Thursday, April 08, 2010

The 18 best gay movies

Here's a list of the best gay movies I've seen. If you have advise on other great gay movies, give me a hint in the comments field!

(I'm using a broad definition of "gay movie". Maybe I should rather have called them "queer movies", but as I have very few lesbian movies included, that would have been even worse.)

1. A room with a view
The author was gay, the director was gay, one of the main actors was gay and the main theme of the movie is that you should grab love wherever you find it. Therefore I must be allowed to call this movie - which is my favorite movie regardless of genre - a gay movie...

2. Rebel without a cause
The socalled "friendship" between the characters of James Dean and Sal Mineo (who both were queer in real life) has always been interpreted in queer terms by a hungry gay audience. And it's a beautiful movie...

3. The Birdcage
A hysterically funny movie, even if the story is borrowed elsewhere.

4. Death in Venice
A very beautiful (although slow) movie with Mahler music in the background.

5. Beautiful Thing
A feel-good-movie which was released just when I needed it.

6. Summerstorm
A wonderful gay coming out-movie.

7. Shortbus
A film that does not deny itself anything - here are full-frontal sex and lots of other activities. Uncompromising and very good.

8. Transamerica
The relationship between a father/mother and son is beautifully portrayed.

9. Maurice
One of the classics of queer cinema - and with the love of my teenage years (Rupert Graves) in an important part.

10. Another Country
Another British gay classic.

11. Mannen som elsket Yngve
A good portrayal of adolesence in Norway in the 80s.

12. Lilies
Canadian art movie which is beautiful.

13. Patrik 1,5
Swedish adoption comedy. It is a good sign that we have moved beyond the stage where all queer movies were about coming out or about aids.

14. Hedwig and the angry inch
This musical is wild and crazy - and I'm growing more and more fond of the music.

15. Nowhere
I remember this music movie as quite nice.

16. Fucking Åmål
The Swedish youth movie that showed how life as a lesbian in a tiny Scandinavian town van be like.

17. Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss

18. Alt om min far
A good portrayal of Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad and his family.

Other good gay movies:
A Beautiful Mind
A Single Man
An Englishman in New York
Beautiful Boxer
Brokeback Mountain
Crustacés et coquillages
Der Bewegte Mann
Different for Girls
Eating Out
Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds
Edge of Seventeen
I Think I Do
Ich bin meine eigene Frau
In & Out
Juste une question d'amour
La Mala educación
Latter Days
Le Placard
My Own Private Idaho
Relax, It's Just Sex
Sex Life in L.A.
Sheng xia guang nian
The Dreamers
Three to Tango
Torch Song Trilogy
Touch of Pink

(I have only included movies that I thought were good, and skipped all the once I've seen but didn't like that much...)


  1. Anonymous21:14

    Hey good selection choice and some i dont know but will check and download

  2. Anonymous21:51

    To Wong Foo, Thanks for everything. Julie Numar. Best movie ever

  3. Anonymous20:03

    Have you ever seen Watercolors? The dialogue isn't that great, but it's really sad and touching.

  4. why do you say a beautiful mind is a gay movie ? i did not get the plot at all...
    i loved brokeback mountain and my own private idaho a lot.
    you should have dded dream boy and amnesia:james brighton enigma.. they are pretty good too !!!!

  5. Anonymous: Thanks, I'll add Watercolors to the list of movies I want to try to see...

    Amitra: This is an example of what I mean when I say that I use a "broad definition" of gay movie. I do not remember how pronounced the "gayness" is in the movie, but it was certainly a factor in the reception of the movie, with controversies in the media.

    Dream Boy and Amnesia: The James Brighton Enigma seem interesting.

  6. Anonymous10:40

    dude, Shelter (2007) is the best fucking movie in the world. WATCH IT

  7. Thanks, Anonymous. I'll put it on my "I should see this" list.

  8. Anonymous17:27


    I don't like any of these movies.

  9. You've seen all 18 of them? Well, then maybe we simply have different tastes in movies... :-)

  10. Anonymous04:16

    Edge of 17 was great. Latter Days also.

  11. i love shortbus, yea shelter should be here and save me :)

  12. Anonymous22:26

    add better than chocolate and torch song trilogy and also kinky boots :):) /sarah, sverige

  13. Thanks, mickeylimon and Anonymous.

    Torch song trilogy is already on the list of "Other good gay movies" which didn't make the top 18. Shelter, Save me, Kinky Boots and Better than chocolate are all on my "to see"-list...

  14. Anonymous12:40

    Would not put Rebel without a Cause in there as I do not think it is a "Gay Movie", good movie though. Has anyone seen " Staircase" with Rex Harrison and Richard Burton from 1969 ? I have tried and tried to find a link to watch this movie I last saw decades ago but can't find one, I guess I will have to buy the video. Very good movie for it's day worth watching for the acting of the satrs alone.

  15. Anonymous: I should clarify that I'm not really meaning that Rebel without a cause is a "gay movie". I see nothing wrong in watching the movie without having that interpretation in mind. However, I would like to say that watching it as a queer/gay movie does give it additional qualities that I appreciate.

    I have no information on Staircase, sadly. I hope you will find it somewhere.

  16. Anonymous15:57

    You should check out 'head on'

  17. Anonymous: thanks for the tip. I'll put it on my list of movies to see...

  18. Anonymous03:37

    Les chanson des l'amour(Love songs) is the most heartwarming movie without being pornagraphic. I wanna watch a gay movie wihout it being relegated to the same clinche scantilly dressed loud mouth queen seducing an inexperienced shy boy. I have watched Latter Days and believe me it's crap of the highest order. I loved watching Beautiful Thing and i still watch it to this day --- and you know my favorite character in that movie wasn't even gay it waws Leah then followed by Jamie, Ste and Sandra.

  19. Anonymous05:16

    Shelter is by far the best gay themed film I've ever seen.

  20. Anonymous17:19

    what the F? where the F is Shelter? and you listed 18 movies that call best? what a B.S!! :))
    dude seriously!! Shelter is one of the best movies ever!!

  21. "Anonymous": What I say is "Here's a list of the best gay movies I've seen." Please note the "I've seen" part...

    A list of the best gay movies I haven't seen would not be very helpful, would it? :-)

  22. Andrei B22:11

    One of the best movies I've ever seen is coincidentally gay-themed... "Un amour a taire" (English title: "A Love to Hide"). Very, very beautiful and very sad, it made me cry three times and is the only film that succeeded so far with me... I've never cried more than once while watching a drama flick... and it is really worth trying even if you're not into this genre. :)

  23. Andrei B22:47

    Of course, other gay-themed movies I love are: "L'Homme que j'aime" ("The Man I Love"), "Yossi & Jagger"... well, can't think of others right now...

    But here's a link that might be helpful. :)

  24. "Andrei B": Thanks for suggesting "Un amour a taire". I will look out for it.

    Thanks also for mentioning the AfterElton list - I have put all the movies there on my "to see"-list - although some of them are a bit difficult to find here in Norway, I guess. I will make a new posting with more movies when I've seen a few more gay movies.

  25. Anonymous18:38

    from where should i download Shelter (2007)????

  26. I don't know of any (legal) sites to download Shelter.

    I suppose the files at piratebay are illegal.

  27. Anonymous18:33

    I would include: Brideshead Revisited, As good as it gets, Prayers for Bobby and The history boys.

  28. Thanks, Anonymous.

    Personally, I do not rate Brideshead Revisited and The history boys highly enough to include them on this list. Prayers for Bobby and As good as it gets are movies I haven't seen - they're on my "to see list"... :-)

  29. Anonymous23:38

    have you seen 'were the world mine'? it's totally amazing!

  30. Thanks, Anonymous. I haven't seen "Were the world mine", but it's on my list of movies to see...

  31. You forgot SHELTER!!! Sweetest and most heartfelt gay-themed movie as of yet, IMO

  32. No, I didn't forget it, dfgd, I just hadn't seen it at the time.

  33. Anonymous01:16

    some movies I think you should see are watercolors, Mulligans, and Boy culture. And of course you should watch shelter and were the world mine. I have found all these movies on the bay..........

  34. Hi Bjorn, some really nice films on your list but I have to agree with many of your visitors: SHELTER really is one of the best gay themed movies of all time. Maybe you'd like to check out our Top 20. We have ratings, reviews and interviews with actors and directors too:

  35. Anonymous21:50

    Gay Short Films You Can Watch Online

  36. Anonymous19:30

    have u seen boy culture really good movie

  37. Is there a thing as love compatibility. Thanks for sharing man..

  38. landon18:47

    laramie project is one of my all time favourite, how come i never see it on the best list? it's such an important film. Anyways, i listed all the movies you have, ive seen some of it and i agree, hands down.. :)

  39. Linnéa02:42

    You have to watch Just Friends?, which is an awesome and EXTREMELY CUTE korean short-movie :D It's uploaded on Youtube with eng subs!

  40. very well
    i like gay video in

  41. Anonymous23:06

    Thanks for the list! I recommend Eytan Fox's films, especially "Walk on Water".

  42. Anonymous16:28

    Thank you Bjorn and everyone above. I have seen some of these movies and now have lots more viewing to do. One mainstream movie, "A single man" was also good.

  43. Anonymous17:48

    i've been looking for this movie and i totally forgot. i haven't really seen it but just read the synopsis.. Now i can't find it. Can you help? What i remember was, there's a character wherein when he wakes up, it's okay to be gay and not cool to be straight? much appreciated guys!


  44. Anonymous06:03

    Hey, Bjorn, I recommend "The Bubble", an israeli film released in 2006. It's really interesting because it shows the reality about sexuality and religion concepts both in arabic and jewish sides of the country, besides beautiful and dramatic at all.

  45. Anonymous19:21

    "shelter" should be in this list if you have seen it as well as "plata quemada".

  46. Anonymous08:36

    yes, shelter has become one of my favorite movies! add it!

  47. Mia Isabella17:56

    After seeing Maurice, it entered my favourite movies list. Rupert Graves was just fantastic in that movie, and it was nice to see a happy ending when I wasn't expecting one at all. I'm going to watch Brokeback Mountain now, everyone says it's brilliant, not to mention it is one of the only mainstream gay movies.

  48. Anonymous21:42

    Guys,why isn't 'Get Real' in here,this movie is simply splendid and it is the only movie by far that I can really relate to, it has an incredible storyline and would certainly like to share this movie with all of you, simply touching and moving...I wished I could forget and watch it over again

  49. Thanks Bjorn, and to your comment-leavers, You've offered me some new views. The gay-themed movies my husband and I keep coming back to for repeated, repeated viewings are five: Get Real, Shelter, Beautiful Thing, Were the World Mine and Weekend. Others we've seen multiple times include Hedwig and the Angry Inch (this one grew on me), Breakfast on Pluto, La Mala Educación (Bad Education), Torch Song Trilogy. I like Lilies and similarly sad tales; he likes the Wedding Banquet and more upbeat tones. Again, thanks for the suggestions.

  50. Anonymous22:02

    don't know if it has be said yet or how long it has ben since anyone posted here.. but the trip is ,like latter day's a very sad gay movie one of the few where I have ever shed a tear. and I do not do that easily

  51. Anonymous04:55

    i have watched almost all of these movies and i have to say... i love Shelter, Beautiful Thing, Latter Days. I watched The Trip made me cried also A Love to Hide. There are many more i want to watch and have watched that are mentioned here.

  52. Anonymous18:50

    You failed to recognize the other 2 films that are part of the "Holy Trinity" of all time most beloved films along with "Beautiful Thing"---"Shelter" and "House of Boys" Without those 3 movies, any gay film collection is like having a full collection of Hollywood classics without "Gone With The Wind", The Wizard of Oz", or "Mildred Pierce"