Yes, we know. The psychological and scientific communities agree that sexual orientation is something that you're born with. No factors or events can simply "make someone gay."
Nevertheless, if you're a longtime fan of movie musicals (who just happens to be gay), certain scenes in certain films can really stir the imagination. Musical numbers that feature the vigorous, athletic grace of dancing men can be especially inspiring to a gay viewer.
Some of these films are true classics and some are camp classics, but when it comes to dancing boys, here are ten of the best:
10. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas - "The Aggie Song" (1982)
If you crossed a gay porn film with a movie musical, you'd likely end up with this number. Gay director Colin Higgins (Nine to Five) serves up a heaping helping of beefcake (and bare butts) as a college football team strips down, showers up, and heads off to the titular whorehouse.
9. Can't Stop the Music - "YMCA" (1980)
The gayest movie ever made is also one of the worst movies ever made. Producer Allan Carr gambled that the chart-topping Village People needed a movie musical mash-up of screwball comedies and Busby Berkeley extravaganzas. The film is a mess, featuring Bruce Jenner (in a cut-off t-shirt and short shorts), Valerie Perrine, and Steve Guttenberg, all mugging like monkeys. But the musical numbers, especially "YMCA," are over-the-top fabulous.
8. Newsies - "Seize the Day" (1992)
Disney's musical tale of "Noo Yawk" newsboys fighting to start a union in 1899 bombed at the box office, but became a cult hit with millions of kids in the home video generation. Fan love convinced the Disney folks to transform the film into a Broadway hit, and the film's director/choreographer Kenny Ortega went on to create Disney's wildly popular High School Musical series.
7. Grease - "Greased Lightning" (1978)
In the film version of the Broadway show, John Travolta channels Elvis Presley in this love song to his beat up car that morphs into a high octane, testosterone fueled fantasy sequence.
6. Footloose - Title Song (1984)
Outlaw dancing in a small town and you're sure to piss off the teenagers. Kevin Bacon is terrific as the rebellious big city kid who shakes things up, and the climactic high school dance delivers the joyous release that everyone's been waiting for.
5. Viva Las Vegas - "Come On, Everybody" (1964)
The best of Elvis Presley's slew of movie musicals pairs him with the fiery force of nature Ann-Margret. Their sexual chemistry caught fire (both on screen and off) under the skilled guidance of veteran director George Sidney (Show Boat, Kiss Me Kate and Bye Bye Birdie).
4. Dirty Dancing - "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" (1987)
The magnificent Patrick Swayze proves that "nobody puts Baby in the corner" as he leads Jennifer Grey and the Catskills resort dance company in the film's musical, dramatic and romantic climax.
3. Saturday Night Fever - "You Should Be Dancing" (1977)
23 year-old John Travolta became an Oscar nominated star as a struggling Brooklyn kid who only shines when he hits the dance floor. The film introduced the straight world to disco, which was born in gay clubs, and discos soon popped up in every strip mall in America.
2. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers - "Barn Raising Dance" (1954)
Seven country bumpkin brothers battle city slickers for their girls in the most vigorous, acrobatic dance-off ever captured on film. The epic number is beautifully staged by director Stanley Donen (Singin' in the Rain) and choreographer Michael Kidd (Hello, Dolly!).
1. West Side Story - "America" (1961)
Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's song brilliantly captures the dreams and frustrations of Puerto Rican immigrants in this musical update of Romeo and Juliet. The girls shine as brightly as the boys, led by Rita Moreno and George Chakiris who both won Oscars for their roles. The film's ten Oscars included Best Picture and Best Director(s) for legendary choreographer Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise (The Sound of Music).
In which movie musical numbers did the dancing boys make your heart soar? Share your favorites in the comments section below.