The Celluloid Closet (1989)

  • Telling Pictures
  • 1h 47m
  • USA

Join Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman for a free talk on Oct. 24 at 6pm ET. Register here.

Adapted from Vito Russo’s seminal 1981 book The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies, Epstein and Friedman’s third collaboration is one of their most celebrated: a vivid, incisive documentary that examines the history of Hollywood’s approaches and attitudes toward the onscreen depiction of queer characters. By way of a lively, wry narration—written by Armistead Maupin, delivered in voiceover by Lily Tomlin, and set against interviews with the likes of Richard Dyer, Gore Vidal, and Shirley MacLaine, as well as a wealth of excerpts from familiar films— The Celluloid Closet makes the case that since the dawn of cinema, LGBTQ+ representation in American film has engaged in active dialogue with social history. A Sony Pictures Classics release.


Rob Epstein


Jeffrey Friedman



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