‘The Boys in the Band has gone through backlashes and re-evaluations, but its truthfulness remains, not as a coming-out drama but as a keyhole into the lives of already-confident outsiders’
‘Whatever a person’s opinion of the play’s accuracy, William Friedkin’s 1970 film adaptation remains gripping’
The AV Club
‘A savage comedic drama’
Groundbreaking queer cinema classic The Boys In The Band was one of director William Friedkin’s earliest works, and a hugely controversial film on its original 1970 release, dividing the gay community in the US and beyond. Now, years after it became notable not just for featuring an all-gay cast but as being the first mainstream movie to use the C word, making its UK Blu-ray debut courtesy of Second Sight.
Based on the seminal Broadway hit of the same name, playwright Mart Crowley adapted his own play for the big screen, creating a script full of acerbic speeches and cutting one liners for his cast of unforgettable characters. The original stage cast including Kenneth Nelson, Peter White and Leonard Frey all starred in the film, one that Friedkin rates as “one of the few films I’ve made that I can still watch”.
Famed for its caustic wit, savage putdowns and many expletives, the film follows a group of gay men celebrating one of their friend’s birthdays, amid much drunken backbiting and, as the drink flows, the evening descends even further…
The Boys in the Band Special Edition Blu-ray arrives on January 21st 2019 complete with a raft of extras, including a commentary from William Friedkin and writer Mart Crowley, as well as features looking at the film, the play it was based on and its cultural impact and resonance in the years since it first caused controversy.
Released 50 years after its Broadway debut – a year before the Stonewall riots – The Boys in the Band still has the power to shock.