Review: ‘The Boys in the Band’

Boys in the Band drags. But despite its often tedious postulations of homosexual case histories instead of realistic dialog, and the stagey posturing of the actors, the too literately faithful adaptation of Mart Crowley's off-Broadway swish-set piece has bitchy, back-biting humor, fascinating character studies, melodrama and, most of all, perverse interest.

Boys in the Band drags. But despite its often tedious postulations of homosexual case histories instead of realistic dialog, and the stagey posturing of the actors, the too literately faithful adaptation of Mart Crowley’s off-Broadway swish-set piece has bitchy, back-biting humor, fascinating character studies, melodrama and, most of all, perverse interest.

As queen and host of the gay birthday party that is the film’s only setting, Kenneth Nelson tells straight Peter White, it’s like watching an accident, one is horrified and repulsed, but can’t take his eyes away.

Crowley takes the fault for the self-indulgent dialog with prolonged speeches.

The Boys in the Band

Production

Leo/Cinema Center. Director William Friedkin; Producer Mart Crowley; Screenplay Mart Crowley; Camera Arthur J. Ornitz; Editor Jerry Greenburg; Art Director John Robert Lloyd

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1970. Running time: 117 MIN.

With

Kenneth Nelson Frederick Combs Leonard Frey Cliff Gorman Reuben Greene Robert La Tourneaux
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