Top 10 Gay Movies
1. "Philadelphia" (1993), Dir. Jonathan Demme: By 1993, less than 15 years after AIDS became an epidemic, many people were still unaware of how the AIDS or HIV virus was spread. Through the collaboration of director Jonathan Demme ("Silence of the Lambs") and America's favorite actor, Tom Hanks, "Philadelphia" was made. The film about a man fired for his job because of being gay and living with AIDS, not only became a tearjerker but gave a face to the many victims of AIDS and HIV and their families. A landmark film and one of the first not to portray gay characters negatively, "Philadelphia" is still a powerful drama not to be missed.
2. "Brokeback Mountain" (2005), Dir. Ang Lee: The little movie that could. A tale of forbidden love between two cowboys from 1963-1983 was met with controversy when it came out. But as the accolades grew and people realized it was not just a gay movie but a heart-wrenching tale of lost love, it became a universal phenomenon that was a great and unforgettable romance.
3. "Milk" (2008), Dir. Gus Van Sant: Before 2008, most American audiences associated milk with calcium and a PB&J. However, after 2008, the majority of American audiences became aware of Harvey Milk and his struggle to be accepted as the first openly gay man elected to public office in California. With an Oscar-winning screenplay, audiences found in "Milk" a modern hero fighting for civil and human rights and whose ideals are still fought for today.
4. "Boys Don't Cry" (1999), Dir. Kimberly Pierce: Based on the real life story of Brandon Teena, a transgendered man who was raped and murdered in 1993, the film delved deep in Teena's struggle to live a normal life even though the ignorance of people did not let him. This Oscar-winning film gave viewers the opportunity to see the problems and struggles of transgendered people.
5. "A Single Man" (2009), Dir. Tom Ford: This film explores the agony and secrecy that homosexuals went through to hide their sexual orientation during the 1950s and early 1960s. "A Single Man" tells the story of a middle-aged English college professor (Colin Firth) who has to hide his grief for the death of his longtime partner. With a sleek and cold cinematographic view of 1962, this film is about a man hiding in the closet, wanting desperately to come out to a society that won't let him.
1. "Rocky Horror Picture Show" (1975), Dir. Jim Sharman: This great glam rock movie is on the top of the list for its risqué content and its motto of "don't dream it, be it." The midnight showings, which are still played 35 years after the film was made, gave many the opportunity to realize their own sexuality, according to a documentary on the film. With catchy rock tunes and campiness, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a film that is best seen during the midnight showings to get the best experience out of it and its free-spirited audience.
2. "To Wong Foo, Thanks for everything! Julie Newmar" (1995), Dir. Beeban Kidron: A classic comedy where Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo play drag queens on a road trip from New York to California. After you see their transformation from being tough action actors to taking on the names of Noxeema, Veda, and Chi-Chi, you keep rooting for them throughout the film. Their transformation of changing the women of a sleepy town into beautiful goddesses makes it a feel-good movie with dazzle.
3. "In & Out" (1997), Dir. Frank Oz: When a small town high school teacher (Kevin Kline) receives praise from one of his former students who calls him a gay man at the Oscars, he questions his own sexuality with funny results from him, his fiancée, and the town who is not sure how to deal with this. The funniest scene involves the aid of a self-help tape, that teaches Kline how to stand like a man and how to act like a man's man.
4. "The Birdcage" (1996), Dir. Mike Nichols: A remake of the French film "La Cage Aux Folles," "The Birdcage" is the story of two very different families meeting. One is the ultra-conservative family of a Republican senator (Gene Hackman) and the other family (Robin Williams and partner Nathan Lane) owns the most successful drag club in South Beach. The comedy and conflict is memorable, the lines are witty, and the film goes to show that sometimes you look most ridiculous when trying to hide your true self.
5. "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" (1994), Dir. Stephan Elliot: A camp classic in which three drag queens take a road trip from Sidney to a resort in the Australian outback. With it comes musical numbers to ABBA and Gloria Gaynor, fantastic costumes that won the film an Oscar, and a heartwarming comedy that will make you dance and sing to the signature song of the movie, "Finally" by Ce Ce Peniston.