The Boys in the Band is a 1970 American drama film directed by w:William Friedkin. The screenplay by Mart Crowley is based on his Off-Broadway play The Boys in the Band.


  • It's just that, today, I finally realized that I was raised to be a failure. I was groomed for it. [...] Today, I finally began to see how some of the other pieces of the puzzle relate to them. Like why I never finished anything I've started in my life. My neurotic compulsion to not succeed.


  • I just didn't think I could survive another hangover, that's all. Didn't think I could get through one more morning-after ick attack. [...] Icks. Anxiety. Guilt. From that split second when your eyes pop open, and you say, "My God, what did I do last night?" And then suddenly, zap. Total recall. [...] And then that struggle to survive until lunchtime, when you have a double bloody mary. That is, if you've waited till lunch. And then you're half pissed and useless for the rest of the afternoon. So you hang on till cocktail time. And by then, you're ready for what the evening holds, which hopefully is another party, where the whole goddamn cycle starts all over again. Yeah, well, I've been on that merry-go-round long enough. And I either had to get off or die of centrifugal force.
  • That's right. I believe in God. And if it turns out there isn't one, okay, nothing's lost. But if it turns out there really is, I'm covered.
  • It's not always like it happens in plays. Not all faggots bump themselves off at the end of the story.
  • You must never call anyone called Michael, Mickey. Those of us who are named Michael get very nervous about it.
  • I feel like Old Man River. I'm tired of living and I'm scared of dying.


  • Beware the hostile fag. When he's sober, he's dangerous. When he drinks, he's lethal.
  • I keep my grass in the medicine cabinet, in the Band-Aid box. Somebody told me it's the safest place. If the cops arrive, you can always lock yourself in the bathroom and flush it down the john. [...] Makes more sense than where I was keeping it: in an oregano jar in the spice rack. I kept forgetting and accidentally turning my hateful mother on with the salad. But I think she liked it. No matter what meal she comes over for, even if it's breakfast, she says: "Let's have a salad."


  • Michael: What's more boring than a queen doing a Judy Garland imitation?
    Donald: A queen doing a Bette Davis imitation.
  • Donald: Well, am I stunning?
    Michael: You're absolutely stunning. You look like shit, but I'm absolutely stunned.
  • Harold: He has unnatural natural beauty. Not that that means anything.
    Michael: It doesn't mean everything.
    Harold: Keep telling yourself that as your hair drops out in handfuls.
    Michael: Faggots are worse than women about their age. They think their lives are over at 30. Physical beauty is not all that goddamn important.
    Harold: Of course not, how could it be? It's only in the eye of the beholder. And it's only skin deep.
    Michael: Only skin deep.
    Harold: And it's transitory too. It's terribly transitory. Oh, yes. It's too bad about this poor boy's face. It's tragic. He's absolutely cursed. How could his beauty ever compare with my soul? And although I've never seen my soul, I understand from my mother's rabbi that it's a knockout. I, however, cannot seem to locate it for a gander. And if I could... I'd sell it in a flash... for some skin-deep, transitory, meaningless beauty.
    Michael: Forgive him, father, for he know not what he do.
  • Harold: It's the deed to Boardwalk.
    Emory: Gay pop art.
  • Michael: Hank and Larry are lovers. Not just roommates, bedmates. Lovers. [...] No man has a roommate after he's 30 years old. If they're not lovers, they're sisters.
    Hank: Yes, Alan. Larry is my lover.
    Alan: But you're married.
    Michael: I think you said the wrong thing. Don't you just love that quaint little idea? If a man is married, he's automatically heterosexual. Alan, Hank swings both ways... but with a decided preference.
  • Michael: Do you know what it means to be in the closet?
    Emory: Don't, Michael. It won't help to explain what it means.
    Michael: He already knows what it means. He knows very, very well what a closet queen is.Don't you, Alan?
    Alan: Michael, if you're insinuating that I'm homosexual, I can only say that you're mistaken.
    Michael: Am I? What about Justin Stuart? What about Justin Stuart? You were in love with him. That's what about him. And that's who you're gonna call.
    Alan: Justin and I were very good friends. That's all.
    Michael: According to Justin, the friendship was quite passionate.
    Alan: What do you mean?
    Michael: I mean that you slept with him in college... several times.
    Alan: That's not true.
    Michael: Several times. Once is youth. Twice, a phase maybe. Several times, you like it.
  • Donald: Did he ever tell you why he was crying on the phone? What it was he had to tell you?
    Michael: No. It must have been that he'd left Fran. Or maybe it was something else, and he changed his mind.
    Donald: Uh, maybe so. I wonder why he left her.
    Michael: As my father said to me when he died in my arms... "I don't understand any of it. I never did." Turn the lights off when you leave.


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