Eric, this movie will probably come out on DVD the same day Mandingo or Luna does, i.e. never. There was a Laserdisc announced in the late 90's which got cancelled. So maybe that provides a glimmer of hope for people who are fans of this flick.
Personally, I'd love to see Cruising make its way onto DVD; widescreen at least and, ideally, in a Director's Cut that restores the footage that Friedkin cut prior to release.
I don't think it's the contoversy that's keeping it from release. I think its that fact that 1) it was a box-office bomb, and 2) like Boys in the Band and The Ritz, it's a pre-AIDS gay-themed filmed, which I think the studios read as dated.
M-G-M and Warner are the same company. M-G-M has put out several sex laden films through their World Films series including Spetters. It came out the same year as Cruising (1980) and is supposed to be a "straight" film (yeah right) but shows a LOT of male nudity, sex, and even a gay gang rape. Homoerotic plus!
Now, if they can put something like that out on DVD which borders on porn and is in Dutch with subtitles, why can't they put a tamer Cruising out?
Also I think they might have a few problems with the strategically placed frames of gay porn Friedkin added in during the murder scenes...not just that they are there but the thought prosess behind them. Rent the documentory The Celluloid Closet and listen to the commentary for some insight into this.
...of course these may have been removed in subsequent prints which is likely.
I own The Celluloid Closet on DVD, and the first time I watched the DVD (having seen in it in theaters), I remember thinking, "Did I just I just see xxx-rated anal penetration footage spliced in the film [like the penis flash joked about in Fight Club]?"
It is there on the documentary so I would imagine it would be there in any existing prints since The Celluloid Closet must have got the footage from the studio.
All, I hope we have reached a point where films can be released on DVD and people are a bit calmer since the theatrical release of the days of GLAAD being upset over Basic Instinct and The Birdcage. Note: neither film was hurt by the protests, and, in fact, I think it helped Basic Instinct along with that famous crotch shot.
The Children's Hour is now out on DVD, and I find that film much more upsetting than Crusing.
Is it just me, or does it seem like being upset over gay representation in cinena is "so last decade?"
We've had The Talented Mr. Ripley and Monster since anyone "important" gave a rip about representation. (Granted, both films were "spun" to the gay market before their release with people like Matt Damon and Charlize Theron telling the gay community they love and support us and not to misinterpret the films as homophobic.)
We have Triumph of the Will on DVD, certainly we can handle Crusing. But, then I also want the written, directed, and produced by gay folks, Swoon on DVD, which deals with gay, gleeful murderers.
And, I too am a gay man, who finds little no reason to be worried about the harm that can come from adults choosing to view this film on DVD. (Then again, I don't have much use for GLAAD other than to see which celebs are whoring pandering themselves to the gay market.) GLAAD raised awareness, and maybe they had a point about films through the mid-80's, but in 2004 no one seems to care, especially in light of the fact that it seems some members of the gay community seem bent on trying to shock (rather than being creative), by emphasing (and exagerating) the least commendable aspects of the gay male "lifestyle" on shows like Queer As Folk.
On principal, I still haven't seen A BEAUTIFUL MIND. The fact that TROY choses to hide Achilles' sexuality is irksome - - isn't Peterson an out gay director? ? ?
I would also add Bertolucci's current THE DREAMERS to the list of films which have straightened out its characters in the voyage from book to screen.
Way, way back, I saw both CRUISING and ALL THAT JAZZ on the same day. ALL THAT JAZZ features arch stereotypical gay men (the dancers who wink at each other through "Take off with Us," the composer/lyricist prone to hissy fits (this particular character could've stepped out of THE BROADWAY MELODY), while CRUISING presented a harsh realm of underworld gay men, a realistic look at S&M bars and acitivity and a subtle, yet challenging performance from Pacino. For some reason, I will watch CRUISING on vhs more often than I have watched ALL THAT JAZZ on dvd!
Plus, the salesman in the S&M accessories store is Powers Boothe.
I wouldn't be caught dead at A Beautiful Mind. The "Disabled overcoming life's adversities" genre just isn't my thing but John Nash has publicly stated that the extent of his "bi-sexuality" is greatly exaggerated and irrelevant to the Beautiful Mind scenario.
Another film you can add to the "straightening" list is Midnight Express. In real life, Billy Hayes openly acknowledged homosexual relationships while imprisoned by the Turkish but in the film, Hayes rejects a sexual advance from a fellow prisoner.