105 Must See Films

105 Must See Films: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert (1994)


Starring: Hugo Weaving, Terence Stamp, Guy Pearce

Director: Stephan Elliot

Priscilla is the name of the lavender bus with a giant shoe in the top which the characters travel around in, in this film, and I love how the title is both dramatic and funny.

In Australia, two drag queens and a transgender woman decide that a road trip is in order when they are invited to perform in Alice Springs. Along the way, they meet various people, the bus breaks down, they talk about life and love, fight and sing various songs in some fabulous costumes, and a few secrets come out.

It’s A Must See Because: When this film came out, everyone saw it, and it’s gone on to spawn it’s own musical, which is still playing the London’s West End. The musical numbers are really great, really catchy.

But actually, I think the heart of this film is the characters. They have a great chemistry, and their snappy, snarky banter is hilarious. But it’s when the chips are down that though they tease each other, they’re ultimately very sweet, vulnerable human beings who care. They’re more than two dimensional, and I feel like the film broke open the closet somewhat for outsiders, and made humans out of people who had been sidelined quite a lot. (Straight actors playing gay leads seems worth noting, and is a conversation for another time)

It’s a delightful film, and bears re-watching, which many films don’t. Classic.

See It If: you like music and witty banter, or an exploration of friendship. Excellent.


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