Sony OnlineSony Pictures EntertainmentSony Pictures Movies
Sony Pictures Classics

THE CAST

(in order of appearance)


Lily Tomlin
Narrator
One of Hollywood's most gifted actors and talented comedians,
Tomlin was instrumental in bringing "The Celluloid Closet" to the screen.

Tony Curtis
A legendary Hollywood actor, Mr. Curtis speaks about his very different roles in the films "Spartacus" and "Some Like It Hot."

Armistead Maupin
The openly gay author of "Tales of the City," Mr. Maupin offers his personal observances of coming out as a gay man and his reflections on his friendship with Rock Hudson.

Susie Bright
A noted author, lecturer and commentator on human sexuality, Ms. Bright offers her personal reactions to the depiction of same sex affection in the movies.

Whoopi Goldberg
Actor Whoopi Goldberg talks about the "sissy," a stock movie character of 1930s comedies, and discusses why society views a man who shows affection for another man as weak and inferior.

Jan Oxenberg
Independent filmmaker and screenwriter ("Thank You and Goodnight") Jan Oxenberg discusses how lesbians and gay men are starved for images of their real lives and how we have yet to see a Hollywood film with a non-tragic gay hero.

Harvey Fierstein
Author and star of the Tony Award-winning play and 1985 motion picture "Torch Song Trilogy," Mr. Fierstein talks about the challenge of being an openly gay author writing about gay lives in a heterosexual culture.

Quentin Crisp
Quentin Crisp, author of the autobiography "The Naked Civil Servant", tells of going to the silent movies as a child in England and explains why society responds differently to effeminate men and masculine women.

Richard Dyer
A British film historian and long time colleague of Vito Russo, Richard Dyer explains how movies help form our culture and teach us how to behave as lesbians and gay men.
Jay Presson Allen
Noted screenwriter and author of the plays "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie," "Forty Carats" and "Tru," Ms. Allen talks about working as a writer under the Production Code and how the elimination of the Code allowed her to include an openly homosexual character in the screenplay for the 1972 film Cabaret.

Arthur Laurents
A noted playwright and screenwriter for 50 years, Mr. Laurents talks about working with Alfred Hitchcock on the homosexual thriller Rope, the homosexual undertones between John Ireland and Montgomery Clift in "Red River," and the tragic fate that traditionally befalls sexually free characters in Hollywood films.

Gore Vidal
Author and screenwriter Gore Vidal recounts his experience of battling with censors as he wrote the screen adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play "Suddenly, Last Summer." Mr. Vidal also discusses how he was able to discreetly add some romantic tension between the lead actors Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd in William Wyler's "Ben-Hur."

Farley Granger
The star of such films as "Strangers on a Train," "Hans Christian Andersen" and "Senso," Mr. Granger discusses playing a homosexual character during the time of the Production Code in Alfred Hitchcock's "Rope."

Stewart Stern
Screenwriter Stewart Stern ("The Ugly American," "Rachel, Rachel") discusses the homosexual characteristics of Sal Mineo's "Plato" in his script for the 1955 film "Rebel Without A Cause" and what changes he would make if he were writing the film today.

Paul Rudnick
Playwright Paul Rudnick ("Jeffrey") discusses how, despite the Code, male homosexuality was still quite prevalent in many of the sex comedies of the 50s and early 60s such as "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and "Lover Come Back."

Shirley MacLaine
A legendary Hollywood actress, Ms. MacLaine reflects on her role of Martha Dobie in William Wyler's screen adaptation of Lillian Hellman's "The Children's Hour."

Barry Sandler
Screenwriter Barry Sandler ("The Kansas City Bomber," "The Mirror Crack'd") talks about seeing "The Boys In The Band" as a closeted gay man and his own professional "coming out" with his screenplay for the 1982 film "Making Love."

Mart Crowley
Screenwriter and producer of the 1970 film "The Boys In The Band," Mr. Crowley reacts to criticism of his film and presents his justification for the characters he created for this first motion picture to depict the real lives of gay men in urban America.

Antonio Fargas
Mr. Fargas, a well known character actor ("Car Wash," "Next Stop, Greenwich Village") explains how it was easier in 1976 to have a black actor playing a homosexual rather than a white actor and how comedy is often a better vehicle for political comment.

Tom Hanks
The Oscar winning actor discusses the first time he noticed a homosexual on the screen in the 1970 film "Vanishing Point" and why he feels he was selected for the lead in "Philadelphia," the first major motion picture about a gay man with AIDS.

Ron Nyswaner
Screenwriter of the 1993 film Philadelphia, Mr. Nyswaner discusses how movie audiences react to the death of a homosexual on screen and relates his own personal experience of being attacked as a direct result of the film "Cruising."

Daniel Melnick

Formerly the head of production at MGM and president of Columbia Pictures, Daniel Melnick talks about the difficulties of shepherding the ground-breaking film "Making Love" through the studio system.

Harry Hamlin
Actor Harry Hamlin talks about playing one of Hollywood's first leading gay characters in the ground breaking film "Making Love" and the reaction of colleagues to his decision to take the part.

John Schlesinger
The acclaimed director of "Midnight Cowboy" and "Marathon Man," John Schlesinger discusses the difference in the sophistication of American and European audiences when it comes to sexuality on the screen and the reaction to the blatant on-screen kiss between Peter Finch and Murray Head in his 1971 film "Sunday, Bloody Sunday."

Susan Sarandon
The star of "The Hunger" and "Thelma And Louise," Ms. Sarandon discusses how she prepared for her roles in these films and how affection between two women is viewed differently than affection between two men.