Eight gay men gather for a Manhattan birthday party and a heterosexual visitor from the host’s past turns up, only to add more game-playing therapy sessions and vicious bitchiness to the awkward proceedings.
This stagey version of Mart Crowley’s off-Broadway hit was the first and most famous Hollywood film on the subject of male homosexuality.
Director William Friedkin captures early glimmers of gay liberation while dealing with the self-hating, straight-acting and overly camp stereotypes of the era.
It’s all very dated and gives the impression that all gay men are miserable, tragic, venomous queens.
But some of the lines are still hilarious, and Leonard Frey’s performance as the Jewish birthday boy is a kitsch classic.
Robert La Tourneaux