FILM . . . THE CELLULOID CLOSET:

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Reparation of sorts for decades of shabby treatment of gays by Hollywood comes in this handsome, feature-length documentary. Niftily assembled by Robert Epstein and Jeffrey Freidman, the compilation is by turns amusing and heartbreaking, says TIME's Richard Corliss. It adroitly interlaces old film clips, like a peignoired Cary Grant, declaring, in Bringing Up Baby, 'I just went gay all of a sudden!', with cogent comments by Gore Vidal, Harvey Fierstein, Quentin Crisp and others. But the final irony of the film may be that Hollywood, with its dozens of gay stars, its hundreds of gays in positions of creative and executive power, is still afraid to depict homosexual life: the world Hollywood knows, and could persuasively dramatize, Corliss says. "The whole town, timid as ever, resides in one huge, beautifully appointed celluloid closet. ItŐs safer, cozier in there. Why would anyone want to come out?"