Monday, August 29, 2011

Top Ten (Culturally) Gay Films

Dear Young Gay Man,

Here's a list of the ten movies you must watch, if you haven't already.  They are like family, you have to know them. You will be dealing with them forever.
I asked this question on Facebook: which are movies that are not gay - but which say something about or speak to gay men. I've culled the 96 responses into the top 10. You may not like all these movies, but you cannot deny they are with us - almost preternaturally. These are the films most referenced, more often quoted, and passed down from generations. I remember the older man I was dating (he was 27) who, clutching pearls, gasped: "You haven't seen Auntie Mame!?" and then swiftly educated me.

For whatever reason, this is the collective gay experience.

The list, in a more-or-less particular order of importance:

1. Auntie Mame (Rosalind Russell version, duh!)
2. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
3. All About Eve
4. Mommy Dearest
5. The Women (1939 version!)
6. Steel Magnolias
7. Valley of the Dolls
8. Sunset Boulevard
9. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
10. Postcards from the Edge

Notice a trend? All strong, often camp, mostly-deluded… women!  What IS that? Who cares, I love it. And so do you! 

Honorable mentions: Beaches, Showgirls, Suddenly Last Summer, Death Becomes Her, Wizard of Oz, anything by John Waters and for a Bette Davis trifecta: Now, Voyager. 

Feel free to object or offer your own suggestions in the comments. 


Bob Frank said...

I agree, Jesse. I love to watch "Steel Magnolias" for the interplay between Shirley Maclaine and Olympia Dukakis. There's a certain part of many gay men that identifies with these characters. I think Rosalind Russel's performance in "Auntie Mame" was beyond amazing. Her reaction to possibly losing her nephew was deeply affecting.

Bob Frank said...

I misunderstood your list when I gave my answers. I would add "Moonlight and Valentino" to the list.

thegayte-keeper said...

Glad I saw this, I am embarking on a mission to watch all the gay films I can.

Gold Star said...

Good on you for writing this list. you're a star! Watch this space, I intend to embark on a mission of edu-gay-tion toute suite!