The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies
Praised by the Chicago Tribune as "an impressive study" and written with incisive wit and searing perceptionthe definitive, highly acclaimed landmark work on the portrayal of homosexuality in film....more
Russo's is an impeccably argued tract. I can't imagine a better thought-out analysis of the predicament of gays and lesbians and their presentation in film in the pre- and immediate post-Stonewall era of the cinema. He zeroes in on the wider attitudes of society, nails the nature of the mixed messages in films with overt or coded gay content, even in films that were supposedly relatively enlightened. This book proves a film study can be written with a popular clarity and ...more
A groundbreaking revelation when it came out almost 30 years ago, this book, as revised by its author in 1987, is very dated; and it's never been my idea of a prose paradigm.
I admit I was going down the primrose path of nostalgia when I decided to read this revised edition. I'd read the first edition as an eager young slut-about-town, yearning to impress the Older Men (25! 30! Oh, those old roues!) I was seducing in job lots with my encyclopedic knowledge of their old-fashioned ...more
*also the 1995 documentary The Celluloid Closet by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman is a co ...more
First and foremost, the research that went into this book is excellent. Russo describes the development of gay characters in motion pictures from the silent movies and the early talkies until the mid 1980s.
The best part is the one about the early days up to the 1950s (or what Russo calls the stereotyp of the "sissy"). It's very detailed and features a very good analysis ...more
Now I know the history of homosexuality in cinema and I highlighted many movies in this book that are worth to check out. To movie lovers, especially old movie and who interested in the th ...more
This is a very readable and eye-opening, exhaustive overview of the way gay characters have been portrayed in movies, from the beginning of cinema until the mid-eighties, when this was written and revised. It covers a LOT of ground, and only occasionally dips into what I found to be over-reacting. But I don't want to focus on that, as I agreed with 99% of what Russo says here. It r ...more
There was an entire language of (almost entirely male) homosexuality throughout the various movements of the cinema, building on (and never questioning) stereotypes of gay men as effeminate, incomplete, and broken. It didn't just affect depictions of gay men, either; the threat of homosexuality was omnipresent, requiring that clo ...more