Time Out's The 50 best gay movies: the best in LGBT film-making

Time Out's The 50 best gay movies: the best in LGBT film-making's icon

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With the help of leading directors, actors, writers and activists, we count down the best LGBTQ+ films of all time

By Cath Clarke, Dave Calhoun, Tom Huddleston, Alim Kheraj, Guy Lodge and Ben Walters Posted: Tuesday June 16 2020

The importance of representation cannot be downplayed. By watching films we are introduced to experiences different to our own. It creates empathy and understanding – a connection between yourself and other people, while also helping us understand ourselves. That’s why, in the last few years, it’s been exciting to see an increase in quality LGBT+ cinema that truly represents different facets of the queer experience.

Films like ‘Moonlight’, ‘Love, Simon’, the Melissa McCarthy-starring ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ and the thrilling ‘A Fantastic Woman’ have all brought much-needed representation to the big screen, while also telling a diverse range of LGBT+ stories. And while we still have a long way to go before queer cinema is entirely mainstream, it’s worth celebrating how far we’ve come even since 2005’s ‘Brokeback Mountain’. So, with that in mind, we asked some LGBT+ cultural pioneers and Time Out writers to share their most essential LGBT+ films to countdown the 50 best gay movies.

First version: By Cath Clarke, Dave Calhoun, Tom Huddleston and Ben Walters Posted: Tuesday November 24 2015

Leading directors, actors, writers and activists – including Todd Haynes, John Waters, Kimberly Peirce and George Takei – share the lesbian, bisexual, trans and gay movies they love the most

Which movies are most beloved for the light they shine on lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans experiences? Which screen stories involving LGBT characters are the most enduring, whether romances, horrors or comedies? Which are the most groundbreaking, politically or artistically? And which simply demand to be watched again and again?

We asked LGBT cultural pioneers – including Xavier Dolan, Christine Vachon, Bruce LaBruce and Roland Emmerich – to share with us their ten best gay movies. Here’s their out-and-proud list of 50 great LGBT movies.

Note: The Terence Davies Trilogy (1983) is actually a compilation of three shorter films:
Children (1976)
Madonna and Child (1980)
Death and Transfiguration (1983)

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  1. 1 -

    Brokeback Mountain

    2005, in 22 top lists Check
  2. 2 -

    Boys Don't Cry

    1999, in 8 top lists Check
  3. 3 -

    Chun gwong cha sit

    1997 — a.k.a. Happy Together, in 12 top lists Check
  4. 4 -

    My Own Private Idaho

    1991, in 11 top lists Check
  5. 5 -

    Todo sobre mi madre

    1999 — a.k.a. All About My Mother, in 17 top lists Check
  6. 6 -

    The Killing of Sister George

    1968, in 2 top lists Check
  7. 7 -

    Ma vie en rose

    1997 — a.k.a. My Life in Pink, in 0 top lists Check
  8. 8 new

    Call Me by Your Name

    2017, in 8 top lists
    Check
  9. 9 -

    Beautiful Thing

    1996, in 1 top list Check
  10. 10 -

    Orlando

    1992, in 6 top lists Check
  11. 11 -

    My Beautiful Laundrette

    1985, in 7 top lists Check
  12. 12 -

    Hedwig and the Angry Inch

    2001, in 9 top lists Check
  13. 13 -

    The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

    1994, in 6 top lists Check
  14. 14 -

    Weekend

    2011, in 6 top lists Check
  15. 15 -

    Un chant d'amour

    1950 — a.k.a. A Song of Love, in 7 top lists Check
  16. 16 -

    Faustrecht der Freiheit

    1975 — a.k.a. Fox and His Friends, in 5 top lists Check
  17. 17 -

    The Hours

    2002, in 7 top lists Check
  18. 18 -

    Heavenly Creatures

    1994, in 7 top lists Check
  19. 19 -

    The Boys in the Band

    1970, in 1 top list Check
  20. 20 -

    Pride

    2014, in 1 top list Check
  21. 21 -

    The Kids Are All Right

    2010, in 6 top lists Check
  22. 22 -

    Maurice

    1987, in 0 top lists Check
  23. 23 -

    Scorpio Rising

    1963, in 8 top lists Check
  24. 24 -

    Transamerica

    2005, in 0 top lists Check
  25. 25 -

    But I'm a Cheerleader

    1999, in 2 top lists Check
  26. 26 -

    Bound

    1996, in 5 top lists Check
  27. 27 -

    Morte a Venezia

    1971 — a.k.a. Death in Venice, in 13 top lists Check
  28. 28 new

    God's Own Country

    2017, in 1 top list
    Check
  29. 29 -

    Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant

    1972 — a.k.a. The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, in 7 top lists Check
  30. 30 -

    The Terence Davies Trilogy

    1983, in 1 top list Check
  31. 31 -

    Pink Flamingos

    1972, in 9 top lists Check
  32. 32 -

    Edward II

    1991, in 2 top lists Check
  33. 33 -

    Fellini - Satyricon

    1969 — a.k.a. Fellini Satyricon, in 10 top lists Check
  34. 34 new

    Moonlight

    2016, in 11 top lists Check
  35. 35 -

    Pink Narcissus

    1971, in 1 top list Check
  36. 36 new

    120 battements par minute

    2017 — a.k.a. BPM (Beats Per Minute), in 3 top lists
    Check
  37. 37 -

    Longtime Companion

    1989, in 0 top lists Check
  38. 38 -

    By Hook or by Crook

    2001, in 1 top list Check
  39. 39 -

    Parting Glances

    1986, in 1 top list Check
  40. 40 -

    The Wizard of Oz

    1939, in 33 top lists Check
  41. 41 new

    Portrait de la jeune fille en feu

    2019 — a.k.a. Portrait of a Lady on Fire, in 10 top lists
    Check
  42. 42 new

    Una mujer fantástica

    2017 — a.k.a. A Fantastic Woman, in 4 top lists
    Check
  43. 43 -1

    Midnight Cowboy

    1969, in 22 top lists Check
  44. 44 -1

    Paris Is Burning

    1990, in 10 top lists Check
  45. 45 -1

    Stranger Inside

    2001, in 0 top lists Check
  46. 46 -1

    Teorema

    1968, in 8 top lists Check
  47. 47 -1

    Pariah

    2011, in 5 top lists Check
  48. 48 -

    Fucking Åmål

    1998 — a.k.a. Show Me Love, in 6 top lists Check
  49. 49 -

    La mala educación

    2004 — a.k.a. Bad Education, in 4 top lists Check
  50. 50 -

    The Children's Hour

    1961, in 1 top list Check
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Last updated on Mar 22, 2021 by Fergenaprido; source