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Making the Boys

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Before Prop 8, "Will & Grace," AIDS, gay pride or Stonewall, "The Boys in the Band" changed everything. Crayton Robey's Making the Boys explores the enduring legacy of the first-ever gay play and subsequent Hollywood movie to successfully reach a mainstream audience. Beloved by some for breaking new ground and condemned by others for reinforcing gay stereotypes, "The Boys in the Band" sparked heated controversy that endures to this day. Featuring interviews with its author Mart Crowley, surviving cast members, and a who's who from stage and screen, this enjoyable documentary captures the behind-the-scenes drama and lasting legacy of this cultural milestone.

Featuring Edward Albee, Mart Crowley, Dominick Dunne, William Friedkin, Carson Kressley, Tony Kushner, Terrence McNally, Robert Wagner and more.


CRITIC'S PICK! Captivating and entertaining...sometimes you don't have to go very far into the past to be amazed at how drastically things have changed. 'Making the Boys' is fascinating recent history and a fascinating personal story as well. --Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

A fascinating slice of contemporary history. Entertaining and enlightening. --Marshall Fine, The Huffington Post

Impassioned, absorbing, illuminating and engrossing. Essential viewing! --David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Edward Albee, Mart Crowley, Dominick Dunne, William Friedkin, Carson Kressley
  • Directors: Crayton Robey
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: November 22, 2011
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00551QQHK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,366 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on November 10, 2011
Format: DVD
In watching Crayton Robey's entertaining and incisive documentary "Making the Boys," I was struck and disappointed by the lack of history that many contemporary youths have about the struggles that preceded them. The play and subsequent film version of Mart Crowley's classic "The Boys In The Band" is a genuine milestone in the representation of homosexual characters being pushed into mainstream awareness. The play, in 1968, was embraced by New York audiences and dealt specifically with a counterculture that had yet to express its voice. By the time the film version hit the streets, however, the Stonewall riots had occurred, the movement of open rebellion had begun, and the screen adaptation was largely vilified. "The Boys In The Band," don't get me wrong, has always been controversial. Yes, it is groundbreaking that the piece dealt specifically with homosexual issues. But it does represent negative stereotypes, bad behavior, and self-loathing as well. So should it be loved or hated?

In the cyclical nature of entertainment, however, the historical significance of the play and movie are certainly hard to deny. And Robey's documentary is a thoroughly enjoyable and genuinely moving tribute to the legacy of Crowley's vision. Part Crowley biography, part history lesson, and part behind-the-scenes expose--the film does a fantastic job of placing the work into the context of the age in which it was produced. Crowley is, obviously, a main source but the documentary is filled with notable commentators. People directly involved with Crowley or "Boys" include candid interviews with Robert Wagner, director William Friedkin, producer Dominick Dunne, playwright Edward Albee (who amusingly still loathes Boys) and actors Laurence Luckinbill and Peter White.
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In my Amazon review of the film, "The Boys in the Band" I noted that the work has always been highly controversial among gay men and that there are 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. In that review, I attempted to explain the many reasons why I believe the play and the film were important developments in the history of gay culture. As most people know by now, The Boys in the Band is about eight gay men at a birthday party who are joined by an unexpected straight guest.

Now there is a documentary, produced and directed by Crayton Robey, called "Making The Boys - The Story Behind The Boys in the Band" which chronicles the complete history of the play and film and their impact on modern gay literature and the gay movement.

Mart Crowley, the playwright, began his career with no money, but many important connections. Frequently a guest at Roddy McDowell's star-studded Malibu beach-house parties, Mr. Crowley rubbed elbows with everyone who was anyone in mid-1960's Hollywood circles. Old color home-movies of these parties reveal the presence of such luminaries as Rock Hudson, Sal Mineo, Julie Andrews, Jane Fonda, Lauren Bacall, Tuesday Weld, Judy Garland and Natalie Wood. As it happened, Crowley became very close friends with Natalie Wood and then wrote a play for her about identical twin sisters, one of which is a lesbian. Natalie was game but no one would produce it. Later, also through Natalie Wood, he managed to get a job as screenwriter for the pilot episode of a TV series starring Bette Davis, which was not picked up. Crowley soon found himself washed up, broke and trying to break into the New York theatre.
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when i first read about this dvd i was sooo excited as Boys in the Band is one of my all time favorite movies just as it is for so many older gay men. and i saw a trailer that showed a scene with the 'cowboy' actor with 'emory' that looked interesting (its not even in the final film sad to say so i have no idea what it was about) but the dvd is filled with so many others stories about Natalie Wood, hollywood parties, beach house parties with Roddy Mcdowell, etc but i was hoping for more actual behind the scenes of the movie. it does give us a little info that maybe some didnt already know but it felt like there was 15 mins of 'new info' filled with other stories to make a feature length here. i mean we hear Mr Crowley in his dragged out way of telling the same story heard over n over on the subject of the dvd release of the original movie to 'theater talk' program but nothing really new. i wanted to hear more about the actors and what happened to them after n during the making of the film and there is a few mins of that like an interview with the actor that played the 'cowboy' but thats like maybe 5 mins. then the 2 surviving actors chat a few mins here n there but the way Crowley drags out the stories of him n Natalie Wood which for the first 5 mins was ok but its like they inserted these little stories to fill out the film for time and after viewing it i knew little more than what i knew before i watched the dvd. so if u find it for a few dollars i would get it but i wouldnt spend 20.00 to watch it. just fluff filled out with a handful of interesting stories dragged out for 90 mins that i could have told in 15.
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