Coming Out Under Fire


Biography / Documentary / History

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 91%
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 153

Keywords:   world war ii, lgbt, gay, homophobia, us army

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 02, 2022 at 02:53 PM



Salome Jens as Narrator
658.65 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 11 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by roedyg 7 / 10

Made Me Angry

The way I came at this documentary is a bit different. I grew up in Canada thinking I was the only gay person in the country. In 1969 I discovered everything I had been told about gays was a lie. I then wrote a book, A Guide For The Naive Homosexual, came out publicly, and then chaired G*A*T*E a gay rights group. I spent endless hours trying to persuade gays not to be afraid and to fight for their rights. I faced 3,200 death threats and 38,000 abusive phone from Christians. Within a couple of years, we had the first gay rights legislation.

When I watched this movie I was furious. How dare the US government throw people in jail with hard labour for 5 years during WWII just for a thought crime -- being gay even without any actual sex. That has to be unconstitutional! How dare the government renege on its pension promise and label gay people as mentally ill so they could never get hired. That is a terrible way to treat young men who risked their lives for the USA, same as anyone else. How dare Eisenhower in 1953 order that all gay federal employees be fired. How dare Senator John Warner (aka Mr. Liz Taylor) ask gay American service people to lie and pretend to be straight, and be kicked out if every the camouflage failed. Would he demand that of any other group, e.g. Christians? I was also furious with the victims. They caved and gave names. They did not launch lawsuits once they were free to. They acted ashamed, and hid what happened to them. What snivelling worms! Anyone who was treated this way should be joining forces to sue and get the pension restored, and the discharge annulled. They bought in totally that they were worthless and ineffectual.

I feel sick to watch black people do a minstrel show, or a Stepin Fetchit routine. They are taking on the mantle of the anti-black stereotype. The gays in the movies did the same thing, calling each other "darling" and "girls", embracing the limp-wristed, empty-headed, female-wannabe stereotype. I found it revolting, though I suppose that is the way it was. Being gay has nothing to do with being a transvestite or a transsexual. That is a straight person's stereotype used to justify gay bashing. They all avoided the civil rights issue, filling their heads with trivial entertainments instead.

The movie is pretty good in that the interviewed people were honest about what they did. They did not pretend they were heroic.

The movie is all in black and white, which makes recent and old footage blend. I wish they had date subtitles to help keep track. The interviewees seem too young for WWII vets. Maybe the interviews were done long ago.

Reviewed by pyotr-3 10 / 10

One of the most important documentaries ever made

This documentary won at least four major awards for excellence, but that only tells part of the story. Yes, it is brilliantly made, but more importantly, it is dead-on IMPORTANT for all of humanity to know the story told here. This film is a great way to teach this part of our history to future generations.

In "Coming Out Under Fire" you get to meet 9 people whose lives were devastated in varying degrees by an unjust anti-gay policy in US armed forces. How many Americans today realize that some of our dedicated American veterans were forced to live in ANIMAL CAGES in hellish heat for months? How many Americans today know that dedicated American veterans were forced to return home branded a "sexual pervert," making it impossible to stay in their hometowns near their families and making it impossible for them to get a job in most parts of America? How many Americans know that valiant, decent, hard-working and dedicated American veterans were robbed of their veterans' benefits for no reason at all? And how many Americans realize that these sins against countless American veterans have still not been corrected or apologized for to this very day in spite of the removal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"?

This is a very important film. It sheds a bit of light on one of America's greatest shames. "Coming Out Under Fire" only shows the tip of the iceberg. There are many more stories to be told. But at least this film is a start.

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