Friday, July 29, 2011

KNOW Your LGBT History - The Naked Civil Servant

Last week, I featured Partners, a hideously homophobic movie starring Ryan O'Neal and John Hurt. I remarked about how it was amazing that Hurt would agree to be in such a movie seeing that earlier in his career, he won enormous critical acclaim and awards for his portrayal of Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant.

Today, I want to talk about the latter movie. The Naked Civil Servant was a 1975 British television movie detailing the life of Crisp, a legendary figure in the gay community, and his desire to live life as a flamboyantly out gay man and on his own terms in spite of the homophobia around him. And it was a dangerous time he lived in. Homosexuality was illegal in Great Britain then.

I never met the late Quentin Crisp, but from what I've seen in interviews, he embodied a spirit of self-love and self-awareness like no other. And Hurt did him more than justice with his portrayal. As I said before, Hurt received much acclaim and a few awards. From wikipedia:

For his performance, Hurt won the BAFTA for Best Actor in 1976. The production also won the 1976 Prix Italia and in 2000 it was placed fourth in a poll by industry professionals to find the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes of the 20th century.

The best thing about Hurt's performance is even now, it holds up as probably one of the best portrayals of a gay man on screen:

Past Know Your LGBT History Posts: