Monday, January 17, 2011

Drag History Movie Moments

As you all know I just love drag queens, doing drag at times, and the whole art form itself. And over the years there have been a boat load of movies featuring drag queens, most of which I like, but if I had to tell someone to watch just five movies featuring drag or drag queens that really made some ground breaking moments, these would have to be it!

5. Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Picture Show

He’s just a sweet transvestite from transexual Transylvania. What more is there to say about Dr. Frank-n-Furter? Tim Curry revolutionized drag, glam rock, musicals, fishnet hose and horror movies all at once by stepping into those heels in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This isn't pretty girl drag either. It’s almost gender-fuckery at its finest. And who would have ever believed it would end up playing midnight movie houses, spawning a later Broadway hit, and enticing all manner of Americans into exploring their blood-thirsty drag-tastic sides.

4. The Queen

This documentary from 1967 was revolutionary for its time, taking people behind the scenes of a pre-Stonewall drag pageant in New York City. The synopsis for The Queen begins: “Jack is 24, sometimes he's a drag queen named Sabrina. In 1967, as Sabrina, he's the mistress of ceremonies at a national drag queen contest in New York City.” And if you’ve been out and about in the last decade or so in Manhattan, and you’ve encountered the Mother Flawless Sabrina herself— consider yourself blessed.

3. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

It may be the best road trip movie of all time. And it just happens to involve two drag queens, their trans godmother, a busload of ABBA songs, countless sequins and wigs, and ping-pong balls shot out of a sexy lady’s vag. Although I could have lived without that part!!! Yup, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, somehow took drag from being a gaudy late-night taboo to a feel-good global movie sensation. It hit about two years after RuPaul’s “Supermodel” was romancing the airwaves, and the combined effect was magical. It also inspired more drag movies to be made. Paging To Wong Foo).

2.Paris is Burning

Paris is Burning is easily one of the fiercest, is that a word, films ever made. Jennie Livingston’s chronicle of Harlem ball culture in the late 1980s has been controversial, but it also did a dazzling job of introducing the world to voguing, the concept of “houses” and “balls” and most obviously, it introduced a new vernacular of ferocity to the world, gay and otherwise. For the first time, a massive audience got to see courageous, resilient, gay and gorgeous African-American drag queens up close and personal. They served, they read, they threw shade, they walked, they “owned EVERYTHING.”

1. Anything starring Divine

Divine didn’t invent drag, she just brought it screaming and flailing out of the damn closet and into the light as a subversive, twisted, hilarious revolutionary form of art and expression. Divine personified the fearless, foul-mouthed but good-natured and game-for-anything drag queen that we’ve seen on bar stages and in films now for years. Divine was a clown, but also a brave pioneer pushing boundaries. John Waters, the director realized this, and he put his best friend front-and-center of his movies, turning Divine into a screen icon who could personify all the ribald and raucous about queer America.


  1. Great post girl! I love anything with Divine!!!

  2. I couldn't agree more with this list,except for the Queen because I didn't see it. A great list.

  3. I see you shiver with antici--------pation!

  4. I never saw The Queen but I've seen everything else on the list! That pink gown and outrageous makeup is one of my favourite Divine images.

  5. Love the list!
    But, I, too, never saw The Queen, so I'm gonna have to see what I can do about that.
    I do remember several months, several years back, going to the midnight show every Friday for months to see Rocky Horror!

  6. As I started reading, I thought if something starring Divine is not on this list, then something is amiss. You did not disappoint. "Anything" was a good choice. And she was a better Edna Turnblatt than Travolta could ever hope to be. I gotta wonder, had she lived longer, would the producers have cast her in the stage version of "Hairspray"? She would have taken it to a whole new level.

  7. I've only seen two of these. Looks like I need to go rent some movies

  8. Fun list! Girls Will Be Girls would be up there for me too.

  9. All time favorite movies: Too Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmore, The Birdcage, Priscila,Queen of The Desert

  10. I love your picks and I am really glad you remembered the Queen. What a great movie

  11. Yes. Divine. Absofrigginlutely!!!

  12. Oh, Tim Curry and Rocky Horror is ultimate favorite and Paris is Burning everyone should see at least once.


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