The acclaimed documentary based on Vito Russo's groundbreaking book, The Celluloid Closet explores the hidden subtext of more than 100 Hollywood movies - from The Maltese Falcon to Spartacus and Rebel Without A Cause to Thelma and Louise and Philadelphia. A lively cinematic journey through evolving lesbian and gay stereotypes - and homosexual self-image - as seen through the first century of movie-making. With clips from over 100 movies, and revealing interviews with many of the artists who created them.

"Fascinating...a beautifully and thoughtfully made film that touches on many areas of human sexuality and human expression beyond the obvious...a vital and artful piece of work...Celluloid Closet is a nonfiction film that presses more emotional buttons than many a manipulative melodrama and seems of equal interest to those of every conceivable sexual identity. It's not only about how people see each other and see themselves: it's also about being human and the joy and pain and confusion that strange condition entails." - Tom Shales, The Washington Post

Peabody Award, 1997 News & Documentary Emmy Awards Freedom of Expression Award, 1996 Teddy Award, Best Documentary Film, 1996

Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Directors, 1996


To stream the film for home use or purchase a digital download, visit

For institutional streaming outside the U.S. (colleges, school districts, universities, corporations and other institutions), contact Telling Pictures.


For inquiries regarding public performance rights in the U.S., contact Sony Pictures Classics.

For inquiries about public performance rights outside the U.S., contact Telling Pictures.