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Boys in the Band
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The Boys in the Band

4.8 6
Director: William Friedkin,

Cast: Kenneth Nelson, Frederick Combs, Leonard Frey

 

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"The Boys in the Band is not a musical" read the film's original advertisements. The film is set in the apartment of Michael (Kenneth Nelson), a homosexual who holds a birthday party for his friend Harold (Leonard Frey). As Michael and his gay buddies prepare for Harold's arrival, Michael's old college chum Alan (Peter White) makes a surprise appearance. Alan

Overview

"The Boys in the Band is not a musical" read the film's original advertisements. The film is set in the apartment of Michael (Kenneth Nelson), a homosexual who holds a birthday party for his friend Harold (Leonard Frey). As Michael and his gay buddies prepare for Harold's arrival, Michael's old college chum Alan (Peter White) makes a surprise appearance. Alan is straight, so Michael tells the revellers to watch their step. Alan's uptight reaction to gay Emory (Cliff Gorman) foments a confrontation. The embittered Michael tries to prove that Alan is a latent homosexual by staging a perverse game in which all the partygoers are required to declare their affections for the persons that they love the most. As it turns out, the person most injured by this game is Michael himself, who is incapable of loving anyone. As the first major-studio production to deal frankly with homosexuality, every member of the show's original Broadway cast appears in the film, including Laurence Luckinbill as an out-of-the-closet husband and father.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Robert Firsching
This adaptation of Mart Crowley's stage play about a group of gay friends gathering for a birthday party seems quite dated now, but its wickedly clever dialogue and near-perfect pacing make it extremely entertaining. Although the literal translation from the stage results in somewhat static visuals, the ensemble cast is marvelous, particularly Cliff Gorman as the campy Emory and Leonard Frey as the snide Harold. One can forgive the film's concluding slide into self-loathing bathos as a product of its time, mainly because the rest of it is so witty and appealing, although claims that this is the gay Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? are not exaggerated. It's not a "feel-good" movie by any stretch, but it is perversely hilarious and quite a lot of shrewish fun.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/11/2008
UPC:
0097368878549
Original Release:
1970
Rating:
R
Source:
Paramount
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:59:00
Sales rank:
814

Special Features

Closed Caption; 3 brand-new featurettes:; Act One - The Play; Act Two - The Film; Act Three - 40 Years of "Boys in the Band"; Feature-length audio commentary by William Friedkin

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kenneth Nelson Michael
Frederick Combs Donald
Leonard Frey Harold
Cliff Gorman Emory
Reuben Greene Bernard
Robert La Tourneaux Cowboy
Laurence Luckinbill Hank
Keith Prentice Larry
Peter White Alan
Murray Melvin Alphonse

Technical Credits
William Friedkin Director
Mart Crowley Producer,Screenwriter
Dominick Dunne Executive Producer
William C. Gerrity Set Decoration/Design
Jerry Greenberg Editor
Jack C. Jacobsen Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Jiras Executive Producer
Carl Lerner Editor
John Robert Lloyd Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Bob O'Bradovich Makeup
Arthur Ornitz Cinematographer
Shirley Russell Costumes/Costume Designer

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The Boys in the Band 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Flamengo More than 1 year ago
I saw this movie when it was released. It was a ground breaking presentation. Nothing like it had been released before. The "Brokeback Mountain" of it's time. It's still a good movie. Some of the problems presented in the plot are still gay problems today. Has an interesting twist at the end. I still like this movie.
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