JERICHO, N.Y., January 31, 2002 – AMC comes out with a new, original documentary on the life of Hollywood’s first openly gay actor as part of "AMC's OUTstanding Movies" festival on Tuesday, February 5. The festival showcases the premiere of OUT OF THE CLOSET, OFF THE SCREEN: THE LIFE OF WILLIAM HAINES, as well as the network premiere of the Oscar®-winning film GODS AND MONSTERS, starring Ian McKellan and Lynn Redgrave, and the award-winning documentary THE CELLULOID CLOSET.
"AMC's OUTstanding Movies" festival begins at 8:00 PM (ET) with the network premiere of the Academy Award®-winning drama, GODS AND MONSTERS (1998), based on the Christopher Bram novel, Father of Frankenstein. Ian McKellan earned an Oscar® nomination for his portrayal of FRANKENSTEIN director James Whale, a closeted homosexual, who develops an attraction for his straight gardener (Brendan Fraser) in this fictional account of his last days. Despite the tension in their relationship, the two forge a caring bond as the once celebrated director's health and mental state decline. Lynn Redgrave co-stars as Whale's devoted housekeeper. Nominated for a total of three Academy Awards®, including Redgrave for Best Supporting Actress, the film took home the Oscar® for Best Writing.
Next, at 10:00 PM, AMC debuts its original documentary OUT OF THE CLOSET, OFF THE SCREEN: THE LIFE OF WILLIAM HAINES. The one-hour documentary, based on the critically acclaimed biography by William Mann, recounts the rise and fall of Hollywood's first openly gay actor. (Also at 2:00 AM.)
A witty, romantic leading man – and a close friend of many on Hollywood's A-list, including Joan Crawford, director George Cukor and William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies – Haines was the top male box-office draw of the silent era. His film career ended abruptly in the 1930s when he refused to hide his homosexuality. Undaunted, Haines launched a spectacular new career as an interior designer, decorating homes and creating original furniture for Joan Crawford, Jack Warner, Alfred and Betsy Bloomingdale, and Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Nearly 30 years after his death, his pieces are considered highly collectible and grace the homes of such celebrities as Ellen DeGeneres, Courtney Cox-Arquette and Cameron Diaz. (Also at 1:00 AM.)
The festival continues at 11:00 PM (ET) with the award-winning documentary THE CELLULOID CLOSET (1995), based on a 1981 book by Vito Russo. Narrated by Lily Tomlin, the film chronicles how Hollywood's depiction of homosexuality has evolved over 100 years of filmmaking. Film clips are interspersed among interviews with Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon, Gore Vidal, Barry Sandler, Whoopi Goldberg and others, in this winner of the 1996 Sundance Film Festival's Freedom of Expression Award
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