The Cockettes (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Cockettes (2002)

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Critic Consensus: The Cockettes provides a colorful, eye-opening view of the counterculture 1960s.

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Movie Info

A chronicle of the rise and fall of the legendary San Francisco theatrical troupe, The Cockettes (1969-1972). As the psychedelic San Francisco of the '60's began evolving into the gay San Francisco of the '70's, The Cockettes, a flamboyant ensemble of hippies (women, gay men, and babies) decked themselves out in gender-bending drag and glitter for a series of legendary midnight musicals at the Palace Theater. The Cockettes were founded by "Hibiscus," a member of a commune that was dedicated to distributing free food and to creating free art and theater. The early shows were mostly non-narrative revues, with everybody making their own costumes, and creative spontaneity reigning supreme. But with "Pearls Over Shanghai" the Cockettes produced their first show with all-original script, music and lyrics. Combining grand spectacle with the awkwardness of a high school operetta, The Cockettes thrilled audiences as much with their unpredictability as with their triumphs.

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Critic Reviews for The Cockettes

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (14)

Cockettes has the glorious, gaudy benefit of much stock footage of Those Days, featuring all manner of drag queen, bearded lady and lactating hippie.

September 6, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

As Weber and Weissman demonstrate with such insight and celebratory verve, the Cockettes weren't as much about gender, sexual preference or political agitprop as they were simply a triumph of the indomitable human will to rebel, connect and create.

September 6, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

An insightfully cheeky entertainment.

August 21, 2002
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

This expert, heartfelt movie establishes them as being as much a part of swingin' San Francisco as the Grateful Dead or the Beats.

August 9, 2002 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Denver Post
Top Critic

Manages to transcend the sex, drugs and show-tunes plot into something far richer.

August 8, 2002 | Rating: 3.5/4
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

It celebrates the group's playful spark of nonconformity, glancing vividly back at what Hibiscus grandly called his 'angels of light.'

July 26, 2002 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Seattle Times
Top Critic

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