Friday, February 1, 2008

Lost "Boys" - finally coming to DVD


Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band will (finally) be released on DVD in May 2008!

Written for the stage before Stonewall and produced for film while the riots happened, this film was one of the first to include a nearly entirely gay ensemble. Considered by many to be a landmark in gay representation in cinema, it has left many confused as to why it took so long to be released on DVD.

Historically and politically significant despite (or because of) the pervading self-loathing and wallowing self-pity of its gay characters, The Boys in the Band is a stage-bound, hyperventilating comedy-drama about eight friends who get together for a simple birthday party. What ensues during the course of the evening are enough emotion, acid-laced barbs and self-analysis to last a lifetime.

The film starred the entire original stage cast, many of which have since died of AIDS related illnesses.

Here is the roll-call:

Peter White (alan) He is still working in features (Flubber, Armeggedon) & TV.

Larry Luckinbill (hank) married Desilu heiress Lucy Arnaz. He still acts, as recently as 2003 on Broadway in Cabaret as tragic "Herr Shultz".

Kenneth Nelson (michael) 1930-1993
He died of AIDS in London, but worked in films thru 1990.

Leonard Frey (harold) 1938-1988
He got an Oscar nom for Fiddler on the Roof role - died of AIDS in NYC - worked in tv and films thru 1987.

Cliff Gorman (emory) 1936-2002
He died of leukemia in NYC (worked thru 1999 in films & TV).

Frederick Combs (donald) 1935-1992
He died in LA of AIDS (worked in tv/theatre).

Keith Prentice (larry) 1940-1992
He died of cancer in Ohio (acted in Mary Martin's The Sound of Music on Broadway -- and in 1980's Cruising).

Robert La Tournex (cowboy)
He died of AIDS in 1986.

***

"What I am, Michael, is a 32-year-old, ugly, pock-marked, Jew fairy. And if it takes me a while to pull myself together and if I smoke a little grass before I can get up the nerve to show this face to the world, it's nobody's goddamn business but my own."

-Harold, on explaining his lateness to his own birthday party

2 comments:

Vincent-louis said...

I have to say... I hate this film. I know it was ground breaking at the time, but even at the time I found it's self loathing characters intolerable. Still, it is a film that needs to be out there, seen and discussed... finally people can do that!

*Mark* said...

I like wit and barbs and vibe of act 1 --
tho I admit, the act 2 telephone 'truth or dare'-type soul crushing game never hooked me.