Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman
Come out, come out wherever you are.
Based on the book of the same name by Vito Russo, The Celluloid Closet explores how homosexuality has been portrayed in films since movies were invented. This is a fascinating documentary that looks into how at first homosexuality was quite prominent in films, but later in the 1930s, when a special board was set up in America to censor films, this board suppressed any and all mention of homosexuality in movies released in America. But filmmakers are smart people, and they still found ways to slip in LGBT themes and characters until the censor board was abolished and the ratings system, that we still have today, was put in its place.
In this documentary, you learn everything about homosexuality in films, from Marlene Dietrich cross-dressing in the 1930 film Morocco, to James Dean and Sal Mineo’s characters in Rebel Without A Cause possibly being lovers, to the dawn of LGBT films in the 1980s with Making Love, a film about a married man coming out of the closet, and Desert Hearts, a movie about two women falling in love.
Since this film came out back in 1995, LGBT films and characters have grown tremendously, and we are more present in the film world than ever before. I LOVE this documentary because I love films and film history in general (which is probably pretty obvious since I have this website), and also because I really love to watch LGBT films (which is also pretty obvious because I have this website). So watch this film if you want to take a look back in history about our community in the movies.
Enjoy the show!
P.S.: If you want to check out some of these films from the censor board era, most of the movies in the Classic Films section of this website are from that time.