Not too many people are aware of the fact that the motion picture To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar was actually an Americanized version of the Australian movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Both are road movies.
To Wong Foo (1995) tells the story of three drag queens (Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, and John Leguizamo) who travel on a cross country trip to a competition. After a very ugly encounter with a police officer, their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. As they set up residence in the nearby town, their presence change the humdrum existence of the town's residents.
The Adventures of Priscilla (1994) was slightly different. It's the tale of two drag queens (Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce) and a transgender woman (played excellently by Terrence Stamp, who should have gotten an Oscar nomination) who is traveling across the Australian outback to a gig. As they make their way to the gig, we learn more about their lives and attain a degree of respect for them (Although Guy Pearce's character was extremely annoying. I won't even talk about the "ABBA turd.")
While To Wong Foo was a bit more comedic, both I found both movies to be enjoyable features in their own way. However, if I were to compare the two, I found To Wong Foo a bit shallow. It went for the easy laughs rather than to explore the characters' complexities.
Interesting fact to note - Priscillia is actually an Oscar winner. It won Lizzy Gardiner and Tim Chappel the 1995 Oscar for Best Costume Design.
Gardiner stole the Academy Awards show with her dress made solely of old American Express Gold Cards.
Anyway, enjoy the clips. First, To Wong Foo:
Now here is Priscilla:
Past Know Your LGBT History postings:
Know your lgbt history - Blazing Saddles
Know your lgbt history - Sanford and Son
Know your lgbt history - In Living Color
Know your lgbt history - Cleopatra Jones and her lesbian drug lords
Know your lgbt history - Norman, Is That You?
Know your lgbt history - The 'Exotic' Adrian Street
Know your lgbt history - The Choirboys
Know your lgbt history - Eddie Murphy
Know your lgbt history - The Killing of Sister George
Know your lgbt history - Hanna-Barbera cartoons pushes the 'gay agenda'
Know your lgbt history - Cruising
Know your lgbt history - Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones
Know your lgbt history - I Got Da Hook Up
Know your lgbt history - Fright Night
Know your lgbt history - Flowers of Evil
The Jeffersons and the transgender community