After compiling a list of the most essential LGBT movies, The Advocate is pitting the top 32 entries against one another in a series of one-on-one face-offs. In this Sweet 16 round, Maurice, the British class romance based on the novel by E.M. Forster, is up against The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the classic camp musical about "a sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania." Which film is more essential? Vote below, and check out our full list of the top 175 most essential LGBT movies at Advocate.com/top175.
Maurice, 1987 (14 seed)
Based on E.M. Forster's long-suppressed novel of gay love, the film stars James Wilby, Rupert Graves, and Hugh Grant all at their most adorable. Forster's novel, written in 1914, was published in 1971, after his death, as Forster knew there was controversy in giving the lovers a happy ending. The novel allowed a new openness in literature and biography. The film was the satisfying second shoe to drop. Gay people who had never seen dreamy romantic images of same-sex couples on the big screen swooned over the beautifully art-directed affair between the well-born Maurice and the laborer Scudder. They also swooned at Rupert Graves's callipygian assets. —Christopher Harrity
The Rocky Horror Picture Show, 1975 (30 seed)
Nearly every slightly off-kilter high school student in America who rolls with the drama club crowd could say that this film was essential to their upbringing and their appreciation of sexual exploration, camp, and absurdity. This musical has so many things: a satire of ridiculous B-movies, fun with fishnets and heels, insane science fiction, artsy weirdness, and unabashed sexuality. And it's chock-full of very catchy, fun music. —Michelle Garcia
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— The Advocate (@TheAdvocateMag) July 13, 2014