*MAJOR UPDATE IN PROGRESS* I’m revising this entire website, including LGBTQ+ Literature and Film. Thank you for understanding.

50 Outstanding Films by LGBTQ+ Directors

Here are 50 extraordinary films, all made by LGBTQ+ directors. They span three quarters of a century and represent almost every genre, from comedy to documentary to science fiction. Some of these pictures do not contain overt LGBTQ+ material, since censorship prevented several of these filmmakers from directly exploring same-sex experience. But they became adept at coding, or “hiding,” such content in ingenious ways. Aso see the otherl LGBTQ+ Cinema resources at this site, including 50 Outstanding LGBTQ+-Themed Films.

So that this list does not turn into a shrine to my favorites, I’ve limited a director to a maximum of three films. For more information, titles are linked to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb); several also link to my reviews. For each film, I’ve indicated its genre(s), and whether it has substantial gay (G), lesbian (L), bisexual (B), and/or transgender (T) content. A gold star gold star indicates a “Top 10” picks; if I had to name a #1 choice it would be Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast.

  1. All About My Mother (Almodóvar / 1999 – drama) – GLBT
  2. Arabian Nights (Pasolini / 1974 – fantasy) [my Pasolini Website]
  3. * Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein / 1925 – historical drama) [my mini-review]
  4. * Beauty and the Beast (Cocteau / 1946 – fantasy) [my review]
  5. * The Bride of Frankenstein (Whale / 1935 – science fiction) – GB
  6. Children of Paradise (Carné / 1945 – romantic drama) [my mini-review]
  7. Das Boot (Petersen / 1981 – historical drama)
  8. Edward II (Jarman / 1991 – experimental drama) – GB [my review and visit my Jarman Website]
  9. Effi Briest (Fassbinder / 1974 – drama) [my review and Fassbinder Website]
  10. Female Trouble (Waters / 1975 – satire) – BT
  11. The Gospel According to Saint Matthew (Pasolini / 1964 – historical drama) [my review and Pasolini Website]
  12. Grand Hotel (Goulding / 1932 – comedy/drama)
  13. Hamlet (Olivier / 1948 – Shakespeare adaptation)
  14. The Honeymoon Killers (Kastle / 1969 – suspense / biography)
  15. Howards End (Merchant/Ivory / 1992 – drama) [my mini-review]
  16. If… (Anderson / 1968 – drama)
  17. n a Year With 13 Moons (Fassbinder / 1978 – drama) [my review] and [Fassbinder Website]
  18. Ivan the Terrible, Part I & Part II (Eisenstein / 1943–1946 – historical drama)
  19. The Last Laugh (Murnau / 1924 – drama)
  20. Meet Me in St. Louis (Minnelli / 1944 – musical comedy) [my review]T
  21. he Merchant of Four Seasons (Fassbinder / 1971 – drama) [my review and Fassbinder Website]
  22. Midnight Cowboy (Schlesinger / 1969 – drama) – GBT
  23. My Fair Lady (Cukor / 1964 – musical comedy) [my article on Cukor]
  24. My Own Private Idaho (Van Sant / 1991 – drama) – GB [my review]
  25. The Night of the Hunter (Laughton / 1955 – suspense) [my mini-review]
  26. * Nosferatu (Murnau / 1922 – horror) [my review]
  27. The Opposite of Sex (Roos / 1998 – comedy) – GB [my mini-review]
  28. Orpheus (Cocteau / 1950 – fantasy) [my review]
  29. Ossessione (Visconti / 1942 – adaptation of The Postman Always Rings Twice – suspense) [my mini-review]
  30. Paris Was A Woman (Schiller / 1995 – documentary) [my review]
  31. The Philadelphia Story (Cukor / 1940 – comedy) [my mini-review]
  32. Poison (Haynes / 1991 – experimental drama) – GB
  33. Pygmalion (Asquith / 1938 – comedy)
  34. Rebel Without a Cause (Ray / 1955 – drama) – GB
  35. Romeo and Juliet (Zeffirelli / 1968 – Shakespeare adaptation)
  36. Salò (Pasolini / 1975 – horrific drama) – GBT [my Pasolini Website]
  37. Sebastiane (Jarman & Humfress / 1976 – historical drama) – GB [my review and Jarman Website]
  38. See The Sea (Ozon / 1997 – suspense) [my review]
  39. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Paradjanov / 1964 – experimental folk drama)
  40. Show Boat (Whale / 1936 – musical drama)
  41. Stories from the War on Homosexuality: Coming Out Under Fire (1994), Licensed to Kill (1997) & Family Fundamentals (2002) (Dong – documentary) – GLBT [my review]
  42. A Story of Floating Weeds (1934) & remake Floating Weeds (1959) (Ozu – dramas)
  43. Sunday Bloody Sunday (Schlesinger / 1971 – drama) – GB [my review]
  44. Tarnation (Caouette / 2004 – documentary) – G [my review]
  45. Tarzan and His Mate (Gibbons / 1934 – action/adventure)
  46. Tom Jones (Richardson / 1963 – historical comedy)
  47. * Tokyo Story (Ozu / 1953 – drama)
  48. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) [my review]
  49. The Usual Suspects (Singer / 1995) – B
  50. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Almodóvar / 1989 – comedy) [my mini-review]

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