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Added by Mr. Saturn on 2 Feb 2012 02:34
6340 Views 7 Comments
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GLBT Cinema and Television

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Decade: Rating: List Type:
People who added this item 1313 Average listal rating (822 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 394 Average listal rating (210 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 1920 Average listal rating (1258 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 1572 Average listal rating (946 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.3

The film is ambiguous about Lawrence's sexuality.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1386 Average listal rating (776 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 1137 Average listal rating (639 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 1765 Average listal rating (1140 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.7
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 668 Average listal rating (393 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.1
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1830 Average listal rating (1317 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.7
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 3355 Average listal rating (2259 ratings) 8.8 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 1703 Average listal rating (1107 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 876 Average listal rating (538 ratings) 8.1 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 84 Average listal rating (29 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 411 Average listal rating (228 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 3195 Average listal rating (1963 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.9

Mullholand Dr. was influenced by Persona.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 2713 Average listal rating (1560 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 1688 Average listal rating (1157 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1

Gustave H is bisexual.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 795 Average listal rating (448 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 1317 Average listal rating (788 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 1125 Average listal rating (788 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.5

I believe Shinji is bisexual.

Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 299 Average listal rating (170 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.8
F for Fake (1973)
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 102 Average listal rating (51 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.5
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1102 Average listal rating (682 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8

Gay subtext.
Bruno (left) is gay.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1851 Average listal rating (1236 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 1160 Average listal rating (774 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8
Rope (1948)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 439 Average listal rating (237 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 (116 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 8.2
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 62 Average listal rating (35 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 1210 Average listal rating (772 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 263 Average listal rating (139 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 172 Average listal rating (95 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.9
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 115 Average listal rating (57 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.3
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 345 Average listal rating (177 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 178 Average listal rating (90 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.9
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 79 Average listal rating (35 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 6.7
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Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 2805 Average listal rating (1657 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 1409 Average listal rating (833 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.9
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 4360 Average listal rating (2781 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 190 Average listal rating (145 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.3
Homoerotic humor.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1437 Average listal rating (861 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 188 Average listal rating (98 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.4

A homoerotic film that influenced New Queer Cinema.
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 2003 Average listal rating (1174 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.5
Milk (2009)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1328 Average listal rating (722 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.6
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 711 Average listal rating (412 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.8
Cabaret (1972)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 1282 Average listal rating (724 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.4
Bad Education (2004)
Mr. Saturn's rating:
People who added this item 238 Average listal rating (97 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 2535 Average listal rating (1580 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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