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July 10, 2017

Before Brokeback: The First Same-Sex Kiss in Film History, 1927

Cinema is no stranger to depicting a same-sex kiss – from Querelle to Brokeback Mountain. But way before any of that, the 1927 film Wings dared to show a passionate smooch between two men.

Wings made film history by becoming the only silent film to ever win an Academy Award for Best Picture. It’s also historic because it featured the first same-sex kiss in a mainstream Hollywood movie as a result of some hot-and-heavy homosocial desire.

In Wings, Charles Rogers and Richard Arlen play Jack and David, two combat pilots in love with the same girl. Their rivalry turns into a full-blown bromance, however, during training when after getting in a fight they end up tenderly wiping blood from their mouths with boxing gloves still on. Eventually, the two pilots share the film’s most intimate moment, and the girl of their supposed dreams ends up getting left out.

That’s the storyline. But neither, as writer Kevin Sessums writes, “shows as much love for her ... as they do for each other.”

(via Open Culture)



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