Yesterday, LGBT news outlet The Advocate put together a list of “The Top 175 Essential Films of All Time for LGBT Viewers.” The exhaustive list is full of game-changing films with LGBT characters, many of which have important places in pop culture. But it’s also rounded out with campy cult classics and gender-bending movies that don’t necessarily have LGBT characters. Some Like it Hot, for instance, was a groundbreaking movie with no gay characters but plenty of cross-dressing.
The list is topped with more recent movies—Brokeback Mountain (2005) caps it at No. 1, with Milk (2008) coming in second—but contains movies from all time periods. There are, of course, a few questionable choices: John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy, about a male prostitute trying to live with a sick friend and his own shame in New York City, is by far the most glaring omission. It won the Best Picture Oscar—the only X-rated film to do so—in 1969 and is largely considered one of the most important LGBT films ever.
The Advocate instead chose another Schlesinger film, Sunday Bloody Sunday—also a fine movie. But it’s all the way down at… 92? Midnight Cowboy would have done better.
As in all lists, there’s room for disagreement on where each movie places. Should La Cage aux Folles (No. 63) really be ranked lower than its English-language remake, The Birdcage (No. 49)? Is The Hours (No. 42) more essential than Mulholland Drive (No. 160)? The editors themselves “reserve the right to amend [the list] for the rest of our lives,” but the current version is certainly worth a read. See The Advocate’s full list here.