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Gay Sex in the 70s (2005)



Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.



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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 1,021

My Rating

Movie Info

In 1969, the Stonewall riots in New York City sounded the opening bell of the Gay Pride movement in America, and for many gay men it offered an opportunity to come out of the closet and live their lives in the open for the first time. As the gay community sought to define itself, it's not surprising that sex, once furtive and approached with no small amount of fear and shame, suddenly became openly and publicly celebrated and sought after, and in a handful of American cities, the gay scene

Jun 6, 2006

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All Critics (29) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (8) | DVD (4)

... lacks the authority of such gay documentary classics as "Word Is Out" and "Before Stonewall," which were far more inclusive.

March 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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An engrossing piece of social history, a lively, astonishingly well-documented excavation of that period between June 1969 and June 1981 when gay men in New York experienced a bacchanalian burst of sexual liberation.

March 2, 2006 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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The faces of that movement are what sell this story -- with enthusiasm, not regret.

February 17, 2006 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
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Despite the retrospective sensationalism, Lovett's 70-minute documentary is a sobering anti-erotic cautionary tale.

February 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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... Lovett's tribute to a bygone era feels like it might resonate deeper if context and character overpowered story upon story of sexual excess.

January 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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Lovett's nostalgic paean to the erotic utopia of his youth.

December 6, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Gay Sex in the '70s is technically erratic and far from definitive. Full of fascinating stories and fleshed out with evocative archival footage, it's also a loving portrait of a semi-forgotten New York.

July 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

The pure filmmaking lets the people tell their stories with honesty and insight.

July 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

This is an immersive documentary, evoking the period, and arguing the case that although the unbridled hedonism did bring dangers and problems with it, there was also something of a idyllic euphoria experienced by those in this first wave of gay freedom.

July 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

New York in the 1970s seems like an arena of nonstop gratification, but one that can only be understood in the context of the repression and fear that had gone before. It seems as distant as the 1890s.

July 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Guardian

Shows us the faces of some of the gay activists involved with that free love party scene who survived.

July 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

An unapologetic and accurate snapshot.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

creating much more nostalgia than substance

June 2, 2006 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

The only clear message is of aging men enjoying a nostalgia trip... and thumbing their noses at the younger gay men who missed the party.

March 24, 2006
Salt Lake Tribune

There is, however, little socio-political insight into the Dionysian revolution depicted here; the film seems to serve more as a nostalgia piece than anything.

March 18, 2006 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

It's not exactly clear what the message is for the gay community of today, except to say, 'Those days were fun while they lasted and sorry you weren't around to experience it.'

March 17, 2006 Full Review Source:

It's a worthwhile documentary on a worthy subject, one that is pursued painstakingly by director Joseph F. Lovett.

February 2, 2006
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Gay Sex in the 70s is a blast.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for Gay Sex in the 70s

I'm biased towards this doc, as it is the only film I've screened in weeks (and I average 5 movies per day) during which I did not briefly think or seriously consider "Yeah, I'll watch the rest of this later. Right now, I'm puttin on a porn and wanking instead". This doc had all the eye candy I needed to keep my complete mental attention, but that said, it is also an honest and illuminating examination of gay cruising scenes in the 70s up until the AIDS crisis. This is mostly a compilation of various interviews, and I can't recall any annoying overdone narration. This is an important document not just for gay men, but also anyone in human sexuality studies. And great asses abound ;D
February 29, 2008

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