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One of the most influential gay themed plays is, without a doubt, Mart Crowley’s The Boys in the Band, an Off-Broadway production that was made into a 1970 movie, also written by Crowley and directed by William Friedkin, becoming the first portrayal of gay men on film. The new documentary  Making the Boys is a in depth look at how the play was created and the controversy behind the film’s initial release.

Filmmaker Crayton Robey puts together recent interviews with the people behind the play and the movie, interspersed with clips of the widespread protesting that took place during the shooting of the film. Making the Band is currently making it’s way through the film festival circuit, recently having it’s world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. The movie will also see a limited release in March. It’s been getting some pretty good reviews so far.

I definitely can’t wait to see this documentary. The Boys in the Band has been widely criticized for perpetuating stereotypes and even being racist, but most critics recognize it as a major stepping stone for gay mainstream visibility in Hollywood and seeing the intimate details behind it’s inception, controversial release and the proceeding backlash, is a gay entertainment history lesson that’s too good to miss.

Here’s the trailer:

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