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Before Stonewall (1984)

Unrated | | Documentary, History | 27 June 1985 (USA)
Trailer
2:21 | Trailer
The history of the Gay and Lesbian community before the Stonewall riots began the major gay rights movement.

Directors:

Greta Schiller, Robert Rosenberg (co-director)
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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rita Mae Brown Rita Mae Brown ... Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Maua Adele Ajanaku Maua Adele Ajanaku ... Herself - activist and teacher
Red Jordan Arobateau Red Jordan Arobateau ... Himself - writer
Ann Bannon ... Herself - university professor
Lisa Ben Lisa Ben ... Herself - former secretary
Gladys Bentley Gladys Bentley ... Herself - Nightclub Singer (voice) (archive footage)
Ivy Bottini Ivy Bottini ... Herself - former housewife, co-founder N.Y. N.O.W.
George Buse George Buse ... Himself - newspaper reporter, former Army Chaplain
Carroll Davis Carroll Davis ... Himself - performer
Martin Duberman Martin Duberman ... Himself - historian and playwright
Grant Gallup Grant Gallup ... Himself
Allen Ginsberg ... Himself
Barbara Gittings Barbara Gittings ... Herself - gay activist
Barbara Grier Barbara Grier ... Herself - publisher
Mabel Hampton Mabel Hampton ... Herself - dancer, former domestic worker
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Storyline

New York City's Stonewall Inn is regarded by many as the site of gay and lesbian liberation since it was at this bar that drag queens fought back against police June 27-28, 1969. This documentary uses extensive archival film, movie clips and personal recollections to construct an audiovisual history of the gay community before the Stonewall riots. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context. See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 June 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,588, 23 June 2019

Gross USA:

$18,724

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,724
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (some images in black and white)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, who deemed it "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" in 2019. See more »

Crazy Credits

Unless otherwise stated, the people who appear in this film should not be presumed to be homosexual... or heterosexual. See more »


Soundtracks

Somebody to Love
(uncredited)
Written by Darby Slick
Performed by Jefferson Airplane
Played during the '60s sequence
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User Reviews

 
A Landmark Documentary
5 November 2000 | by citizen_cupidSee all my reviews

I have lost count of the number of times I have seen this wonderful documentary. The archival material alone -- film clips and still photographs of gay life in America between 1900 and the '60s -- is enough to make this film a treasure; but it is the interviews with survivors of the pre-Stonewall era that make Before Stonewall a priceless heirloom of gay studies and a must in the personal education of any socially conscious person interested in gay culture.


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