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The Boys in the Band

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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.


Special Features

None.

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.)
  • 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 (100 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001CQONPE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,878 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Boys in the Band" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

213 of 214 people found the following review helpful By James Morris on 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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 25, 2008
Format: DVD
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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Wotan Gibich on 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 By Tom on 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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