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The Celluloid Closet takes a thought-provoking look at the decades of omission and misrepresentation endured by the gay community in mainstream cinema. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

This documentary highlights the historical contexts that gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders have occupied in cinema history, and shows the evolution of the entertainment industry's role in shaping perceptions of LGBT figures. The issues addressed include secrecy -- which initially defined homosexuality -- as well as the demonization of the homosexual community with the advent of AIDS, and finally the shift toward acceptance and positivity in the modern era.

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Critic Reviews for The Celluloid Closet

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (1)

  • Lively and absorbing.

    May 28, 2020 | Full Review…
  • "The Celluloid Closet" goes all the way back to the birth of cinema, to an experimental Thomas Edison short of two men dancing, to trace the odd, funny, sad and disgraceful history of homosexual iconography on film.

    May 28, 2020 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • An immensely entertaining, galloping reflection on screen perceptions of lesbians and gay men, from the humorous to the heinous to the heartening.

    March 26, 2009 | Full Review…
  • A witty, touching study of Hollywood's (mostly on screen) treatment of homosexuality.

    June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
  • Quote not available.

    June 19, 2003 | Rating: 4/5
  • Celebrity interviewees and glossy graphics further turn this into a colorful overview with the popular appeal of a "That's Entertainment!" and with an even more interestingly gay agenda than the history of Hollywood musical comedy.

    May 20, 2003 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Celluloid Closet

  • May 21, 2013
    A decent historical reflection, if not somewhat self-indulgent.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 31, 2011
    Documentary about the presence (or lack thereof) of gay men & women in Hollywood film, starting with the silent era all the way through to Tom Hanks kissing Antonio Banderas. Interesting.
    Lesley N Super Reviewer
  • Aug 28, 2009
    A great documentary! Incredibly interesting look at homosexuality in film from silent pictures up to 1995, when this was made. I'd like to see this documentary updated to include the past 10 years, it would be interesting to see if/how perceptions have changed. It's really funny to realize how prudish Hollywood is compared to the rest of the world.
    Laura C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 23, 2009
    "It's amazing how, if you're a gay audience and you're accustomed to crumbs, how you will watch an entire movie just to see someone wear an outfit that you think means that they are a homosexual. The whole movie may be a dud but you are just sitting there waiting for Joan Crawford to put on her black cowboy shirt again." -Susie Bright An interesting documentary that enabled me to view some of my favorite films from a different perspective.
    Randy T Super Reviewer

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