When Crowley’s play was premiered it shouldered the burden of being the only visible gay thing for the ‘outside world’ to see and clearly earned it’s place in the annals of our history for that alone. For the actors who ignored the advice of agents and friends there was success and acclaim, but as Crayton Robey’s documentary uncovers, most of their careers suffered as a result. And there is an extremely touching part of the dialogue when Robey reveals also that many of them died from AIDS too.
Crowley admitted to quickly blowing his new found wealth and when his next play flopped, he retreated to Europe with his tail between hIs legs. It was only when his good friend Natalie Wood persuaded him to come back to Hollywood to write and produce ‘Hart to Hart’, hubby Robert Wagner’s new TV series did he return, and she later cajoled him to joining AA, an act he says saved his life. He comes over as an extremely likable person, possibly lacking the gravitas of other gay writers interviewed here such as Edward Albee and Larry Kramer, and even a tad modest when accepting the fact that ‘The Boys’ was such a defining moment in (gay) history.
I never saw the play and have mixed feelings about the movie BUT nevertheless am happy to acknowledge that it was part of the start of gay people saying ‘enough is enough’, and seeing this examination of our history reminds us that we should never take our freedom for granted, even now.