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LGBTQ Films in the Ithaca College Library


The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) abandoned its production code and on November 1, 1968, establshed a rating system (originally G, M, R, and X). Coincidentally, six months later, the Stonewall Riot occured (June 28, 1969) Suddenly the topic of homosexuality was no longer taboo. However, with the exception of some breakthrough films and roles, the prevailing stereotypes and depictions of LGBT characters was slow to change. Hollywood filmmakers were much further behind than Europeans.

Die Bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant = Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972) DVD 3070
Claustrophobic lesbian melodrama. In German.
The Boys in the Band (1970) DVD 7884
Advocate #5. The first mainstream film in which all the maincharacters are gay.
Cabaret (1972) DVD 67
Advocate #4. "Willkommen!"
La Cage aux Folles (1978) DVD 8780
The lives of two gay men are turned upside down when one's son wants to get married. In French.
The Conformist = Il Conformista (1970) DVD 2915
Can fascism be linked to repressed homoerotic desire?
Death in Venice (1971) DVD 8441
Obsession of a composer for a boy.
Deliverance (1972) DVD 838
The male rape was presented as just another way those mountain men were degenerate.
Desperate Living (1977) DVD 5027
​A woman and her maid on the lam after a murder meet some kinky people. [packaged with another John Water's film, Polyester]
Dog Day Afternoon (1975) DVD 3801
Based on the true story of a gay bank robber.
Faustrecht der Freiheit = Fox and his friends (1975) DVD 679
The fortuntes and misadventures of a gay carnival worker. In German.
Grey Gardens (1975) DVD 2648
​According to the Advocate: "A haunting and wistful story, the film was dormant for years until 1992 when it suddenly caught fire with VHS copies circulating among gay men 'in the know.'"
Hair (1979) DVD 5189
The film version of the revolutionary musical reduced the sexuality of the original theater production that it was now left with only gay overtones. Still there is the song, "Sodomy."
Je, Tu, Il, Elle (1976) [in Chantal Akerman in the Seventies] DVD 6643
A jittery young woman discovers sex, food, and herself as she travels around France. In French.
Little Big Man (1970) DVD 3836
The "hee-man-eh" character showed gender variance as an accepted idea among Plains Indians.
El Lugar Sin Limites = Place Without Limits (1978) DVD 5975
Tribulations of a transvestite who lives in a brothel run by his daughter. In Spanish.
The Maids (1974) [in American Film Theatre collection] DVD 810
A tale of sado-masochistic sisters plotting murder more than strongly hints of incest.
Midnight Cowboy (1969) DVD 4221
Oscar winner. Originally received an X-rating for its unsubtle homo-erotic theme. Oddly missing from the Advocate's Top 175 list.
The Naked Civil Servant (1975) DVD 3638
​The story of a homosexual who lived flamboyantly, openly, and true to himself in an unwelcoming age.
The Night Porter (1974) DVD 10707
In this film about a sadomasochistic relationship between an former Nazi and former prisoner, there are strong undercurrents of sexual ambiguity and homoeroticism.
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) DVD 118
The mysterious disappearance of Australian schoolgirls is ripe with ambiguity and lesbian subtext.
Pink Flamingos (1972) DVD 5024
Called a "truly gay film though it hasn't much to do with homosexuality."
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) DVD 214
Unabashed in its absurdcampiness and exploration of sexuality.
Satansbraten = Satan's brew (1976) DVD 3068
A frustrated writer's fortunes change when he takes a look at the "gay scene." In German.
Shaft (1971) DVD 4253
One of the few non-exploitive scenes in the whole film is Shaft's friendship with his friend,a gay bartender.
Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) DVD 463
Psychologically complex triangle among a straight woman, an gay man, and a young bisexual artist.
Symbiopsychotaxiplasm (1971) DVD 105
In this daring experimental film about filmmaking, the film within the film within the filmexplores forbidden topics of abortion and homosexuality.
Una Lucertola con la Pelle di Donna = A Lizard in a Woman's Skin (1971) DVD 2249
Did a girl's psychedelic nightmares drenched in lesbian sex lead to murder?

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Abby Juda