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With “Brokeback Mountain” you would think there has never been a popular gay themed movie before--NOT TRUE! Yes the ratio of good gay movies to trash is as high as non-gay movies but there are gems. I have about 100 theatrically released gay themed movies and these are just a few of the better ones from the past. Again there were many English (“Maurice”, “Sunday, Bloody Sunday”, “A Beautiful Thing”, etc.,) French (“Querelle”, “La Cage Aux Folles”) and other countries films that paved the way for USA filmmakers to feel comfortable producing mixed audience successful gay themed films. THE BOYS IN THE BAND (1970) a classic--vilified by gay militants as not being representative of most gays--Sorry, they are wrong--go into any gathering of gays whether it be a bar, a party, a political meeting, a community center and you will find the equivalent of Harold, 'The 30 year old Jewish pock marked fairy who has to have a few tokes before going out', Donald who lives with his parents and has been in therapy for years, Michael, the self hating homosexual, over extended in credit, who utters the line that the militants hate, "Show me a happy corpse and I'll show a dead homosexual" (like he is the only gay who hasn't/can't accept himself) and Emory, the effeminate guy who wants to make everybody happy, not to forget Bernard, the 'token' black or even Cowboy (Okay, the going price for hustlers may be more than $25 today but I know in South Florida off-season you can get them for a sandwich and a bed to sleep in), Larry and Hank, the former left his wife for the latter and Hank is promiscuous and they are now a couple--yes, these people are still alive and well today! Plus a great background score not to forget two great songs. The opening sequence, showing the boys going to Michael's with "Anything Goes" sung in the background is a hoot! TORCH SONG TRILOGY the 1983 Tony award winning play for acting, writing and producing becomes a movie and Harvey Fierstein is taken to task for not including AIDS in the story though most of it takes place in the 70s--this is a funny, touching story of an insecure drag performer who sees his young lover (Mathew Broderick) gay bashed and killed, who loves a man who can't decide if he is straight or gay, who adopts a boy--the scene between Harvey and his mother (Estelle Getty on stage, Anne Bankcroft on screen) is out loud funny in parts and heartbreaking in others. AS IS (1986) A man dying of AIDS is being cared for by his ex--the former had left the latter for a younger man who can't deal with the illness--covers the whole gay scene in the early 1980s--Jonathan Hardary's performance is sterling LONGTIME COMPANION (1990) a 4 star movie about a group of gay men who go to Fire Island every summer--it starts with a small article in the NYTimes about a cancer spreading among gay men in 1981 and the results after that--I defy you not to cry when Bruce Davison tells his lover, "Let go. It's okay to let go." as the latter is dying. This is a tearjerker! MAKING LOVE (1982) A happy, attractive, successful couple have the perfect marriage until he meets the good looking gay writer--at first the husband is curious then he falls in love with the writer and now has to come out to her. IT'S MY PARTY (1995) Eric Roberts is dying of AIDS and decides to have a party before he commits suicide--it is a 2 day uplifting, heartwarming, outrageous and life affirming party with a star studded cast. AN EARLY FROST (1987) technically a made for TV movie--a young man has to come out to his family about being gay, having a lover and having AIDS--an all star cast with Aidian Quinn, Gena Rowland's, Ben Gazzara, John Glover and Sylvia Sidney--a groundbreaking drama which won numerous awards. ANGELS IN AMERICA (2004) Parts 1 and 2--the overwhelming brilliant stage play is adapted, superbly, for the screen. An A list cast giving award winning performances. Everything and anything you wanted to know about AIDS, gay life, politics and religion towards the end of the twentieth century. After the ‘all gays are murderers, psychos and/or swishy men’ the genre went into gays and gay life as it really is advancing to movies about AIDS and in the past two decades to “Twilight Of The Golds” about the possibility of a gay gene, “the Kids Are Alright” about same sex parents, “Priscilla: Queen of the Dessert” about drag queens, “The Crying Game”, “Boys Don’t Cry” transgender, the whole range and spectra that make up gay people. And these are just a few movies that were groundbreaking before other aspects of gay life were tackled in “Brokeback Mountain” and “Love Is Strange”

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