12 classic LGBTQ + movies you shouldn’t miss

As queer visibility increases, LGBTQ + movies created by writers, directors and actors in the community are becoming increasingly mainstream. While many of these contemporary films are necessary and continue to portray aspects of modern queer life, it is important to recognize that queerness on screen has existed throughout the history of film. With this in mind, we’ve put together 12 LGBTQ + movies from 1990 and earlier that you must watch that deserve a place on your list to watch overdrinking during Pride season and beyond.

This classic in German (English translation: Girls in uniform) plays Hertha Thiele as a motherless teenager named Manuela who was sent to boarding school for all girls. He soon falls in love with his young teacher Elizabeth von Bernburg (Dorothea Wieck) and the two share the first real lesbian kiss on the screen. The film is almost banned in the US received support no one else than him Eleanor Rooseveltwhich resulted in its limited American edition in 1932.

Download it: YouTube

Dirk Bogarde starred in this important film, which focused on the real debate around the British laws against sodomywhich are abolished just a few years after the film came out. (Many even admit it The victim with helps build momentum to repeal the law.) Bogarde is played by Melville Farr, a lawyer from London in the early 1960s. On the surface, his career and personal life reflect success – he has a wife (Sylvia Syms) and a successful law firm. But as it happens, Farr did gay and closed at a time when sexual activity between men was against the law. When he is threatened with blackmail, his whole world is in danger. However, instead of giving in, he chooses to fight.

Rent it: Amazon


Directed by Radley Metzger, who was known for his artistic interpretations of erotic material, Therese and Isabelle is based on censored French novel from 1966 of the same name Violette Leduc. The story revolves around two adolescent girls – Essy Persson as Therese and Anna Gaël as Isabelle – who become lovers at a boarding school in Switzerland. Celebrated as a turning point in sexual honesty, he describes the film then taboo scenes lesbian love, premarital sex and masturbation.

Download it: Internet Archive

Based game by Mart Crowley, The boys in the band at the center is a gay birthday party in New York in the late ’60s. The host, Michael (Kenneth Nelson), is surprisingly approached by an old straight friend, Alan (Peter White), who turns upside down all evening. After the acclaimed revival of Broadway 2018, theater director Joe Mantello and producer Ryan Murphy have teamed up on remake with a fully queer cast, including Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto and Andrew Rannells, who debuted on Netflix 2020.

Rent it: Amazon

This cult musical, directed Bob Fosse and acting Lisa Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Gray, you have to look. In the early 1930s in Berlin, American cabaret singer Sally Bowles (Minnelli) met British academic Brian Roberts (York). The two become lovers despite Brian’s confusion about his sexual orientation – but a wealthy German playboy, Maximilian von Heune (Helmut Grimm), complicates matters. Their love triangle plays against proliferating Nazism and the disintegration of the Weimar Republic.

Rent it: Amazon

Victor / Victoria is a remake of a German film from 1933 and focuses on a woman named Victoria Grant (Julie Andrews), an unemployed British soprano looking for a job in Parisian nightclubs. While trying to have dinner and chase, he meets a gay cabaret performer named Todd (Robert Preston), who devises a plan to change their happiness. As her manager, Toddy announces Victoria as a female impersonator named Victor, which makes her “a woman who pretends to be a man who pretends to be a woman”. Nightclubs fall prey to their cunning, and Victor becomes a hit. Even the Chicago mobster (James Garner) falls in love with Victor, while he doubts (and hopes) that he really is her. Along with Andrews ’fantastic lead play, Blake Edwards’ gender-changing musical comedy is fun, witty and wildly entertaining.

Rent it: YouTube/Amazon

In 1959, Vivian, a professor of English at Columbia University (Helen Shaver), went to Reno to divorce her husband. There he has a tumultuous affair with a younger woman named Cay (Patricia Charbonneau) – but this is more than just a comeback story. Director Donna Deitch’s film is intensely erotic, emotional, romantic tour-de-force that was it revolutionary at the time because of his candid portrayal of lesbian sexual awakening and happy ending.

Rent it: Amazon

One of the first feature films o sidi, Parting Glances at the center is one day in the life of a gay couple, Robert (John Bolger) and Michael (Richard Ganoung), who live in New York City. As they prepare for Robert’s departure to relocate to Africa, Michael copes with the impending reality of long-distance relationships. Meanwhile, she also takes care of her HIV-positive best friend and ex-boyfriend Nick (Steve Buscemi). At Robert’s farewell party, emotions abound as men and their friends struggle with love, sex, friendship, illness, and forgiveness. Unfortunately, director Bill Sherwood had his life interrupted AIDS at 37 years old.

Download it: Canopy

Based on posthumously published EM Forster’s novelthis gorgeous Film adaptation of Merchant Ivory tells the story of an affair between two Cambridge students, Maurice (James Wilby) and Clive (Hugh Grant), and explores the complications of forbidden desire in Edwardian society.

Rent it: Amazon

According to its director, Marlon T. Riggs, this experimental documentary sought to “break the nation’s brutal silence on issues of sexual and racial differences.” It consists of interviews, spoken poetry, rap and performances, Tongues Untied explores the intersection of homophobia and racism in black and queer communities – a topic that still resonates today.

Download it: Canopy

Long before award-winning TV series like RuPaulova Drag Race i Posewas Paris is burning. This essential documentary follows the transgender and queer ball culture of the 1980s in New York City, with black and Latino performers. Watch and you will discover the origin pull slang terms like voguing i throwing shade.

Rent it: Apple TV +

During the 1980s, a group of friends faced the initial HIV / AIDS crisis in New York and Fire Island. After Willy (Campbell Scott) loses her friend, John (Dermot Mulroney), it becomes clear that the pandemic is ravaging the gay community. Willy, his boyfriend Fuzzy (Stephen Caffrey) and his adopted sister Lisa (Mary-Louise Parker) attend funerals and advocate for consciousness as they lose people they love – including David, played by Bruce Davison, who was Oscar nominee for his performance.

Buy: Amazon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.