, but have actually been checking new releases on several DVD websites for probably 15 years at least. How surprised I was when I finally found that it was coming out in November. Although the record was based on the stage play, and the movie had some parts cut out of it, I've really loved both versions and have seen/heard them enough to have almost the whole play memorized. I just hope this will be a faithful reproduction of the movie, which was really very well done. All the actors (most of which have died of AIDS) fit their parts perfectly and I always laugh, cry and get very carried away by this wonderful play. I can hardly wait until November! Now, will there also be a Blu-Ray release?
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a Landmark Gay Film is on DVD August 2, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Finally a landmark gay film is released on DVD. I saw the origianl cast in New York years ago, bought the original cast record of the complete show, then saw the movie when it was released. I have had the Video for years and have watched it many times. Now have the DVD of such a great film of our gay history. Lived thru those times and the play and film was very much as it was. Even today gay people can relate, everywhere is not like San Francisco, New York City or L A, there are still many gays in small town America that live this life daily. The film has been beautifully transfer to DVD in both picture and sound. Lots of extras on writing the play, the theatrical production, the film and updates since it was realeased. Wonderful DVD for all gay people to watch. Thanks for finally putting on DVD.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
every gay man should own this!
Published 1 month ago by kurtis
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good movie, but disappointing menu and lack of Closed Captions
Good movie. I like William Friedkin's work, too; get Sorcerer if you've never seen it; the Blu-ray is great. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Eric Weiss
3.0 out of 5 stars love the movie
love the movie, a great classic...but in the first 10-15 minutes of the movie, the dvd stalled, obviously a scratch somewhere but I just kinda fast forward a little and the rest of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by MICHAEL FEDELE
5.0 out of 5 stars Important Gay Work
Saw the film back in the day when it first came out. Might seem negative in light of today's view of things gay, but an important play at the time full of wonderful one liners. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Shelley A Mesirow
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Find at a good price
Have been looking for this movie for a long time ... Brings back a lot of Memories.
Published 2 months ago by THE Teddy Bear
5.0 out of 5 stars An Important Part of LGBT Movie History
I was rather impressed how this movie didn't try to overly dress up the original story of the play. These days when a play is adapted into a movie, suddenly there's this obsession... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Rocky Sunico
5.0 out of 5 stars A film masterpiece of a not too distant era.
This film, and the Broadway show it is based on takes the Gay lifestyle out of the closet. Many of the performers were victims of the Aids scourge at that time. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jerome H. Rubin
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best 70's movies ever
I love this film, I will always love this film. Stupid stereo types and all. Its a classic 70's piece of art. and the soundtrack is perfect! Sp is the cast!
Published 4 months ago by KATHY
1.0 out of 5 stars Damaged DVD
Unfortunately, I didn't play this DVD within the time allowed to return damaged merchandise. However, when I decided to play it for a movie night with friends, I learned that the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Francis M.
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the Very First Gay Themed Movies
I viewed this movie for the first time in a movie theater. That was a long time ago. If you want to see a vision of how gay life was viewed and in fact was back more than 40 years... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Movie Watcher
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