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Added by Mr. Saturn on 2 Feb 2012 02:34
6218 Views 7 Comments
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GLBT Cinema and Television

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Decade: Rating: List Type:
People who added this item 1305 Average listal rating (812 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 8.5
City Lights (1931)

Possible gay subtext. The millionaire is a closeted gay person. After the tramp stopped him from committing suicide while he's drunk, they ate dinner and when he sobered up he said, "I'm out to everybody!, " and when he got drunk again he started kissing the Tramp.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 393 Average listal rating (206 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 7.8
L'Atalante (1934)

...I was struck by what seemed to be the film’s bisexuality — not a bisexual program of any sort, but a treatment of the characters’ sexuality that goes beyond the usual heterosexual norms and definitions... - Jonathan Rosenbaum
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1900 Average listal rating (1242 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.2
Two struggling musicians witness a mafia killing and go incognito in an all girl band.

I recommend watching The Apartment, Billy Wilder's equally great masterpiece afterwards.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1544 Average listal rating (928 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.3

The film is ambiguous about Lawrence's sexuality.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1372 Average listal rating (769 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.1
Persona (1966)

The film has homoerotic themes, but one of the actors said that they discussed it and decided the characters weren't lesbians. Even if the actors didn't approach the characters as LGBT characters, that doesn't mean they're not LGBT.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1123 Average listal rating (632 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 9.3
The Wire (2002)
A few of The Wire's supporting characters are gay or lesbian.
Omar :

Dep. Comm. for Operations William A. Rawls : He's seen in plain clothes in a gay bar, but the show never addresses his personal life.

Det. Shakima 'Kima' Greggs :
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1756 Average listal rating (1135 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.7
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 626 Average listal rating (361 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.1
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1821 Average listal rating (1312 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.7
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 3304 Average listal rating (2214 ratings) 8.9 IMDB Rating 9.3
Game of Thrones only has a couple gay supporting characters, Prince Renly Baratheon and his page and lover Loras Tyrell.

The third season will have a bisexual character named the Red Viper.
Major spoilers Renly dies in season 2 and the Red Viper doesn't live for long. The show isn't worth watching for these supporting characters alone. It's worth watching because GOT is a fantastic medieval fantasy.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1696 Average listal rating (1101 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 866 Average listal rating (532 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8

In the 1980s, Nestor Almendros, the exiled Cuban cinematographer, wrote: "Potemkin has been considered a revolutionary film not only because of its subject, but also for its treatment and because it departed in its structure from conventional bourgeois drama – the eternal love affair between a man and a woman.
"Its absence from Potemkin was attributed solely to Eisenstein’s pristine concentration on the social forces governing society according to Marx. Yet there is evidence to support another hypothesis. The absence of a conventional love affair (as in all Eisenstein’s work) could result from the fact that there was very little space for women in his world. Sexuality as an added theme would only cloud the main issues. The trouble is that Potemkin is not asexual but very sexual – homoerotic. From its very beginning, with the sailors' dormitory prologue, we see an 'all-male cast' resting shirtless in their hammocks. The camera lingers on the rough, splendidly built men, in a series of shots that anticipate the sensuality of Mapplethorpe, and at the great moment when the cannons are raised to fire, a sort of visual ballet of multiple slow and pulsating erections can easily be discerned." (source)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 83 Average listal rating (28 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.4

If you grew up feeling isolated because of your sexuality, you should definitely see this film.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 407 Average listal rating (224 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.3

At a very subtle level, the love between the brothers seems almost sexual, as in a late scene where Simone confesses to Rocco and Rocco fights with Ciro and vows to defend him. These feelings are well-concealed by the film, but they are there. - Roger Ebert


Homoerotic themes. The two brothers arguably have sexual tension. In one scene Rocco tells Simone to wait so they can shower together. The most telling scene is when they embrace on a bed after Simone admits to murdering a woman and he says, "Are you happy now champ? Isn't that what you wanted?" When Simone kills his gilfriend that might be metaphorical.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 111 Average listal rating (41 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.6

In a couple parts, the main character has a homoerotic relationship with another man and the film subtly references their past encounters. The director, identified as gay but 'needed woman' and was married to women.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 3170 Average listal rating (1950 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.9

Mullholand Dr. was influenced by Persona.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 2702 Average listal rating (1550 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8
Ed Wood (1994)
An excellent film about the man whose magnum opus is considered the worst movie of all time. Recommended even if you dislike Tim Burton's movies.
I thought he was a great filmmaker... He did things, you know, like tight shots on ears and stuff like that... in the early 50's people laughed at and in the early 80's David Lynch did them and people applauded him. - Johnny Depp


Plan 9 from Outer Space is public domain so it's available on Archive; I recommend the RiffTrax commentary (these guys were on the series MST3K)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1659 Average listal rating (1143 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1

Gustave H is bisexual.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 792 Average listal rating (446 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.8
Jules and Jim (1962)

With JULES AND JIM, Truffaut broke almost every rule on how to make a movie how it looked, sounded, was acted, edited, photographed, scored, and especially for me, how it was scripted. Though not often discussed as a gay love story, it has one – not an especially bold one, but then the French can be rather joyously naive about certain things, and sex is one of them. - Larry Kramer

I remember being slightly disappointed with the seeming lack of even coded bisexuality, but the film was wonderful.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1300 Average listal rating (773 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.1
Mary and Max (2009)

Mary is the gay character, even though she’s not actually gay. She’s me, she’s all gay people -” I mean, I called her Mary for a reason! It really is a very gay film-¦ it’s about people who are marginalised and different...
I’ve realised that I’m actually an angry writer. It’s all about injustice. I don’t like seeing people persecuted or sidelined.
There’s a line in the film where Max says not having Asperger’s would be -˜like changing the colour of my eyes’, which is a common gay expression. My sexuality is so ingrained in me, it’s hardwired into me - Adam Elliot
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1065 Average listal rating (734 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.5

I believe Shinji is bisexual.

Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 294 Average listal rating (166 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.8
A movie in which Welles can’t resist showing off the beauty and sexiness of his mistress at a time when he’s still married seems downright brazen, especially in contrast to the tact he shows in alluding to de Hory’s homosexuality - Jonathan Rosenbaum

Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 101 Average listal rating (51 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.5
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1096 Average listal rating (679 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8

Gay subtext.
Bruno (left) is gay.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1842 Average listal rating (1230 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 9
Firefly (2002)
Inara is bisexual, but that's only a small part of the show.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1146 Average listal rating (763 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8
Rope (1948)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 440 Average listal rating (238 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.2
Al Pacino and Meryl Streep gave amazing performances, but their characters don't overshadow the other characters one bit.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 207 Average listal rating (118 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 8.1
Queer as Folk (1999)
Much funnier and effervescent than the US adaptation; created by Russell T Davies, who worked on the 2005 revival of Doctor Who and the spin-off Torchwood.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 63 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 8.1
Episode #2.1 (2000)
The finale is incredible. The series ending is more powerful than the US series ending because of the unexpected quick shift in tone. Stuart confronts bigots in a way one wishes one could in real life.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1198 Average listal rating (761 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8
Peter Lorre's supporting character handles his cane flirtatiously when he talks to Bogart's character.

I recommend watching M if you like film noir and Peter Lorre's acting.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 262 Average listal rating (138 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.8

In Esquire magazine, Dwight Macdonald was disturbed by Ivan the Terrible, the director’s final masterpiece. "Eisenstein’s homosexuality now has free play… There are an extraordinary number of young, febrile and – there’s no other word – pretty males, whose medieval bobbed hair makes them look startlingly like girls. Ivan has a favourite, a flirtatious, bold-eyed police agent, and many excuses are found for having Ivan put his hands on the handsome young face… There are two open homosexuals in the film, both villains. The minor one is the King of Poland, who is shown in his effete court camping around in a fantastically huge ruff… the major one is the very odd character of Vladimir… It is too much to speculate that Eisenstein identified himself with the homosexual Vladimir, the helpless victim of palace intrigues who just wanted to live in peace (read: to make his films in peace…)" (source)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 171 Average listal rating (94 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.9
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 116 Average listal rating (58 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.3
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 341 Average listal rating (174 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.7

I believe the theory the protagonist is a gay character, but that's an interpretation not everyone believes.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 176 Average listal rating (89 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.9
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People who added this item 80 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 6.7
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People who added this item 1025 Average listal rating (550 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 2794 Average listal rating (1654 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8
Magnolia (1999)
Donnie Smith, one of the main characters, is gay.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1405 Average listal rating (830 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.8
A grieving mother contacts her deceased son's father Lola about the son he never knew existed. The father is a minor character.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 4339 Average listal rating (2769 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 185 Average listal rating (142 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.3
Homoerotic humor.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1429 Average listal rating (858 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.7
It is clear now but may have been less visible in 1955 that Plato is gay and has a crush on Jim; at the planetarium, he touches his shoulder caressingly. After Buzz dies when his car hurtles over the cliff, the students all seem curiously -- well, composed. Jim gives Plato a lift home and Plato asks him, "Hey, you want to come home with me? I mean, there's nobody home at my house, and heck, I'm not tired. Are you?" But Jim glances in the direction of Judy's house, and then so does Plato, ruefully. - Roger Ebert

James Dean never made a statement about his sexual orientation. He was probably bisexual. Sal Mineo, who played Plato, was gay.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 187 Average listal rating (96 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.4

A homoerotic film that influenced New Queer Cinema.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 2002 Average listal rating (1172 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.5
Milk (2009)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1319 Average listal rating (717 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.6
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 710 Average listal rating (409 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.8
Cabaret (1972)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1280 Average listal rating (725 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.4
Bad Education (2004)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 239 Average listal rating (98 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.8
The Coen Brothers made a short film called World Cinema about a gay man at an art house movie theater.
People who added this item 2526 Average listal rating (1574 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.4
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 8.1

The creator of Ren & Stimpy made a homoerotic joke in his adult party cartoon, but he said it's their business if they were gay or not.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
Load more items (114 more in this list)

Mostly films and shows about GLBT characters, or at least one main GLBT character. I'll mention if the show's GLBT character(s) are only supporting characters with a small part * or imply if the film's a gay-interest film. I made a list with gay directors . I included some films with homoerotic subtext.


Recommendations are welcome.


Notes to self - I read a theory that Days of Youth by Ozu has homoerotic undertones. I might include Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, and Farewell My Concubine once I see them.

I didn't include Double Indemnity, which had an arguably gay supporting character.

Sonatine had a great gay subplot.
Bride of Frankenstein is camp and has gay undertones.

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