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Some of My Best Friends Are... (1971)


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Candy Darling

Very rare screening of a 1971 film set in a New York gay bar on Christmas Eve. Like being back in the Stonewall Inn, it’s a real timewarp, with a great cast including Candy Darling.

This portrait of Christmas Eve at Manhattan’s The Bluejay offers an opportunity for us to witness the lives and insecurities of the venue’s staff and their customers, who treat the bar like their home. It’s like any gay bar in New York during the early 1970s. There’s even a friendly neighbourhood cop who uses it as a pick-up joint. Few bars have such a fascinating range of patrons: The Fruit Fly, Lita Joyce (played by Rue McClanahan), the beautiful Candy Darling as a man who makes a very convincing woman and Giggling Gertie, who prefers to giggle rather than speak. All the while, matronly barmaids Sadie and Helen keep a look out for everyone. Emotions run high during the festive season and interaction between the gay male patrons is all about working through their various infatuations and, ultimately, who will be spending Christmas with whom.

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