The film "Brokeback Mountain" was famous for bringing the love shared between men to the big screen, but there are several others that also deserve to be on the list of the ten best gay films. All of these movies have helped to bring the lives and struggles of gay men into the open.
- "Brokeback Mountain" – This film is one of most famous gay movies of all time, due in large part to the fact that it starred two big-name Hollywood actors. However, what truly sets it apart, and why it ranks number one in this list, is that it helped bring same-sex love to the mainstream. What's more, it did so in a sensitive way, showing the struggles that gay men often face in mainstream society.
- "Latter Days" – "Latter Days" also carries a powerful emotional and social message. It tells the story of a gay playboy who inadvertently falls in love with a closeted Mormon. Although the film has a happy ending, it's not an easy road, and the film does an excellent job of showing the negative impact homophobic religious dogma can have on gay people.
- "The Trip" – This is definitely one of the most tender gay movies. It tells the story of a conservative young man who, led by his more free loving friend (and later boyfriend,) comes to embrace his gay identity and takes part in the cause. Be warned, however, that it has one of the less happy endings , which only adds to the tenderness.
- "A Beautiful Thing" – Produced in Britain, this film doesn't have quite the following of some of the others on this list, but it is a must-see, nevertheless. The plot revolves around two teenage boys in a lower-class English neighborhood and their flowering love for one another. The dance scene at the end is one of the classiest and most poignant moments in gay cinema.
- "The Wedding Banquet" – Directed by Ang Lee, this earlier work is the story of a Taiwanese immigrant living in America with his partner. When his parents visit from Taiwan, all sorts of things, both good and bad, happen. It's a touching story of family relations and cultural exchange and the ending, while not entirely happy, still leaves room for hope.
- "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" – This comedy features the hijinks of a group of drag queens (and one male to female transgendered person,) as they make their way through the outback. What really sets it apart is the cast, which includes Terence Stamp, Guy Pearce and Hugo Weaving, who all took a risk that paid off.
- "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" – This definitely a classic, in many senses of the word. Produced when homosexuality could still not be openly stated or discussed in film, the film's protagonist (played by none other than Paul Newman,) nevertheless conveys the sense that he hasn't recovered from his friend's (and probably lover's) death and that's why he can't have sex with his wife (played by Elizabeth Taylor.)
- "The Birdcage" – This is an extremely funny movie, largely because it has the king of comedy himself (Robin Williams,) and the equally hilarious and campy Nathan Lane. The two star as partners living in Florida who have to change their way of life to impress the family of their son's fiancee. With lots of drag and funny gags, this is sure to have you in stitches.
- "Nowhere" – For a darker turn, be sure to watch this somber film from independent film director Gregg Araki, which depicts the tortured lives of late 1990s teen life. It features a number of actors and actresses who would later go on to achieve substantial fame, including Christina Applegate. Be warned, however, that this film is not for the faint of heart, and you'll definitely have a very different idea of teen angst after watching it.
- "Maurice" – This film, based on a novel, tells the story of an early twentieth century man as he struggles with the mores of Edwardian England and his own sexuality. It is a deeply touching tale, especially given that it actually has a happy ending, something that doesn't always happen in gay movies. It is just a great movie in and of its own right, due to the nuanced acting and the excellent script.
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