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WATCH: CRUISING (1980) Full Movie and The Making of Cruising Documentary – Video

A few days ago on another social media platform I made a post about the 1980 movie “Cruising” directed by Willam Fredkin and starring Al Pacino and the impact that it made upon the LGBT community at that time and its place in gay history.

The film loosely based on the novel of the same name, by New York Times reporter Gerald Walker is  about a rookie NYPD cop that goes undercover to bait a homophobic serial killer in the gay leather and  S&M world of New York’s Greenwich Village.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (back when they actually had a task) in a letter to the New York Times wrote that “in the context of an anti-homosexual society, a film about violent, sex-obsessed gay men would be seen as a film about all gay people.  The psychosexual dynamic of Cruising is certainly questionable—deliberately so, to some extent—though in chalking up violent homoerotic impulses to unresolved daddy issues, the movie may be a greater insult to the intelligence of psychoanalysts than to the sensibilities of gays.”

Village Voice writer Arthur Bell was the person who raised a call for full out sabotage on the movie writing that Friedkin’s film “promises to be the most oppressive, ugly, bigoted look at homosexuality ever presented on the screen,” he wrote, “the worst possible nightmare of the most uptight straight. I implore readers . . . to give Friedkin and his production crew a terrible time if you spot them in your neighborhoods.” and they did.

Now over 35 years later despite the movies content which today seems schlocky and mediocre at best.  Crusing is easily the most graphic depiction of the NYC gay sex underground  ever seen in a mainstream movie.  It is also in a way, a documentary of a time and places gone by.

Filmed in such legendary bars as the Ramrod, Anvil, and Eagle’s Nest (The Mineshaft barred Friedkin from the premises ), Cruising is a flashback to a time of  poppers, color-coded pocket hankies, hardcore disco, bathhouses, backrooms, park cruising and yes even Crisco.  It is a visual time capsule back to a part of our history that has been overshadowed by by the plague known as AIDS that would soon to happen after it was made.

Like it or not the movie Crusing is a part of our history and reflects an era of images and memories that is slowly being lost forever and thus I present the full movie and The Making Of Cruising documentary below for historical purposes.

 

 

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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1 thought on “WATCH: CRUISING (1980) Full Movie and The Making of Cruising Documentary – Video”

  1. My parents were informed by an anonymous caller that I was “sleeping with men” in 1976, when I was 18 yrs. old, a freshmen at StonyBrook, and stripping in the Gaiety Male Burlesque as well as a Hudson Valley “gay” club ‘Deja Vu’. After they confronted me and instructed I seek psychiatric help, I told them to seek their own counseling. After Phil Donahue discussed such taboo issues, my parents came around to relating to their estranged gay son, but not after buying tickets to ‘Cruising’ to better understand their son’s so-called lifestyle. I applaud them for sitting through the movie, which I could not relate to,
    but had to assure them that what they saw, which James Franco strangely obsessed about in his under the radar film on the filming of the sex club scene, as NOT my ‘scene’. Even though I was a stripper at the Gaiety Male Burlesque, hustled, I was not into S/M, more underground drug/discos and aboveground legit: the Gallery, Flamingo, the Anvil, 12 West, Crisco Disco, Paradise Garage, Hurrah, Ice Palace 57, the Saint, Sound Factory, the World,…documented in my book ‘Homo GoGo Man: a fairytale about a boy who grew up in discoland.’

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