The Queen (1968)

Decades before Paris Is Burning and RuPaul’s Drag Race helped normalize drag culture, this film about the 1967 Miss All-America Camp Beauty Pageant was there. For many, this was their introduction to the world of competitive drag.

Now, Kino Lorber has re-released this film to blu ray after a 2019 theater bow.

Beyond the celebrity judges like Andy Warhol, Larry Rivers, and Terry Southern., this film takes you behind the curtain to show what it takes to become part of this world. There’s also an infamous speech by Crystal LaBeija, who would go on to be part of the aforementioned Paris Is Burning.

The winner of the contest — which was disputed at the end of the movie — was Rachel Harlow, who unsuccessfully tried out for the role of Myra Breckinridge. You can see her screen test on the DVD of that film. Trust me. She was better off not being in it.

Kino Lorber has released an astounding complete version of this movie, which has outtakes and trailers, as well as audio commentary by artist and producer Zackary Drucker and journalist and author Diana Tourjée. There are also four short films included: The Queen: After Party Outtakes, Flawless Sabrina: Icon/Muse, Irma Vep: The Last Breath and Queens at Heart. There’s even a Q&A with Flawless Sabrina and Zackary Drucker.

You can get this movie directly from Kino Lorber, who were kind enough to send a copy our way.

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