chapter
Kramer, Larry (1935–)
Pages 9

Larry Kramer was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He grew up in Connecticut and Washington, D.C. and received a B.A. from Yale. After serving in the army, he embarked on his first career, as a screenwriter, a vocation he began as a clerk in the William Morris Agency that extended to production. Based in London, he was a production executive for Columbia Pictures. Then, in 1967, as an assistant to the president of United Artists, he became associate producer of the modestly successful film Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush. The culmination of this experience was his commissioning, writing, and coproducing the film Women in Love, based on the novel by D.H.Lawrence. Directed by Ken Russell and starring Glenda Jackson, Oliver Reed, and Alan Bates, the 1969 film garnered several academy award nominations, including one for Kramer’s screenplay. Released at the same time as Boys in the Band, some in the gay community felt that both films fit within older, pre-gay pride (pre-Stonewall) traditions of exploring and representing homosexuality as covert, repressed, and unhappy. In any event, there could be no denying the film’s legendary nude wrestling sequence involving Bates and Reed as a landmark in the history of what Vito Russo called “the celluloid closet.”