First Run Features // 2010 // 93 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // December 10th, 2011
The story behind The Boys In the Band.
When I first heard about the documentary Making the Boys I thought it sounded rather superfluous since the DVD extras on The Boys In the Band covered the film so well. But this new feature-length look at the play and the movie is wonderfully done because it goes so much deeper. We get a very strong sense of the life of its author, Mart Crowley, and an idea of the play's place in time and history. Included are many interviews and discussions from people like Crowley, famous playwright Edward Albee, columnist Dominick Dunne, film director William Friedkin, Angels in America author Tony Kushner, playwright Terrence McNally, and legendary film star Robert Wagner. Crowley gets the most time, naturally, but it's so cool to hear everybody else offer their take. On top of that there is a lot of examination of the gay rights movement and the history that revolved around the play including the Stonewall riots. The scope of the film goes wider than its subject to include everything around it.
The DVD is pretty straightforward. The transfer is tough to judge because much of the material is culled from home movies, old video, and on-set footage from both the play and film. It looks clear and colors are natural where they can be. Sound is pretty much centered on the front speakers, since it is mainly dialogue to be dealt with. Bonus features are mostly longer interviews and bits snipped from the feature film. There are also some interviews with the director and crew that produced the film.
Making the Boys is a great look at a monumental, iconic moment in gay history when theater came out of the closet. Mart Crowley's work boldly announced to the world that the queers were here, and it was time for audiences to get used to them. The play made it to celluloid a little too late, because Stonewall had happened to make it dated. This feature examines how the world around the play changed as it journeyed to become a film. It's a fascinating documentary that has a lot to say about plays, movies, and the gay community. This one is definitely worth a look for anybody who wonders about why The Boys In the Band is so important in gay history.
Guilty of being a great look at an iconic script that changed the world.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: First Run Features
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted Scenes
* Official Site