5 must-see movies coming to Prime Video for Pride Month 2024

 The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

It's Pride Month, when corporations of all kinds like to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community, and Amazon is no exception: among the best new movies on Prime Video in June 2024 you'll find some classic movies made by, made for or claimed by queer folks. Some of them are big and camp, others are more sober and sombre. But all five films here are well worth your time and this Pride Month and every other month too.

It's worth pointing out here that some of these films were made quite a long time ago, and that means that some of them may be slightly problematic when viewed through today's more enlightened eyes. But they've been made with the best intentions, and for me that's enough to justify the odd misstep or wrong note. Whether you're in the mood for high camp or something more subtle, these five movies are welcome additions to Prime Video this Pride Month.

1. Bram Stoker's Dracula

This isn't technically a queer movie, I know. But we all know that vampires are hella queer, and Dracula – whose author, Bram Stoker, was gay himself – is a key text in the pantheon of homoerotic horror with a distinctly bisexual central character: Salon has an excellent explainer if you'd like to know more. This is one of the better blood-soaked adaptations, with a cast that includes Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves and an atmosphere of sexual repression and tension that's almost unbearable. As Nerdist put it: "Dracula has always been a sensual, tragic romance. Coppola leans heavily into that and amps up the eroticism. The entire proceeding has a theatrical decadence that created something completely extravagant and over the top in a way that horror movies in the ’90s rarely got to be."

2. The Danish Girl

Anti-trans obsessives would have you believe that trans people were invented by Laverne Cox in 2014. But of course we've been around forever, and this 2015 movie is a sensitive portrayal of Lili Elbe, one of the first trans women to get gender confirmation surgery – surgery that she had nearly 100 years ago. Eddie Redmayne is beautiful as Elbe, and while the film takes some liberties with her story Redmayne's portrayal of her is heartbreaking, because ultimately Elbe's story was a very sad one. As MovieFreak.com put it, it's "a story of self-acceptance and discovery that transcends its historical inaccuracies and allows it to ascend to a level of magnetic emotional resonance".

3. Tangerine

Tangerine is notable not just for its story but for its production: it was shot on iPhones. But this is no gimmick movie: with 96% on Rotten Tomatoes it's a critical hit with acclaim from the likes of the New York Times, which called it "gorgeous... a perfectly cast, beautifully directed movie". The film follows sex worker Sin-Dee, who discovers that her boyfriend has been cheating on her during her latest stint in jail. The furious Sin-Dee sets out to track him down. It's patchy but it's also a lot of fun. According to Vogue: "By turns funny, outrageous, and attuned to unfulfilled dreams, Tangerine is as close as I've seen an American come to capturing the subversive panache of the young Pedro Almodvar".

4. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Not to be confused with the Elvis movie Priscilla, which is very different, this outrageous road movie features Guy Pearce, Hugo Weaving and Terence Stamp as two drag queens and a trans woman who travel across Australia in the titular RV performing for enthusiastic audiences and hateful homophobes alike. A camp classic, it's also an LGBTQ+ milestone with a celebratory tone that feels even more vital today. As Peter Bradshaw writes in The Guardian: "It’s a tremendous film that was ahead of its time on LGBT issues and, in some ways, is ahead of ours."

5. To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar

When you think of actors who should play drag queens, Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo might not be the first people who spring to mind. But they're fabulous and funny here in this tale of three New York drag queens who find themselves stranded in a small town when their car breaks down. It's essentially a US take on Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and while it's not quite as good it's still a fun watch and its heart is in the right place.

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