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Based on the book by Vito Russo, this 1995 Documentary explores the history of Hollywood's portrayal of gay characters through the ages. Give it a watch, it is awesome.
This film contains/discusses examples of the following tropes:
- Adaptation Distillation: The documentary is a worthy adaptation of the Vito Russo book, managing to include and expand on many of the ideas from the book. The film also benefits from the new medium, being able to show scenes that Russo could only describe.
- Ambiguously Gay
- Bury Your Gays: Commented upon.
- But Not Too Gay
- Camp Gay: And his less explicitly gay brother, The Sissy. Discussed in depth, with several talking heads having different opinions of the worth of such characters. (Harvey Fierstein likes them: "Visibility at all costs!")
- Crowning Moment of Funny: The "Ain't There Anyone Here for Love?" musical number from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
- Depraved Homosexual
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Including some absolutely hilarious instances, like Stephen Boyd playing Messala as being Ben-Hur's former lover, without telling Charlton Heston.
- Hide Your Lesbians
- Ho Yay
- Lesbian Vampire: Commented upon.
- Psycho Lesbian
- Sissy Villain
- What Might Have Been: Originally a sequence was planned looking at Biopics that made gay people into straights, such as Alexander the Great with Richard Burton, Hans Christian Andersen with Danny Kaye, Night and Day (about Cole Porter) with Cary Grant, and The Agony and the Ectasy with Charlton Heston. The sequence was canned due to rights issues. Heston in particular insisted that his portrayal of Michaelangelo as a hetero was 100% accurate.
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