Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"The Queen" and "Dream Boys Revue"

In case you did not read the comments to Sunday's blog posting, the image accompanying that post came from the womanless beauty pageant held in New York City in 1967, which was documented in the 1968 film The Queen.

Snippets of the film are on YouTube and a VHS of the 68-minute documentary is available from various sources including Amazon.

I purchased the VHS when it was released back in 1996 and it probably cost around $20. The Queen VHS is now out of print, not available on DVD, and as a result, I guess it is kind of rare because it now sells for $98.35 new and $44.99 used on Amazon.

Bright Lights Film Journal has a thorough review of The Queen here.

Is it worth it?

It is historically significant on a cultural and personal level, but I don't think I would not pay $45 for it.

When The Queen was released, I saw an ad for it in The Village Voice similar to the image accompanying this post. As a budding femulator, the film was definitely of interest to me. I considered taking the train to New York City just to see it because I knew that it would never be shown in my hometown or thereabouts.

But I feared that if I went to NYC to see it, what would people think. Not that I would tell anybody what I was up to, but I even worried what strangers would think if they saw me entering or exiting the theater where it was playing.

So, I waited almost 30 years to see the film and it was not worth the wait. As I remember, I was not impressed with its quality and content and I never watched it again, but now that I have been writing about it, I may watch it again just to see what I think of it now.

A similar film that I prefer is Dream Boys Revue, a 1985 documentary about 30 female impersonators participating in a beauty pageant competition.The quality and content is much better than The Queen and it is available from Amazon on VHS new and used for $14.95, so it is certainly more affordable.

A personal note regarding Dream Boys Revue:

Early in the film, they introduce each contestant by name and hometown. All the contestants were from big cities with populations of a half-million or more (more or less), except for one contestant, who came from a small city with a population of just over 100,000. Would you believe she came from my hometown?

It's a small world (after all).


  1. I saw "The Queen' in 1968 (or it may have been early '69) when our film group showed it (in 16mm )at the college I was attending at the time. Maybe by today's standards it looks dated, but at the time it looked exciting because it was unusual (to say the least) to see men in drag. The winner, Miss Harlow, was particularly impresive. "She" even had a fashion layout in "Evergreen" magazine at the time (which was published by Grove Press, the same people who distributed the film.)

  2. $45 used? $98 new? At those prices, I'd consider the film to be fair game for Bittorrent. The original producers aren't making any money off of resales on Amazon.

  3. You're right $98 dollars is steep and I don't know if I'd trust a used on, a shame someone doesn't convert it to DVD

  4. I just bought a copy of The Queen on DVD on ebay for $19.99. Someone probably burned it from VHS. It saves me from doing it and I can enjoy.