The Boys in the Band


Action / Comedy / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 88%
IMDb Rating 7.7 10 3287


Uploaded By: OTTO
Downloaded 15,853 times
June 02, 2015 at 09:40 PM


Maud Adams as Photo Model
Leonard Frey as Harold
Cliff Gorman as Emory
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
864.69 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 58 min
P/S 3 / 11
1.84 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 58 min
P/S 0 / 9

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Prismark10 7 / 10


The Boys in the Band is an adaptation of a stage play by writer Mart Crowley. It was an intelligent but controversial drama of gay life in New York City with a group of thirty-something men who throw a birthday party for one of their friends.

The film version is directed by William Friedkin, who would go on to win a Best Director Oscar the following year for the hard boiled thriller, The French Connection and later get further acclaim for his film The Exorcist.

Michael (Kenneth Nelson) is Catholic, he drinks too much, acerbic but can also be witty as well as waspish is preparing the birthday party for his friend Harold. He is helped by Donald to prepare for the party. Micheal's old college friend, Alan rings him that he is in town and dropping by to see him. Alan is straight and at college, Micheal kept his gay identity latent and Alan is unaware that he is gay.

When the party gets going we see the different personalities. Emory is a stereotypical queen, Hank is married but is about to get divorced as he now lives with Larry, a fashion photographer. Bernard is the most amiable of the lot, a black bookshop clerk.

Once Alan drops in who is clearly uncomfortable with what he sees the drama steps up. He gets involved in a scuffle with Emory who ignores Micheal's instructions to tone it down. Alan has a rapport with Hank, who is outwardly the straightest, but then shocked to discover Hank is bisexual despite having kids.

Micheal realises that Alan has actually come to see him as he might be having issues with his sexual identity and creates a party game. As the game progresses, certain truths are laid bare but things do not turn out as Micheal envisages.

For a film that is nearly fifty years old, I was astonished to see how little the film has dated. Even the featured song, The Look of Love, fits well. Since 1970 there has been more liberalization of gay rights in the west, but still the drama feels very real, it is all about relationships and how people communicate with each other.

When Micheal recalls the stories about when he was younger and went to parties 'I was so drunk last night' that he could not remember that he might have had gay encounters, when in fact he really knew what he was doing. I am sure some in the audience might agree with him albeit reluctantly.

With Harold you see someone like Micheal who has religious issues, Harold being Jewish. Harold is also more preening, forever wanting to look young and popping various pills and he is the only one throughout the night who can respond in kind to Micheal if he so desires.

The one thing that ages the film although it is touched upon in the film with mention of Hepatitis, is of course AIDS which emerged in the 1980s. AIDs has had a devastating impact on the mainly gay cast, many of them who died relatively young.

This is a landmark film for queer cinema as it is an attempt to bring it into the mainstream and has a complex look at gay life.

Reviewed by Martin Bradley 8 / 10

You have to see it in an historical context.

Looking at "The Boys in the Band" today is a depressing experience and not because it's about a group of self-loathing homosexuals being very nasty to each other, (you do have to put it into an historical context), but because several members of the cast have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Of course, the film does present us with every gay stereotype there is and what once appeared liberating, now might seem offensive. On the plus side, it is superbly played, (by the original NY cast), which makes the loss of so many feel all the more tragic. It also has some of the best dialogue ever written for an American play. Viewed today it is a period piece and while you may find a lot of it hateful you have to bear in mind it was groundbreaking, coming as it did at a time when homosexuality was not as freely visible on screen as it is today.

Reviewed by lasttimeisaw 8 / 10

So much more than just a bellwether of queer cinema

A seminal off-Broadway-turned-feature-film revolves around a group of gay men in NYC from playwright Mart Crowley, THE BOYS IN THE BAND is indisputably a trailblazer of American queen cinema reckoning with its time, it is directed by the future Oscar-winning director William Friedkin. Also, extremely unusual for today's climate, the filmmakers recruit all the play's original cast, to reprise their roles in this film adaptation, despite that none of them are name actors, the truth is, it is a silver screen debut for most of them.

After a passing montage briefly introduces all of the nine characters before their ultimate convergence in the birthday party (on a trivial note, Friedkin's previous directorial work is called THE BIRTHDAY PARTY in 1968, based on a Harold Pinter play), the setting almost exclusively locates inside an Upper East Side apartment of our protagonist Michael (Nelson), who is throwing a party to celebrate his friend Harold's (Frey) 32-year-old b-day with close friends. Hours before the party, he receives a call from his college roommate Alan (White), who has just arrived in NYC from Georgetown and conspicuously emotionally disturbed, and wants to see him in person, triggered by what Alan intends to tell him (which the film slyly refuses to divulge), Michael invites him for a drink in his apartment, hopefully before other guests' arrival (oops, it is my remiss to not mention that Michael and all his invitees are gay), because Alan is straight, or is he? Maybe Michael has concealed an ulterior motive which needs a vent desperately.

One sure thing is that the trajectory of the story will meander beyond Michael's plan, guests are routinely arrived, save Harold, who favors a grand entrance just because the birthday boy must show up lastly to hog the spotlight, and it also buys him some time to burnish his bad facial conditions, after all, 32, is not a kind number to a barbed fairy like him. In Crowley's incisive concoction, each of the characters has his token correspondence with certain stereotype of gay men: Donald (Combs), a simpatico blue-collar type and Bernard (Greene), a sentimental black bookworm; Emory (Gorman), the quintessential effeminate queen and his birthday gift to Harold, Cowboy Tex (La Tourneaux), a simple-minded rough trade jock; then, a couple, Larry (Prentice), a libertine who cannot endorse monogamy and his boyfriend-cum-roommate, Hank (Luckinbill), a closeted married schoolteacher, who is undergoing a divorce, also we have the heterosexual intruder Allen and Harold, the haughty narcissist, finally, what about Michael? A recovering alcoholic with a Roman Catholic upbringing, who is afflicted by an inimical self-hatred of being what he is, which will soon ejaculate venom onto those near him when tensions mount after Alan gatecrashes their flamboyant party.

The first half of the movie mostly dwells in the patio, where an exuberant stream of ceaseless banters and rejoinders tellingly contrives a unique phenomenon among the kind, apparent viciousness is actually an ironic expression of affection among the suppressed culture, it is refreshingly honest to represent such a taunting scenario (particularly through Emory's unbearable campiness and Harold's overbearing diva-stance) to perversely edify viewers that why equality matters, since it is all about to tolerate another human being even he/she ostensibly grates your temperament to the core, to accept his/her difference no matter how unpleasant that makes you feel, this is the only key to respect ourselves as a civilized species and therefore, there is a future for us.

After a rambunctious kerfuffle between Emery and Alan, and a sudden downpour forces everyone retreat inside the apartment, which also inaugurate the second half, where Michael abetted by alcohol, proposes a cruel telephone game, to call someone you have been in love with and tell them on the phone if you dare. There is a significant change of tone with Michael becoming increasingly embittered and presumptuous, jovial laughter is ebbing away, conflicts and confrontations emerge and subsequently evolve into psychological torture: nerves fray, wounds are exposed, misunderstandings are elucidated and hopes are dashed, the most egregious part is Michael's wanton racist sniping aiming to the amiable Bernard, heavy-handed it may seem, it shows Friedkin and Crawley have no scruples about revealing the basest trait of our unwholesome nature to corroborate their standpoint, a stinging thing is that it is still a hot button today after 46 years, and the maddening truth is, none of these arguments and disputes have completely lost their relevance yet.

The ensemble does a commendable job (most of those gay actors would prematurely die of AIDS or AIDS related complications), Cliff Gorman is not gay in real life despite his Emory is incorrigible counter-heterosexual, an outstanding endeavor mixed with declamation and affectation. Leonard Frey, who would be granted an Oscar nomination one year later in Norman Jewison's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (1971), is a scene-stealer, his portrayal of Harold is something wondrous to witness, noticeably laps up in his sharp-tongued ripostes and snide commentaries, Harold is larger-than- life and also true-to-life on his own terms. Kenneth Nelson, too, is plum in his career-defining role, Michael is a much-layered mixed-bag of contradicting struggles, and under Friedkin's tutelage, he pledges for utter commitment and comes through as mortifyingly convincing and defiantly self- revealing. The rest of the cast member has their own stint of time to hold the attention, but in a less showier manner. In all fairness, THE BOYS IN THE BAND weathers quite well through the corrosion of time, and instead of being enshrined as a progenitor of films tackle with a tabooed issue, it tells more about one's true-self in its own dogged honesty on a par with other eminent works, such as Mike Nichols' WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (1966), that certainly gets a warranty for a much more diverse audience, if they are sentiently receptive enough.

Read more IMDb reviews


Be the first to leave a comment