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THE BOYS IN THE BAND (1970)

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Right. And he's definitely the cautious conservative type. If he did try to come out, even partially to Michael, it would be kind of twisted because of the guilt and self-loathing it would cause him. 

 

But my understanding of this story and Alan is that he's the "token straight" character here.

I would have loved to hear Peter White's "take" on his character in both the play and the film.

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On 1/22/2016 at 7:19 PM, rayban said:

I would have loved to hear Peter White's "take" on his character in both the play and the film.

Me too. 

By the way, when I was looking up the actor bios-- he is one where it seems difficult to determine if in real life he's gay or straight, because I could find no record of his ever being married (unless I missed something) or in a long-term relationship with a female. Yet, there is no record of him having a male partner (again, unless I am missing something). And he never played gay characters in anything. So he seems to be just as mysterious as Alan.

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In the excellent dvd  ( which is a must buy if you are a fan of the film or lgbt cinema in general) Peter White talks about how people still ask him about Alan's true nature. 

 

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Me too. 

 

By the way, when I was looking up the actor bios-- he is one where it seems difficult to determine if in real life he's gay or straight, because I could find no record of his ever being married (unless I missed something) or in a long-term relationship with a female. Yet, there is no record of him having a male partner (again, unless I am missing something). And he never played gay characters in anything. So he seems to be just as mysterious as Alan.

From what I could gather in reading about the play and film over the years, there were only two straight actors in the cast - Cliff Gorman and Laurence Luckinbill and possibly a third, Reuben Greene.

 

How many actually died from Aids: Kenneth Nelson, Leonard Frey, Frederick Combs, Robert LaTourneaux and Keith Prentice, right?

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From what I could gather in reading about the play and film over the years, there were only two straight actors in the cast - Cliff Gorman and Laurence Luckinbill and possibly a third, Reuben Greene.

Interesting. Thanks for sharing. 

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It's horrifying, isn't it. that in such a famous film, "Boys In The Band", five of the male cast members died of the same disease.

 

 

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It's horrifying, isn't it. that in such a famous film, "Boys In The Band", five of the male cast members died of the same disease.

Right. It gives us a sense of increased poignancy watching the film years later. 

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Right. It gives us a sense of increased poignancy watching the film years later. 

The careers that were lost - that's the true tragedy here.

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The careers that were lost - that's the true tragedy here.

I'd love for TCM to air this film.

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I'd love for TCM to air this film.

I second.

 

Yes, having just watched it last night on youtube, I knew that I needed to see it again and again. There were so many zingers that by the time I caught on to one, four more flew by!

 

Further, this film obviously did not receive the recognition due to it in the 70's (by Awards such as Oscars) and surprisingly to me, there is a contingency who think the film to be irrelevant!

 

Many lessons to be learnt from The Boys in the Band, least of which, one ought to know where you came from in order to know where you are going. Homosexuals were treated like pathogens and vilified which seems to be lost on this recent generation.

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At the very least, Kenneth Nelson should've gotten an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

 

His portrayal of Michael is an unforgettable portrait.

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At the very least, Kenneth Nelson should've gotten an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

 

His portrayal of Michael is an unforgettable portrait.

All of the lead performances in the film are unforgettable.

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I finally got around to watching this movie. I found a used Blu-ray of it, and bought it because I've heard about it for years, and because I was interested in seeing all of William Friedkin's films. I've heard mixed things about the movie, so was uncertain how I would like it. I ended up being impressed with it on the whole.

It's an invaluable snapshot of a time, with the prevalent attitudes, as well as the fashions and decor.

The acting is superb all around, even the more outrageous camp turns by Gorman and Frey. I can see why Gorman in particular puts off a lot of people, but I've met many guys who acted just like him, and to ignore them would have been disingenuous. Kenneth Nelson was very good, and I agree with whomever said that he deserved an Oscar nod, at least. 

I can understand why some people are put off by the film's negativity, with all of the fighting and cattiness and self-loathing. But it all feels genuine, too, and life does have rough patches, regardless of orientation. This film was one very bad night in the lives of these men. It exposed deep wounds in their inner selves, but don't we all have hang-ups and things in our pasts that we have to deal with, either on occasion or on a daily basis? To depict these characters as all sunshine and laughs and happiness would be a disservice, and obviously not what the writer was going for.

Friedkin's direction was simple, largely unobtrusive, and excellent at enlivening what could have been stagy and claustrophobic. 

Finally, it was frankly devastating to read how many in the cast died of AIDS. I knew that's how Leonard Frey passed, but as I was unaware of the other actors before watching this, I didn't learn of their fates until reading up on the film after watching. I see that Kenneth Nelson appeared in a couple of Clive Barker's films before dying. I've seen those (Hellraiser and Nightbreed) many times, and never realized that such an accomplished actor  was the guy playing such minor roles in those films.

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Thanks Lawrence for resurrecting the thread. It was fun to go back and re-read the responses.

Glad you had a chance to finally see the film.

Wish TCM would air it.

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