BentNovember 26, 1997
Max is gay and as such is sent to Dachau concentration camp under the Nazi regime. He tries to deny he is gay and gets a yellow label (the one for Jews) instead of pink (the one for gays)…
Release Year: 1997
Rating: 7.1/10 (3,556 voted)
Stars: Lothaire Bluteau, Clive Owen, Mick Jagger
Max is gay and as such is sent to Dachau concentration camp under the Nazi regime. He tries to deny he is gay and gets a yellow label (the one for Jews) instead of pink (the one for gays). In camp he falls in love with his fellow prisoner Horst, who wears his pink label with pride.
Writers: Martin Sherman, Martin Sherman
(as Nikolaj Waldau)
Half-Woman – Half-Man
Fluff in Park
Guard 1 on Train
Release Date: 26 November 1997
Filming Locations: Dalmellington, Ayrshire, Scotland, UK
Opening Weekend: $145,222
(30 November 1997)
(28 December 1997)
Did You Know?
Ian McKellen, who appears as Uncle Freddie in the film, starred in the role of Max in the original London West End theatre production in 1979.
Ever go to the Silhouette?
I never saw you there.
You weren't looking.
Good, you had taste. The White Mouse?
I'm surprised you never saw me there. Did you sunbathe?
I love to sunbathe.
When Martin Sherman's play first appeared (with Ian McKellen as Max and
Bell as Horst) it caused outrage and much discussion with its sympathetic
and frank treatment of forbidden love in the age of the
Here it has undergone a few changes but retains its stark power. Clive
(probably not my first choice for the role) plays Max, the homosexual who
pretends to be a Jew so he is not at the bottom of the pecking order of
prisoners. The way the SS force him to prove his sexuality is shocking
whether on the printed page, in a theatre, or up on the big screen. Brian
Webber plays his intellectual lover Rudy with some class and it is a brief
but touching performance.
Lothaire Bluteau, who I had only seen before in 'Jesus of Montreal', was
brilliant in the role of Horst, the prisoner with the pink triangle who
awakens Max again from his imprisoned desires. There are quiet and
scenes between the two that are almost unbearably moving to watch, and are
done within this film extremely well.
Elsewhere in the cast, Ian McKellen himself plays Uncle Freddie (but those
of us who saw him as Max would love to have seen that portrayal
on screen), while Mick Jagger is surprisingly good as Greta (a role which
could easily be played wrong but he's spot on).
This play/film is intended to make its audience confront their prejudices,
to shock, move, and inspire them. I think it is an unmissable
a difficult one, but worthwhile.