Review: The Boys in the Band

Blu-ray: The Boys in the Band (1970)

Based on the Broadway hit of the same name, The Boys in the Band is full of caustic wit, savage putdowns, and conversations that will have you squirming in your seat as a New York apartment party spirals out of control.

It’s Harold’s (Leonard Frey) birthday, and a group of his fellow homosexual friends throw him a party at Michael’s (Kenneth Nelson) apartment. Before the party begins, Michael receives a distraught phone call from old college friend Alan (Peter White); a heterosexual whose views on homosexuality are at odds with Micheal’s lifestyle.

Begrudgingly inviting him over to see why he is so upset, Michael informs the partygoers to restrain their usual flamboyant actions and chat until after Alan has left.

Once at the party, Alan’s straight-laced views on sexuality become a wedge that changes the dynamic of the festivities from friendly banter, drinking and dancing, to acerbic comments, even heavier drinking, and a downward spiral of emotions that leaves everyone drained to their core before the evening is through.

The stage play roots of The Boys in The Band are evident in its primarily one set location in the apartment, and while the ‘action’ is virtually non-existent, the sharp and quick fire dialogue keeps you glued to the screen as each characters inner demons begin to surface as the night progresses.

An early film of William Friedkin, his taut camerawork throws you right into the middle of each conversation, and has you desperately trying to figure out what truths lie behind the masks that people wear from day to day.

Released at a time when homosexuality was still classified as a “mental illness” by the American Psychological Association, The Boys in the Band is not only a time capsule of how certain things have changed for the better, but also how some things are sadly still the same.

A powerful and affecting film that stays with you long after the credits have rolled.


  • Audio Commentary with Director William Friedkin and Writer Mart Crowley
  • Exclusive new interview with Mark Gatiss and Ian Hallard
  • Act 1: The Play
  • Act 2: The Film
  • Act 3: 40 Years of Boys in The Band

The Boys in the Band is released on 11th February 2019 and you can buy it by clicking HERE. ALL money raised by purchasing from Amazon via our website is given back to our listeners and followers in upcoming competition prizes. The more people buy, the bigger our prizes.

Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Second Sight Films via Aim Publicity.