Follow TV Tropes


Ambiguously Gay / Live-Action Films

Go To

  • Vasquez in Aliens is suggested to be a lesbian by the other marines, but it's probably just because she's a butch ladette. She seems to be close with Drake, though there's no overt sexual flirtation and they've got the same job.
  • All About Eve
    • At least to a modern viewer, Addison DeWitt comes off as rather camp.
    • Eve herself is sometimes seen as being a lesbian or bisexual considering her androgynous appearance, her rough voice, and a scene with her walking with another unnamed woman, arm-in-arm, up the stairs in bathrobes. Given Eve's habits of deception, it's hard to pin down just what she is.
  • Advertisement:
  • The title character in All the Boys Love Mandy Lane. She's athletic, she doesn't seem attracted to any of the guys in school (she rejects Emmet at the end), despite all their best efforts, and her scenes with Chloe are possibly the only moments where she appears to be sexually attracted to another character. And to top it all off, there's some Reality Subtext — the actress who plays Mandy, Amber Heard, came out as Bisexual.
  • In Amazing Grace it seems that William Wilberforce and William Pitt the Younger have a thing going on with each other. As in Real Life, they were apparently both buried near each other in Westminster Abbey. It also doesn't help that Pitt the Younger was widely rumored to be gay.
  • Champ from Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. The companion film, Wake Up, Ron Burgundy, which is made from footage left on the cutting room floor, makes Champ's attraction to Ron painfully explicit.
  • Advertisement:
  • The Riddler in Batman Forever displays a lot of stereotypical hyper feminine camp gay mannerisms and is practically a Stalker with a Crush towards Bruce Wayne, AKA: Batman.
  • In Blazing Saddles, Jim might be:
    Bart: As I am your host and you are my guest, what do you like to do?
    Jim: Oh, I dunno... Play chess... Screw...
    Bart: Well, let's play chess.
  • Missy in Bring It On is described by other characters as "dykeadelic", follows Torrance around like a puppy dog, and the only time she shows interest in a man is when she finds out that he's gay. "You speak fag?"
  • The two white hitmen in Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. They go everywhere together. One reacts with disgust when a hooker makes an advance on him. When one of them is shot, the other becomes extremely emotional and goes on an immediate Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Advertisement:
  • Brokeback Mountain: While the main characters, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, are unambiguously in a secret relationship, many a debate centers on their exact sexuality – whether they're gay, bisexual, or not attracted to any men but each other. Though most people seem to at least think Jack was definitely gay, Ennis' sexuality is much more difficult to pin down.
  • Ugarte from Casablanca seems a little too desperate for Rick's approval.
  • In Cavalcade, the Best Picture winner for 1933, there is a quick shot of a nightclub in which a woman wearing a monocle holds another woman's hand, and a man puts a bracelet on another man's wrist.
  • Any character (at least if it's a comedic one) portrayed by longtime Disney actor Ed Wynn comes off as this sooner or later (Uncle Albert in Mary Poppins, for one) due to his high-pitched voice and giggling. Interestingly, son Keenan Wynn (also a Disney actor at times) was known for having a much more masculine screen persona. Lampshaded by Matthew Perry when he appeared on Saturday Night Live.
  • The wizard Nekron from Fire and Ice. He acts very effeminately, often does the gay wave, and when Princess Teegra is offered to him as his bride he shows very little interest in her. He also seems to get very excited during his fight with Larn, as if he were having an orgasm.
  • In Go, two male Hollywood actors are forced to have a dinner date with the cop who arrested them to get on his good side. Whenever they cop and his wife are in different rooms, they both seem to be hitting on the actors, but the actors can't quite be sure. It turns out that the cop and his wife were just buttering them up to to sell them an ersatz Amway.
  • In Handsome Devil, it's never confirmed whether or not Ned is actually gay - everyone assumes he is, and there are hints that his friendship with Conor could be more than just that, but a major point of the film is that people don't always fit into the boxes people assume they do.
  • Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle: The Jews (they are referred to as such), Rosenberg and Goldstein (who think the same of Harold and Kumar).
  • Hercules Returns, a Gag Dub of an old Italian Sword & Sandal flick, turns the eponymous Hercules into this. It's even turned into a minor plot point - a character pretending to be Zeus tells Hercules his purpose in the city of Chlamydia is to openly reveal to the world his true homosexual tendencies. Hercules, for his part, vehemently denies being gay.
    Hercules, in a huff: Never heard anything so ridiculous in all of my life. Me, of all peop - My God, what if he's right?! Oh, of course he isn't.
  • Ryan Evans from High School Musical. While Word of God will never admit it, the second movie throws in little hints such as his father trying to "straighten" out his increasingly flamboyant hats. Not to mention Ryan and Chad's homoerotic dance number "I Don't Dance" in the second movie, which was followed by a scene where they sit real close and, oh yeah, are wearing each other's clothes. And eating hot dogs. As of the stage version, he's officially out.
  • Eames in Inception is a candidate for this, referring to Arthur as 'darling', acting as Fischer Jr.'s disappointed date (while disguised as a woman), then proceeds to physically flirt with Saito (still disguised as a woman) until Saito realizes that it's actually Eames.
  • Ariel, Harris's best friend in L.A. Story is implied to be a lesbian. She lives with another woman, displays no romantic interest in men and the few discreet references to her sex life are gender neutral ("I hate to tell you this, Harris, but if you can find somebody you can have sex with and lie in bed and watch TV, you've really got something.")
  • Fräulein von Bernburg from Mädchen in Uniform. Manuela is in love with her however it is vague if her feelings are requited or not.
  • The Magnificent Seven (2016): A few critiques questioned whether Goodnight Robicheaux and Billy Rocks were intended as lovers. Throughout the movie there are several lingering shots of them sharing cigarettes, which could be read as an Indirect Kiss, and they probably share more affectionate physical contact than any other two characters in the movie. Their relationship is also emotionally intense, with each basically revealed to be a Living Emotional Crutch for the other. Notably, during a scene in which most of the other men are either bragging about their women or (in Horne's case) being overtly flirted with, Billy and Goodnight do not participate, while Goodnight keeps a hand draped on Billy's shoulder at all times.
  • Mannequin: Arguably Mr. Richards, who, while not as flamboyant as Hollywood, has his gay moments.
  • Mean Girls: Regina claims Janice Ian is a lesbian, though she's actually Lebanese. Her outfits reinforce the stereotype, but by the end of the film it's obviously not true.
  • Assjuice from Neighbors, says he was awake when Teddy put his penis in his mouth.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge: Everything Jesse does or says basically comes out as gay, even though the entire time he wants to woo the lead female. He goes to a gay bar, runs away from a straight sex scene, dances and lip syncs to a girl pop song while wearing sparkly star sunglasses, even the actor who plays him is gay! The dialogue taken out of context comes off as so gay it hurts. And in all honesty, it wasn't a bad film. Remember it for your next homosexual get-together on Halloween!
    Jesse: Something is trying to get inside of me.
    Ron: Yeah, it's female and it's waiting for you in the cabana, and you want to sleep with me.
  • Leonard in North by Northwest. Martin Landau has said he played the character that way.
    • This exchange is rather telling:
      Leonard: You must have had some doubts about her yourself. You still do.
      Phillip Vandamm: Rubbish.
      Leonard: Why else would you have decided not to tell her that our little treasure here has a belly full of microfilm?
      Phillip: You seem to be trying to fill mine with rotten apples.
      Leonard: Sometimes the truth does taste like a mouthful of worms.
      Phillip:: The truth? I've heard nothing but innuendos.
      Leonard: Call it my woman's intuition, if you will. But I've never trusted neatness. Neatness is always the result of deliberate planning.
      Phillip: She shot him in a moment of fear and anger. You were there yourself. You saw it. You know what I think? I think you're jealous. No, I mean it. I'm very touched, very.
  • Played for comedy in OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies . Agent 117 has dreamy recollections of time spent with his old buddy frolicking on the beach, which are humorously homoerotic. Later, he states with un-due force that two men having sex is totally disgusting, suggesting that he's closeted and "protesting too much."
  • Beef from Phantom of the Paradise would be the very picture of Camp Gay if not for the fact that no one in the film ever labels him as such... though one of the club's staff calls him "Tinkerbell".
  • Pierre from Pocketful of Miracles (the remake of Lady for a Day). Pierre is one of the crew of makeup artists, etc. that Queenie Martin brings in to give Apple Annie a complete makeover. They all head into the bedroom and the dialogue goes something like this:
    Dave the Dude: Hey, he [Pierre] can't go in there!
    Queenie: It's all right, trust me.
    Dave the Dude: Oh...Pierre.
  • According to Molly Ringwald, one of the reasons Pretty in Pink's female lead wound up with a different guy than the producers intended was because members of the cast couldn't buy her platonic friend, Ducky, as heterosexual. (Even though he was, as his very last scene makes clear.)
  • In the 1931 gangster classic The Public Enemy, there is a scene right after Tom Powers (James Cagney) comes into a lot of money where he is getting measured for a new suit. The tailor has a bit too much fun taking the measurements... Can be viewed here.
  • Since it take place in a Ballet Company, Every male character that isn't the Love Interest in The Red Shoes (1948). Not bad for a movie made in the forties.
  • Rob Paulsen's character Larry the male stewardess in Stewardess School is extremely flamboyant and once during an emergency he asks for a bobby pin only to put it in his hair.
  • In the 2009 The Taking of Pelham 123, John Travolta's character Ryder exhibits some gay behavior. He says that Denzel Washington's character has a "sexy voice" and says he would have made Washington his "bitch in prison." When he finally meets Washington, Ryder says he's handsome and later asks how much he weighs for no particular reason. Ryder also comments on the fashion of a young man and says "he makes it work." However, Ryder also brags about taking a female "ass model" to Iceland after a party. It's hard to tell if he's really attracted to men or just being flippant.
  • Top Gun:
  • Joe, Curly's substitute in The Three Stooges is played as an effeminate stereotypic character. Is possible that was Joe Besser's way to distant himself from Curly Howard's iconic performance (as in other roles he played he didn't show the same mannerism).
  • In 3:10 to Yuma (2007), no one ever comes straight out and says Charlie Prince is gay. But he struts like he's doing the catwalk, talks with a shrill high-pitched voice, has the best fashion sense of all the cowboys in the movie, and even wears eyeliner. The beautiful and well-endowed bar hostess that Ben Wade is attracted to earns a look of contempt from him, and throughout the whole movie, a big unspoken explanation for his incredible obsession and loyalty to Ben Wade is that he's in love (but they are still True Companions, when Charlie actually talks about why the gang should help him). The closest dialogue that hints at his sexuality is a Pinkerton calling him "Charlie Princess."
  • The Uninvited: Miss Holloway, the woman who once was a nurse in the Meredith household, is coded as a lesbian who was in love with Mary Meredith. She seems way too fond of Mary, having named her sanitarium after Mary and hung a huge portrait of Mary in her office. She refers to Mary as "darling". She reminisces to Rick and Pamela about how she and Mary would sit up together and talk about how they were going to conquer the world. (And the hint of a lesbian relationship would explain why Mary was apparently willing to tolerate her husband's affair.)
  • Ozymandias in the film version of Watchmen. He hangs out with the Village People and David Bowie in a montage and has a folder called "Boys" in his computer. Not to mention his suit having Pharaoh Nipples.
  • Dates back at least as far as the silent film Way Down East, in which Lillian Gish's aunt is obviously coded as a lesbian (top hat, mannish glasses, brusque manner).
  • In The Wrestler, Randy's estranged daughter Stephanie lives with another woman with whom she at the very least shares a very close friendship. Randy himself suspects that's she's gay, but it's never really confirmed one way or another.
  • Wade Wilson, a. k. a. Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. While no one actually says it, it's heavily implied: first, Victor (Sabertooth) says, "I thought you didn't like girls, Wade." Immediately after that, Wade jokingly offers Victor a manicure with his katana. A couple of minutes later, when everyone is stuck in an elevator, Wade says, "I'm stuck in an elevator with five guys on high-protein diets. Dreams really do come true." It doesn't help that he's played by Ryan Reynolds. However, all of these examples could be interpreted differently: claiming someone is homosexual is just an immature means of emasculating them, offering to give Victor a manicure with his katana could have just been a crack about his long claws, and the "high protein diets" comment could be a fart joke.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: