[[caption-width-right:215: Brandon Teena, just a regular guy. Played by Creator/HilarySwank.]]

Directed by Kimberly Peirce and released in 1999, ''Boys Don't Cry'' is the story of the life and death of a young [[UsefulNotes/{{Transsexual}} trans man]] named Brandon Teena (Creator/HilarySwank). His legal name was Teena Brandon, but that was unknown to the gang of misogynist homophobic rednecks he joined.

They accepted him as one of the guys, and he even started dating the sister of one of these new friends. Of course, when they "discovered" that he was assigned female, they considered him to be a lesbian. Homophobic hate crimes ensued.

Not to be confused with MenDontCry or the boy band from a ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' episode.

* AdaptationNameChange: Real life Lisa Lambert is named Candace in the movie.
* AdaptedOut: Phillip Devine, who was murdered at the same time as Brandon and Candace / Lisa. His girlfriend Leslie, who was also Lana's sister, was left out.
* ArtisticLicenceHistory:
** Lana Tisdel claims that she didn't continue a relationship with Brandon once she discovered his true identity. The movie depicts them having sex at least once afterwards.
** She also wasn't there at the scene of the murder, which the movie shows happening right in front of her.
* BigNO!: Lana does one after [[spoiler: Brandon is shot.]]
* BlatantLies:
** Brandon makes up a ton of lies besides the obvious, like having a kid of his own, a model for a sister and has traveled the world. Also, prior to landing the role, Creator/HilarySwank lied both about her age and about her origins. When called out for it, she said she lied because that's what Brandon would do.
** Also, Lana lies about quitting her job.
* BlondeBrunetteRedhead: Blonde Candace, brunette Kate and reddish blonde Lana.
* BloodlessCarnage: Not even a drop after [[spoiler: Candace is shot, and a little splash, despite Brandon getting it in the throat (right at the carotid artery).]]
* BrainlessBeauty: Brandon. "I'm going to Memphis, Graceland, and Tennessee."
* BrokenAesop: The movie's tagline talks about "having the courage to be yourself" when the film's protagonist is a compulsive liar (claiming to have a kid, traveling the world, etc.), and when he does "be himself," [[spoiler: he ends up getting raped and murdered.]]
* TheCasanova: Brandon is this. If anything, the movie is rather restrained in depicting just how much of a Casanova he was.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: "Graceland Memphis Tennessee", something Brandon is playfully mocked for by Lana.
* DisappearedDad: Lana's father is nowhere to be found and neither is the father of Candace's baby. Brandon's family is absent--he lies about it, then later says his father died when Brandon was very young.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: Both Brandon and Candace are shot dead, Tom and John do time in prison and the only glimmer of hope is Lana leaving town to see the world]].
* ForegoneConclusion: The movie is based on the last days of a famous murder victim.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: After John kicks everyone but Lana out of the car and drives away, Tom comments that John has no impulse control.
* GagPenis: The fake "gear" that Brandon is packing is impossible.
* HardDrinkingPartyGirl: Lana and her mother. The real Lana took exception to this depiction.
* TheHeroDies: Brandon himself at the end. A ForegoneConclusion since this is based on a famous murder case.
* HeteronormativeCrusader: Brandon's friends take this path when they find out his biological sex. Also the mob that chases Brandon in the first scene.
* HopeSpot: The first half of the movie is essentially one big, awful hope spot for Brandon. Troubled and aimless, he suddenly finds himself surrounded by friends, head over heels in love, and able to see a happy future for himself. [[spoiler:And then it all goes horribly wrong.]]
* InfantImmortality: Candace's young son is left alive while [[spoiler: she and Brandon are shot by Tom and John]].
* ItIsDehumanizing : Mom refers to Brandon as "It" after they discover the truth.
* LoveableRogue: Brandon steals, skirts the law, and lies (to plump up his image, in addition to the obvious ones meant to protect himself.) However, he's also a genuinely nice guy who doesn't really want to hurt anyone.
* KarmaHoudini: Charles Laux, the sheriff who [[spoiler:asked Brandon invasive, demeaning questions about his rape and essentially signed his death warrant by refusing to arrest his killers]] never faces any real consequences. In real life, he went on to lead a long, comfortable career before retiring as a school bus driver.
* MeanCharacterNiceActor: Brendon Sexton III, who played Tom, walked away in tears after filming the rape scene.
* MeaningfulEcho: When Brandon walks Lana home and she's embarrassed about her house, he says "You're so pretty." Near the end of the film when Brandon is hiding out in the barn after [[spoiler: being raped,]] Lana says "You're so pretty," and kisses him.
* TheMedic: The kind nurse that patches Brandon up serves this purpose. Although she has no "powers" in the specific sense, she nonetheless helps Brandon, in contrast to the police.
* MissingMom: The mother of John's daughter April is out of the picture.
* MurderTheHypotenuse: It's implied that John is interested in/obsessed with Lana, and this is part of his motivation (aside from homophobia and poor impulse control).
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: Along with a large dose of ObfuscatingStupidity, the bonehead sheriff who keeps asking rude and inflammatory questions.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Lana's mom is only called "Mom" in the film, and the character name is...Lana's Mom.
* OscarBait: BasedOnATrueStory, featuring an LGBT character and an actress undergoing BeautyInversion - though the film is slightly grittier than most examples. Swank won the Academy Award for Best Actress. In addition, Chloe Sevigny was nominated for Best Supporting Actress and the film won several other awards.
* PoliceAreUseless: Not only do they not believe Brandon, they seem to think he deserved what he got.
* RapeAsDrama: [[spoiler: Brandon is brutally raped by both Tom and John once they discover the truth.]]
* RightThroughHisPants: Brandon doesn't take off his clothes when he has sex with Lana. Justified, in this case, as he doesn't want to reveal his secret yet.
* ShowerOfAngst: Brandon takes a shower after [[spoiler: he has been raped by men who discovered his birth sex]], with the camera lingering on shots of his female body. Subverted in the previous scene when John and Tom try to force him to have a shower [[spoiler: after they beat and rape him, in order to DestroyTheEvidence. Brandon [[BathroomBreakout escapes]] through the bathroom window]].
* TriumphantReprise: The girls sing the song "The Bluest Eyes In Texas" by Restless Heart in the bar where Brandon first meets Lana. At the end of the film when Lana is finally leaving Falls City the cover by Nina Persson plays over it.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Seems like a number of facts about the events portrayed in the movie were omitted and others outright fabricated. The real Lana Tisdel disliked how she was portrayed and described the movie as "The second murder of Brandon Teena."
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Kate disappears after Brandon [[spoiler: is exposed in front of everyone]] and we never hear what happened to her. Also, Candace's baby is last seen walking back into the bedroom after [[spoiler: she's been shot]], and it's not said what happened to him (In real life Mom took the baby). Ditto for John's daughter April. John states early in the movie that April's mother gave him to her for "a few days," so it's a fair assumption the child went back to her mom.