Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk



Out on the Shelves LGBT Film


From the early days of cinema, gayness has been represented in a variety of ways on screen and gay directors have made a major contribution to the development of film.

There are a wide range of resources related to film in the Library of Birmingham. As they are for use in the library only they are always available for you to use. A small selection of histories and books on film theory are on the open shelves but there are also books in the store indicated by the letter A in front of their numbers e.g. A 791.43. These can be viewed by asking staff at the enquiry desk.

The Queer Encyclopaedia of the Visual Arts is an authoritative guide which can be consulted at
KQ704.0866403 SUM.

The online scholarly encyclopaedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer culture and may be viewed via the website www.glbtq.com/arts/film. It provides a very useful introduction and overview of LBGT film by Mark Finch followed by individual essays on subjects such as European Film by Craig Kaczorowski.

LGBT Reading List

Bourne, Stephen
Brief encounters: lesbians and gays in British cinema 1930-1971, 1996
A791.43653 BOU

Darren, Alison
Lesbian film Guide, 2000
K791.43652664 DAR

Dyer, Richard
Now you see it: studies in lesbian and gay film, 1990
A791.430909353 DYE

Dyer, Richard
Gays and film, 1977
A791.430909353 DYE

Gever, Martha
Queer looks: perspectives on lesbian and gay film and video,1993
A791.43653 GEV

Howes, Keith
Broadcasting it: an encyclopaedia of homosexuality in film, radio and TV in the UK 1923-1993, 1993
791.430866403 HOW

Jackson, Claire
The Bent lens: a world guide to gay & lesbian film, 1997
K791.43653 JAC

Olson, Jenni
The Ultimate guide to lesbian and gay film, 1996
K791.43653 OLS

Steven, Peter
Jump Cut: Hollywood, politics and counter cinema, 1985
A791.43 STE

Tyler, Parker
Screening the sexes: homosexuality in the movies, 1993
A791.43653 TYL

Film Directors

There can be no doubt that gay, lesbian and bisexual film directors have made an considerable creative contribution to the development of cinema throughout it's history. Those listed below are either gay/lesbian or bisexual themselves or their work may be of special interest to the gay/lesbian viewer.

There is a large collection of books about the life and works of directors available. Please ask staff for assistance in using the Library Catalogue

Almodovar, Pedro
Anderson, Lindsay
Asquith, Anthony
Cocteau, Jean
Cukor, George
Eisenstein, Sergei
Fassbinder, Rainer Werner
Jarman, Derek
Kidron, Beeban
Losey, Joseph
Merchant, Ismail & Ivory, James
Pasolini, Pier Paolo
Richardson, Tony
Russell, Ken
Schlesinger, John
Treut, Monika
Visconti, Luchino
Warhol, Andy & Morrissey, Paul
Zeffirelli, Franco

Film Stars

Although many gay and lesbian actors have been unable to be open about their sexuality they have been present in cinema since the days of silent films. The actors listed are either gay or lesbian themselves or their work may be of special interest to gay and lesbian viewers.

You can search for these in the Library Catalogue.

Bankhead, Tallulah

Bates, Alan
Bogarde, Dirk
Brando, Marlon
Callow, Simon
Chamberlain, Richard
Clift, Montgomery
Dietrich, Marlene
Everett, Rupert
Garbo, Greta
Gielgud, John
Grant, Cary
Hudson, Rock
Kaye, Danny
Laughton, Charles
McKellen, Ian
Perkins, Anthony
Power, Tyrone
Taylor, Elizabeth
Valentino, Rudolph
Williams, Kenneth

Gay Icons

Books and information are available on these film actors in the Library of Birmingham.

Barbara Streisand
Bette Davis
Bette Midler
Greta Garbo
Judy Garland
Marilyn Monroe


This is a select list of films with a LGBT theme or they may be of particular interest to gay and lesbian viewers.

A Florida Enchantment

Adam's Rib
American Gigolo
Anger's Fireworks
Armistead Maupin's 'Tales of the City'
Basic Instinct
Brokeback Mountain
The Children's Hour
Desert Hearts
Different from Others
The Dresser
Frankie and Johnny
Fried Green Tomatoes
The Hunger
The Killing of Sister George
Kiss of the Spider Woman
Last Exit to Brooklyn
Longtime Companion
Making Love
Movie Crazy
The Naked Civil Servant
Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
Parting Glances
Queen Christina
Suddenly Last Summer
Sylvia Scarlett
Thelma & Louise
Torch Song trilogy
Twice a Man
Walk a Crooked Path
The Wings

Bi Sexuality in Film Reading List

The Queer Encyclopaedia of Visual Arts contains an introduction to bisexuality as depicted in independent and mainstream films
KQ704.0866403 SUM

Dyer, Richard
Gays and Film, 1977
A791.430909353 DYE

Williams, Carla
This essay provides a useful introduction and overview

Bi Sexuality in Films

This selection of films either feature bisexuality or may be of particular interest to gay, lesbian and bisexual viewers.

Basic Instinct
Chasing Amy
Chasing Amy
Dog Day Afternoon
The Fox
Go Fish
Henry and June
Inside Daisy Clover
Making Love
My Best Friend's Wedding
Personal Best
Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Wild things


There are few actors who have openly stated their bisexuality. Examples are:

Anne Heche
Joey Lauren Adams
Sandra Bernhard

Transexuality in Film

Caroline Kraus presents an overview of this subject in an essay in the encyclopaedia of gay, lesbian, transgender andqueer studies - www.glbtq.com covering the 'Transsexual as Joke', the 'Transsexual as Psychopathic Killer' and also explores the 'Transsexual as Metaphor'

Transsexuality Film Reading list

Garber, Marjorie
Vested interests: Cross- dressing and cultural anxiety, 1992
306.77 (SULM)

Murray, Raymond
Images in the dark: An encyclopaedia of gay and lesbian film and video, 1996


Adventures of Sebastian Cole
Boys Don't Cry
Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
Desperate Living
Different for Girls
Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde
Dressed to Kill
Glen or Glenda
Ma Vie en Rose
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Myra Breckinridge
Second Serve
Silence of the Lambs
Soldier's Girl
Southern Comfort
Tales of the City
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
The World According to Garp
Wild Side


There is a small collection of important films on DVD and video which are for use in the library. All facilities are provided by the library. Alternatively you may borrow films for a small charge from the Music Library, Lower Ground Floor, Library of Birmingham.

Film Reviews

Reviews of films which appear in film magazines are indexed and arranged by title so that they are easily accessible.

Film Journals

The following film journals are available at the enquiry desk:

Film Comment
Film Review
Film Quarterly
Movie International
Sight and Sound

Illustrations Collection

This collection is made up of illustrations from magazines on relevant topics such as film stars.

There is an introduction to the film collection on our Performing Arts web page.
Black & white and colour photocopiers are available and staff are happy to provide any assistance required.

Internet Sites



Internet movie database enabling search by title, person, character, quote and plot. Site includes trailers, information about film locations, films in production. The Internet Movie Database is the definitive online resource for film and television.

Well-designed site showing b/w movie classics. Essays on genres such as screwball comedy and film noir.

The British Film Institute. Contains many unpublished materials such as scripts, t.v. ephemera. There are over 500 named collections, but annual B.F.I. membership is needed for access.

Bibliography of ethnic and racial representations in cinema. Sections on Jews, Afro-Americans and Latinos. Also includes gay and lesbian studies.

Website of Empire film magazine. Gives condensed and full reviews of films over the past four years. Also reviews books, videos and soundtracks.

Hundreds of film and tv screenplays free to download.

The site Gay Celluloid is a great resource for LGBT themed films.

The site Planet Out Popcorn is another great resource for LGBT themed films

Please note We are not responsible for the content of other organisations' websites.