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The Celluloid Closet (Special Edition) [DVD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 593 ratings
IMDb7.8/10.0

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May 29, 2001
Special Edition
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Genre Documentary
Format Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD, Special Edition, Subtitled, NTSC
Contributor Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Hanks, Harvey Fierstein, Tony Curtis, Telling Pictures, Susan Sarandon, Shirley MacLaine, Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman See more
Language English
Number Of Discs 1
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Product Description

What "That's Entertainment" did for movie musicals, THE CELLULOID CLOSET does for Hollywood homosexuality, as this exuberant, eye-opening movie serves up a dazzling hundred-year history of the role of gay men and lesbians have had on the silver screen. Lily Tomlin narrates as Oscar(r)-winning moviemaker Rob Epstein (The Times of Harvey Milk and Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt) and Jeffrey Friedman assemble fabulous footage from 120 films showing the changing face of cinema sexuality, from cruel stereotypes to covert love to the activist triumphs of the 1990s. Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon, Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Curtis, Harvey Fierstein and Gore Vidal are just a few of the many actors, writers and commentators who provide funny and insightful anecdotes.

Product details

  • Aspect Ratio ‏ : ‎ 1.33:1
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ No
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ R (Restricted)
  • Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.4 x 5 x 0.6 inches; 4 Ounces
  • Director ‏ : ‎ Jeffrey Friedman, Rob Epstein
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD, Special Edition, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 41 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ May 29, 2001
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Susan Sarandon, Harvey Fierstein, Tony Curtis
  • Subtitles: ‏ : ‎ English
  • Producers ‏ : ‎ Jeffrey Friedman, Rob Epstein
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Unqualified
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00005AWR9
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 593 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
593 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 28, 2015
15 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 1, 2007
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ah, what if it had been made in 2007?
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 1, 2007
But then, people in 2015 would say, "Ah, if only it had been made this year!" (Would they have mentioned, in the waning days of 2007, the two outstanding TV shows, "Queer as Folk," which ran on Showtime for 5 years? "Angels in America," the magnificent production from HBO in 2003, which swept all the Emmys ("Did you know Streep played three parts?" "THREE?" "Yeah--she was the old rabbi, too..."); what would they have said about "Brokeback Mountain" (2005)? "Mysterious Skin" (2004) (it's director makes several brief appearances in the film, but before he really got down to work, as far as I'm concerned...

In spite of what got missed (I think "The Crying Game" and "The Wedding Banquet" are the latest films mentioned--and very briefly), this is a marvellous film. Most touching is the hunger expressed by gay commentators who for so many years longed to see thremselves presented, in any at least partially realistic way, on the screen. I was so glad that the film left Hollywood (one of its brief trips away) to give Britain's "Victim," (1961!) and its star, Dirk Bogarde, a lot of credit. "Parting Glances" got a good deal of play, too. How apologetic Crowley was for writing "The Boys in the Band," (1970--the film) with so much bitterness, self-rexcrimination and self-hatred in it. That's the way, he said, the world seemed to me, at the time. And yet, there were people who say "The Boys in the Band" who rejoiced that there were places in this favored land where gay men could get togither for a party, and dance.

It's a long story, full of humor, tragedy, and triumph, 1895-1995. And after it was O.K. to have gay people as primary characters in films in this country, there were--so many GHASTLY films! The homosexual either committed suicide, got justifiably killed, or killed someone else. After these films (many of which gave a new and lovely [yurg!] meaning to the phrase "A closeted gay man walks into a gay bar...") reality began slowly to assert itself. Homosexuals began to appear as real people, with the sorrows and joys of real people, and sometimes, even without any killings, suicides--or even hysterics. Ghastly: Freebie and the bean, The detective--and much later (1980) Cruising. Reality seeking: The Boys in the Band, That Certain Summer, Dog Day Afternoon...many others. Russo's book and film are excellent references for films you might want to see--up to about 1987. OH! a great plus to the film is Vito Russo, on voiceover (an extra with the disk), giving a talk at the Castro to a very appreciative audience!

A scene that knocked my socks off (obviously--I posted six stills from it), was the tender exchange between David and Jack in "Wings," (1927). The men were straight, the characters they played were straight, and the plot was straight--and David was dying! Yet, somehow, in those days before the Hayes Code, the tenderness between these two World War 1 flyers became--the hottest scene in the whole film (the film makers--the makers of "The Celluloid Closet"-- seem to have thoght so too, because they etched it on the disc itself).

The film is a must for any film buff, gay, straight, or plaid (There's a 1947 joke about Jackie Robinson which ends "I don't care if he's plaid if he can't hit!)

Oh..there's one little problem. This DVD only costs 15 1/2 dollars--not bad! But if the subject matter interests you, you may, as I did, buy $200 or more worth of additional films, suggested by this one. "Tough knobs!" as my friend Richard Pollack used to say when I was 5. Enjoy...them all.
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2 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 1, 2017
9 people found this helpful
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GRP
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Documentary
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on October 28, 2015
3 people found this helpful
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4.0 out of 5 stars Varied, entertaining, and educational.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on December 27, 2010
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on December 21, 2014
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