The Queen

1968

Action / Documentary

4
IMDb Rating 7.2/10 10 1367 1.4K

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Plot summary

In 1967, New York City is host to the Miss All-American Camp Beauty Pageant. This documentary takes a look behind the scenes, transporting the viewer into rehearsals and dressing rooms as the drag queen subculture prepares for this big national beauty contest. Jack/Sabrina is the mistress of ceremonies, and their protégé, Miss Harlow, is in the competition. But, as the pageant approaches, the glamorous contestants veer from camaraderie to tension.


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
February 21, 2021 at 11:21 PM

Director

Top cast

Andy Warhol as Self
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
607.6 MB
968*720
English 2.0
NR
Subtitles us  
23.976 fps
1 hr 6 min
Seeds ...
1.1 GB
1440*1072
English 2.0
NR
Subtitles us  
23.976 fps
1 hr 6 min
Seeds 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jimbenben 7 / 10

Courage.

Don't judge this by today's standards where RuPaul wins Emmys and Pete Buttigieg is in the Cabinet. I am the same age as the guys in this film and was coming out as a gay man during the 1960's. Stonewall hadn't happened and there were ZERO gay role models. We can roll our eyes as these performers strut their not-so-spectacular stuff, and we're aware (as they are not) that AIDS will ravage. But give them their moment. They're bold and funny and, most of all, brave. At the time, they could be arrested for gay behavior, let alone ostracized and fired. It all kinds of glorious... for a night.

Reviewed by BandSAboutMovies 6 / 10

Great history

Decades before Paris Is Burning and RuPaul's Drag Race helped normalize drag culture, this film about the 1967 Miss All-America Camp Beauty Pageant was there. For many, this was their introduction to the world of competitive drag.

Beyond the celebrity judges like Andy Warhol, Larry Rivers, and Terry Southern., this film takes you behind the curtain to show what it takes to become part of this world. There's also an infamous speech by Crystal LaBeija, who would go on to be part of the aforementioned Paris Is Burning.

The winner of the contest - which was disputed at the end of the movie - was Rachel Harlow, who unsuccessfully tried out for the role of Myra Breckinridge. You can see her screen test on the DVD of that film. Trust me. She was better off not being in it.

Reviewed by gftbiloxi 8 / 10

A Strange Little Time Machine

You can't get much stranger than this 1967 documentary that takes a look at a New York drag show where contestants compete both on and off stage for the crown. Running just over an hour and filmed with hand-held cameras, THE QUEEN is tacky, vulgar, distasteful, embarrassing, and often quite funny as it peeks behind the scenes of the event. But the film is more than accidental camp humor--it really is a historical artifact.

Very few gays or lesbians were "out" before the 1969 Stonewall riots, and the contestants shown here are among the few... and not only were they out, they were out as drag queens, doing the unthinkable by stomping across the stage in evening gowns, heels, and eyeliner. This is not the sort of drag that has entered popular mainstream entertainment via such performers as RuPaul: this is in-your-face, I-am-what-am, I-don't-care DRAG as performed by skinny teenagers with bad skin, fat guys with bald spots, and tough men with hairy chests and tattoos. This is big hair, big make up, and big attitude, and it is all the more unnerving because it isn't just a character that the contestants put on and off. This is the reality that sparked a thousand stereotypes.

Much of the film's entertainment value is accidental. There is nothing funnier, or more painfully embarrassing, than a chunky drag queen in out-of-style clothes. THE QUEEN is really too superficial to be called significant, too tacky-funny to be taken very seriously--and yet, it does make you wonder about the lives of those before the Stonewall Riots, the Gay Liberation Movement, the Anita Bryant hysteria, the advent of AIDS. And therein lies its power: it is a time machine, badly filmed, yes, superficial, yes, but a time machine just the same, capable of giving us a glimpse of what it was like to be gay, a drag queen, and in New York in the mid-1960s. It won't be to every one's taste, but it is worth a look if you can find a copy.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer

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