Drag Queens On Screen!

25 Essential Drag Queen Films Every 'Drag Race' Fan Needs to See | Hornet,  the Queer Social Network
(img: https://hornet.com/stories/drag-queen-films/)


1904 – Mr. Wix of Wickham stage play with Julian Eltinge

1915 – Julian Eltinge’s “The Countess Charming” (first on film screen drag)

The Roaring ’20s – The Panzy Craze where Gene Malin became a star

With no movies made during this time period, showing gay culture, we can look to modern films that depict that time period for insights:

  • Colette (2018), The Danish Girl (2015) & Some Like It Hot (1959)

1930 – Morocco (1930) – on screen drag king which explored gender fluidity

1933 – Gene Malin was in “Arizona to Broadway” in 1933 where he played he portrayed Ray Best, a female impersonator who dressed in the manner of Mae West and sang “Frankie and Johnny”

1933 – Victor and Victoria

1934 – Hollywood’s Hays Code drives drag back underground in North America – which was a set of industry moral guidelines for censorship that were applied to motion pictures in the US.

1968 – The Queen pageant documentary

1968 – The death of the Hays Code

1969 – Funeral Parade of Roses – see my review

1972 – Pink Flamingos

Divine on Twitter: "#Divine was the inspiration for Ursula the Sea Witch  from @Disney's #TheLittleMermaid (1989) http://t.co/t6PIYdxzVF"
Divine was the inspiration for Ursela, Disney’s villain in The Little Mermaid

1975 – The Rocky Horror Picture Show

10 Times The Rocky Horror Picture Show Crashed Pop Culture
Rocky Horror Picture Show midnight screening in Perks of Being A Wallflower

1975 – 1977 All in the Family TV Show featuring the drag queen Lori Shannon (Don McClean) as the drag queen Beverly LaSalle

1977 – Outrageous!

1977 – Gay USA 1977

1978 – La Cage Aux Folles

1982 – Dustin Hoffman in “Tootsie”

1989 marks Rupaul’s first emergence to TV in the B-52s hit music video for Love Shack (2:06)

1990 – Paris is Burning

1993 –  Rupauls HIT single Supermodel (You Better Work)

1994 – The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

1995 – Wigstock: The Movie

1995 – To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar

1996 – The Birdcage

1998 – Velvet Goldmine

1999 – Flawless


2008 – A documentary about Miss Gay America 2008 pageant which featured soon to be drag race stars Porkchop and Alyssa Edwards

2009 – Rupaul’s Drag race premiered

2020 – Queens – Canadian comedy mystery web series (on CBC )

Main movies for this episode:

Paris is Burning (1990)

Octavia St. Laurant

Pepper LaBeija 

Pepper LaBeija
Pepper LaBeija - Google Search | Paris is burning, Fashion film, Fashion

Crystal LaBeija

Crystal LaBeija · A History of Ballroom: Documenting the era of Ballroom  (1972-1990) · UMSI580

Aja on RuPaul’s Drag Race as Crystal LaBeija (in Snatch Game)

Crystal LaBeija: 5 Things to Know About the Ballroom & Drag Icon |  Billboard | Billboard

Venus Xtravaganza:


The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

All about the headpieces! (and the flip flop dress!)

Priscilla returns to her Erskineville pub home
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert 25th Anniversary | NFSA
The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert - info and ticket booking,  Bristol | Watershed
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert review – riotous return  trip | Comedy films | The Guardian
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) - Photo Gallery -  IMDb

“Evolutionary” Finale Sequence:

To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar (1995)

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar Blu-ray
To wong foo, Julie newmar, Rupaul
Rupaul as “Rachel Tension”
John Leguizamo and Patrick Swayze nearly fought on 'To Wong Foo' set
To Wong Foo' may be Broadway's next drag spectacular
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar - Movie Review - The  Austin Chronicle
Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo talk 'To Wong Foo' in 1995
How John Leguizamo Became 'To Wong Foo's Chi Chi Rodriguez
TO WONG FOO, THANKS FOR EVERYTHING JULIE NEWMAR - Noxeema (Wesley Snipes)  Green Robe | The Golden Closet

Sources/Further Reading:

Episode guest: https://www.instagram.com/slimkatyyy/

To learn more about the Paris Is Burning murders, listen to this episode of My Favorite Murder: https://myfavoritemurder.com/269-big-hot-c-mon/




Trixie Mattell Documentary: “Moving Parts” (2019)

The podcast with Rupaul and Michelle Visage – “What’s the Tee?”





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: