After compiling a list of the most essential LGBT movies, The Advocate is pitting the top 32 entries against one another in a series of one-on-one face-offs. In this round, the modern gay classic Brokeback Mountain is up against an actual classic, The Women, which features many of the iconic actresses of the silver screen. Which film is more essential? Vote below, and check out our full list of the top 175 most essential LGBT movies at Advocate.com/top175.
This Oscar-winning feature film is arguably one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking gay love stories ever told on the silver screen. The chemistry between the late Heath Ledger’s restrained, tortured Ennis Del Mar and Jake Gyllenhaal’s sensitive and tender Jack Twist takes viewers high into Wyoming’s Grand Teton mountains in an intimate portrait of two men brutally confined by the hypermasculine culture in which they exist. After watching the film with its emotional gut-punch of a conclusion, you’ll understand Jack’s lament and agony in telling Ennis “I can’t quit you.” The only thing that compares with the powerful performances turned in by Ledger and Gyllenhaal is director Ang Lee’s stunning visuals — which earned him an Academy Award for best director. —Sunnivie Brydum
Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, and Rosalind Russell head up an amazing cast of dozens of the greatest female actors of the late '30s. And not one man. Anita Loos added zip to Clare Booth Luce's stage script about the savage backstabbing and mercenary marriages of the Park Avenue set. The zingers race by so fast it demands multiple viewings to savor every barb. Before gay people had films of their own to reflect them, films like this were iconic touchstones. If you heard a man quoting the film, you knew you were among friends. If you want to stay friends with us, don't mention the 2008 version. —Christopher Harrity
— The Advocate (@TheAdvocateMag) June 24, 2014