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The Queen

The Queen
Documentary | 1968 | G. 1hr 8min
CAST: Jim Dine, Jack Doroshow, Bruce Jay Friedman DIRECTOR: Frank Simon PRIDE FILM SERIES | CLASSIC FILM SERIES

Jack is 24, sometimes he's a drag queen named Sabrina. In 1967, as Sabrina, he's the mistress of ceremonies at a national drag queen contest in New York City. The camera goes behind the scenes, recording the rehearsals leading up to the contest, the conversations in the dressing room (about draft boards, sexual identity and sex-change operations, and being a drag queen), and the jealousies that emerge before and after the competition. Jack introduces us to Richard, a young man who becomes Jack's protégé. As Miss Harlow, Richard enters the contest. One of his principal competitors is Miss Crystal, who's from Manhattan. Who will win the crown?

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The Queen is an extraordinary documentary.
Renata Adler, New York Times
Whether pushing the camera close to the performers or zooming in from afar to survey them intimately, Simon captures the lavish life of theatrical imagination that inspires them and makes gender itself seem like an urgent performance.
Richard Brody, New Yorker
A hilarious behind-the-scenes look at the Miss All-American Camp Beauty Pageant... The Queen is one of the earliest queer-focused documentaries and includes famous faces like Andy Warhol mingling with drag queens like Crystal LaBeija.
Glenn Dunks,
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