The Gay Gauntlet

Now that Philadelphia is a hit, can Hollywood still shun gay themes?

FOR ITS FIRST FEW WEEKS OF release, Philadelphia, Hollywood's first big attempt to tell an AIDS story in a feature film, played to good business in a scant four theaters nationwide. The picture was like a gay person who is cherished by his friends but reluctant to come out of the closet. In mid- January the movie finally fanned out on 1,200 screens and, of all things, it was a hit. America seemed to be accepting a few heretical notions: that a homosexual could earn respect and sympathy; that a star like Tom Hanks could play a gay man with credible...

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