Making The Boys

Making The Boys

DVD - 2011
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Explores the controversy, struggle, and enduring legacy associated with The boys in the band, the first-ever gay play and subsequent Hollywood movie to successfully reach a mainstream audience. Includes behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with play author Mart Crowley, surviving cast members, and a host of stage and screen luminaries.
Publisher: [New York] : First Run Features, c2011.
Edition: Widescreen.
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (93 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.


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Jan 01, 2016

glad I saw this doc - TBITB isn't available in my library, but I saw it many years ago.

interesting about the backlash and that the play is still performed to this day according to Crowley.

the 60's was a time of great social upheaval that gays, women and blacks still bear witness to despite the ongoing struggles. I certainly had my female consciousness raised and continue to learn from all the docs on social justice from that era to this.

patriarchal society continues to push back but there are many pockets of progress, both personal and societal.

Froster Jun 25, 2012

Well done doc, which covers all the territory needed to provide the context for the groundbreaking play and film. Although it doesn't avoid some of the hoary cliches about Stonewall (do we really need to hear AGAIN that it was the day of Judy's funeral, here)? Some of the most interesting subtext, though, never does get explained. I mean how did a subculture that supported happy, closeted stars and their gal pals cavorting at Sunday wienie roasts at Roddy McDowell's also support the self-loathing drama queens of "Boys in the Band"? In fact, it was a damn shame that some of the more positive aspects of even the closeted gay milieu never made it into Crowley's play. The only gay voice that seemed to grasp this belongs to Edward Albee...who raised a red flag, and now seems entirely prescient. (But perhaps he was just pissed off about Crowley ripping off "Virginia Woolf"). The fact that Stonewall, and the Gay Rights movement made "Boys in the Band" irrelevant with DIZZYING speed is actually the most reliable rebuke to the milieu of the play and the film. But no one discusses how truly horrifying a picture the work painted...and only in passing do we find out that it was the first film ever to receive a "Gay boycott". This is certainly not irrelevant, and the film should have done a better job portraying the loathing that it inspired. Considering the really interesting, even-handed work that was done seemingly within moments of Boys in the Band (Midnight Cowboy, Sunday, Bloody Sunday, Dog Day Afternoon, etc.) it is a particularly sad beginning to the mainstreaming of Gay culture. Oh, well...I suppose someone had to go first. Thanks for that at least, Mr. Crowley.

jmmason Jan 18, 2012

This is one of those documentaries about gay history that I wish more gay men would take an interest in. This program is about how Mart Crowley, assistant and confidente to Natalie Wood, came to write the seminal gay play of the late 60's, "The Boys in the Band." This was the first time we got to see real gay lives on a stage. The doc tells about the impact this play had on the world, then and now. It gives us some background (dirt) on the making of the movie version. There's a follow-up by Mart Crowley of all the original actors, which is quite poignant. The play opened a year before the fervent Stonewall Riots of June 1969, so there is an attempt to capture the historical perspective. There is some terrific archival footage from 1965 of Roddy McDowell with a lot of his friends at a Malibu beach house (Tuesday Weld, Sal Mineo, Garland...a Hollywood who's who of talent). Many guest appearances include Michael Cunningham, Arthur Bell, Terrence McNally, and his ex, Edward Albee, who offers a candid rendition of why he disliked the play enough to pass up investing in it as well as the film version. To watch Albee step out of the closet is worth the price of admission. It's also a kicker to see a clip of a TV show Mart Crowley was writing that starred Bette Davis as "The Decorator." Please see this one, and read the play. P.S. Some people just don't get it. Young people, I mean. This was the first play I ever saw on a New York stage. It was sold-out. Packed. Nightly. Queens and celebrities. It was funny as hell and so much fun. And exhilerating. Poor Edward Albee and his closeted George & Martha was so full of self-loathing and jealousy that someone else had the balls to stand up and say what he couldn't. Tell me George & Martha are happy people. Tell me Edward Albee is happy people. Being an oppressed minority is hard work. Most young people wouldn't understand that because "it" was all handed to them by their courageous elders. Marriage Equality just happened by magic, right? Right, Edward?

fairboy Jan 18, 2012

A bit disappointing. There wasn't enough about the play/movie itself rather than the author. I would also have liked to have heard more about the cast.

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