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, Parting Glances, a groundbreaking portrait of HIV-positive characters, is up against The Wizard of Oz, the timeless fantasy starring Judy Garland. 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.
Writer and director Bill Sherwood would never make another film — he succumbed to an AIDS-related disease in 1990 — but his only cinematic work, Parting Glances, will keep his legacy alive for decades to come. The well-acted and brilliantly written film centers on Robert and Michael, a couple preparing for a two-year separation as Michael heads to Africa for work. Over the course of 24 hours, Robert, Michael, and their friends and lovers all collide to hilarious and heart-wrenching effect. Robert's ex-boyfriend Nick (Steve Buscemi — perhaps best known today for his star turns in Boardwalk Empire, 30 Rock, and Fargo — in his first major role) is a rock star dying of AIDS. But Nick is never a pitiable character, instead a strong and defiant survivor, a rarity for cinematic portrayals of people with AIDS, in the ’90s and beyond. —Neal Broverman
It’s no wonder that gay men have referred to one another as “Friends of Dorothy” for three quarters of a century. From the moment Judy Garland sings “Over the Rainbow” on a gray Kansas tractor, LGBTs found a heroine, one who so beautifully articulates an anthem for those yearning for “a place where there isn’t any trouble.” Her journey into the Technicolor Land of Oz, which so thrilled audiences in 1939, still continues to enchant both young and old. And while her friends the Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow may look like a motley crew, their quest for intelligence, courage, heart, and home is one that continues to resonate with and inspire the LGBT rights movement. —Daniel Reynolds
Vote here on Facebook or Twitter by Sunday, June 29, and check in every day for more Clash of The Classics.
— The Advocate (@TheAdvocateMag) June 27, 2014