Picks and Pans Review: The Celluloid Closet
Hollywood, that great maker of myths, showed straight people what to think about gay people and gay people what to think about themselves," says Lily Tomlin, the narrator and co-executive producer of this entertaining and eye-opening documentary on homosexual images in the movies. Based on Vito Russo's 1981 book of the same title and using a century's worth of film clips, it traces Hollywood's coded portrayals of the homosexual and the subtexts perceived by gay viewers. Actors, writers and directors, including Shirley MacLaine, Susan Sarandon and Tom Hanks, provide shrewd commentary. After seeing this, Doris Day singing "Secret Love" while cross-dressed in buckskins in Calamity Jane will never be the same.