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, Making Love, the first major Hollywood drama about a closeted gay man coming to terms with his sexual orientation, is up against The Times of Harvey Milk, the groundbreaking 1984 documentary about the assassination of the gay politician. 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.
Making Love, 1982 (11 seed)
The plot of this 1982 film -- a supposedly straight, married L.A. doctor falls in love with another man -- sounds like a Lifetime movie now, but at the time it was groundbreaking. Making Love was also well-acted, with stellar performances from Michael Ontkean as the latently gay protagonist, Kate Jackson as the confused wife, and especially Harry Hamlin as the sexy, hedonistic novelist who Ontkean's character falls for. Hamlin, a huge star at the time, would later say the movie damaged his career but that he remains proud of it. --Neal Broverman
The Times of Harvey Milk, 1984 (22 seed)
Before there was Milk, there was The Times of Harvey Milk. While the dramatized version offers a wonderful portrayal of the political trailblazer, there's nothing quite like getting to know the real man, as we do via archival footage in Robert Epstein's remarkable documentary, released just six years after Milk's assassination. There are also numerous interviews with people who knew him, demonstrating how many lives he touched and changed. Harvey Fierstein narrates this deserving Oscar winner. --Trudy Ring
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