Harold: “You’re a sad and pathetic man. You’re a homosexual and you don’t want to be, but there’s nothing you can do to change it. Not all the prayers to your god, not all the analysis you can buy in all the years you’ve go left to live. You may one day be able to know a heterosexual life if you want it desperately enough. If you pursue it with the fervor with which you annihilate. But you’ll always be homosexual as well. Always Michael. Always. Until the day you die. “
The website Gay.com wrote an article wondering about why there were so many bitter and twisted queens in the world.
The article referred to the classic 1970 movie ‘Boys In The Band’ – perhaps I’m just over sensitive but I felt they were dissing the movie. I had a little attack of ‘bitter and twisted’ myself reading this.
‘Boys In The Band’ is one of the most important movies in the entire history of what’s come to be known as ‘Queer Cinema’. It is brilliant, devestating, articulate, hilarious and accurate to a decimal point. It was made in 1970 and is about a group of friends in that era – way before being a fag was legal or even vaguely accepted by society. It tells a story that needed to be told and does it with style, flair and – I’ll say it again – brilliance.
Boys In The Band on DVD - whoever designed this cover, give yourself 10 points and a pat on the back!
I popped over to imdb.com to see if they had any memorable quotes from this piece of genius. In light of the gay.com article, I was looking for bitter quotes of course. Well, IMDB didn’t fail me. Looking at their collection of lines from the movie I cracked up – there are more classic put-downs in Boys In The Band than just about anything else in cinema history.
Here’s just a selection….
Michael: What’s so fucking funny?
Harold: Life. Life’s a goddamn laugh riot.
Harold: Who is she? Who was she? Who does she hope to be?
Michael: What is he – a psychiatrist or a hairdresser?
Donald: Actually he’s both. He shrinks my head and then combs me out.
Donald: Thanks to the silver screen your neurosis has got style.
Michael: Believe it or not, there was a time in my life when I didn’t go around announcing I was a faggot.
Donald: Well, that must have been before speech replaced sign language!
Emory: Who do you have to fuck to get a drink around here?
Michael: It’s not always the way it is in plays. Not all faggots bump themselves off at the end of the story!
[Looking in the mirror]
Michael: There’s one thing to be said about masturbation: you certainly don’t have to look your best.
Michael: [sings] “Forget your troubles, c’mon get happy! You better chase all your cares away!” What’s more boring than a queen doing a Judy Garland imitation?
Donald: A queen doing a Bette Davis imitation.
Michael: Donald, you are a real card carrying cunt.
Cowboy: I lost my grip doing my chin ups and fell on my heels and twisted my back.
Emory: You shouldn’t wear heels when you do chin ups!
Emory: Ooh, I’d love to meet him. Or her. I have such a problem with pronouns.
Alan: How many S’s are in the word pronoun?
Emory: How’d you like to kiss my ass? That’s got two S’s in it.
Alan: How would you like to blow me?
Emory: What’s the matter, your wife’s got lockjaw?
Michael: You’re stoned and you’re late. You were supposed to arrive at this location at eight thirty dash nine o’clock.
Harold: What I am Michael is a 32 year-old, ugly, pock marked Jew fairy, and if it takes me a little while to pull myself together, and if I smoke a little grass before I get up the nerve to show my face to the world, it’s nobody’s god damned business but my own. And how are you this evening?
Harold: Your lips are turning blue. You look like you’ve been rimming a snowman.
Harold: How’s the bathroom smell?
Michael: Before it smelled like someone puked. Now it smells like someone puked in a gardenia patch.
Michael: Show me a happy homosexual and I’ll show you a gay corpse.
Michael: [adopting a southern slave’s accent] I hear dat if ya puts a knife unda ya pillow, it cuts da pain.
Harold: I hear that if you put a knife under your chin, it cuts your throat.
Michael: [about the cowboy] How much was he Emory?
Emory: A STEAL!
Harold: A ham sandwich. Fifty cents, any time of the day or night.
Harold: [about Michael] KING… of the pig people!
Cowboy: I’m not a steal. I cost twenty dollars.
Harold: [about Emory’s falling down] A falling down drunk nellie queen.
Harold: Well, THAT’S the pot calling the kettle “beige”.