3 user 10 critic

The Lavender Scare (2017)

2:10 | Trailer
With the United States gripped in the panic of the Cold War, President Dwight D. Eisenhower deems homosexuals to be "security risks" and orders the immediate firing of any government ... See full summary »


Josh Howard


David K. Johnson (book)
11 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

More Like This 

16 Shots (2019)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A documentary examining the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke and the cover-up that ensued.

Director: Rick Rowley
Stars: Anita Alvarez, Dean Angelo, Alma Benitez
Staircase (1969)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Charles Dyer (Sir Rex Harrison) and Harry Leeds (Richard Burton) are a couple that have been living together for nearly twenty years. Both earn a living as hairdressers in the West End of ... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Donen
Stars: Rex Harrison, Richard Burton, Cathleen Nesbitt
XY Chelsea (2019)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

A look at the life and career of Chelsea Manning, a trans woman soldier in the United States Army, who was sentenced to serve 35 years at an all-male military prison for leaking information about the country's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Director: Tim Travers Hawkins
Stars: Chelsea Manning, Nancy Hollander, Vincent J. Ward
The Ritz (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

On his deathbed, Carmine Vespucci's mobster father tells him to "get Proclo" - Carmine's brother-in-law Gaetano. With "the hit" on, Gaetano tells a cab driver to take him where Carmine ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Lester
Stars: Jack Weston, Rita Moreno, Jerry Stiller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

It's Christmas Eve at the Blue Jay, a Greenwich Village gay bar, a place where patrons believe they can feel free to be themselves as opposed to the straight charade many portray in their ... See full summary »

Director: Mervyn Nelson
Stars: Tom Bade, James Murdock, Paul Blake
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A look at how Alabama attorney Bryan Stevenson struggles to create more fairness in the legal system.

Directors: George Kunhardt, Peter W. Kunhardt, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Bryan Stevenson, Christy Stevenson, Howard Stevenson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A documentary about an important American still photographer who captured New York City in the 1960s (his work there is said to have influenced the TV show Mad Men) and later the West in Texas and Los Angeles.

Director: Sasha Waters Freyer
Stars: Geoff Dyer, Jeffrey Fraenkel, Susan Kismaric
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A comprehensive and compelling history of the United States immediately following the Civil War.

Stars: Mark Lund, Andia Winslow, Henry Louis Gates
Trapped (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

U.S. Treasury Department agents go after a ring of counterfeiters.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Lloyd Bridges, Barbara Payton, John Hoyt
Country Music (2019)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

The story of the creation of modern Country music.

Stars: Peter Coyote, Marty Stuart, Garth Brooks
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The life of Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally (Master Class, Ragtime): 60 years of groundbreaking plays and musicals, the struggle for LGBT rights, addiction and recovery, finding ... See full summary »

Director: Jeff Kaufman
Stars: F. Murray Abraham, Lynn Ahrens, Jon Robin Baitz
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The documentary examines and chronicles the years following the 2011 murder of 12-year-old Garrett Phillips and the subsequent trial of Clarkson University soccer coach Oral "Nick" Hillary.

Director: Liz Garbus
Stars: Oral Hillary, Brian Phillips, Tyler Rodrigues


Cast overview, first billed only:
Glenn Close ... Herself - Narrator (voice)
David Hyde Pierce ... Himself - Reader of Frank Kameny's Letters (voice)
Cynthia Nixon ... Herself - Reader of Madeleine Tress' Materials (voice)
Zachary Quinto ... Himself - Reader of Dennis Flinn's Materials (voice)
T.R. Knight ... Himself - Reader of Drew Ference's Letters (voice)
David George David George ... (voice)
Tom Knight Tom Knight ... (voice)
John Piatek John Piatek ... (voice)
Kevan Rabat Kevan Rabat ... (voice)
Artie Widgery Artie Widgery ... (voice)
Dwight D. Eisenhower ... Himself (archive footage)
Joseph McCarthy ... Himself (archive footage)
David K. Johnson ... Himself (as David Johnson)
John Hanes John Hanes ... Himself (as John W. Hanes Jr.)
John D'Emilio ... Himself


With the United States gripped in the panic of the Cold War, President Dwight D. Eisenhower deems homosexuals to be "security risks" and orders the immediate firing of any government employee discovered to be gay or lesbian. It triggers a vicious witch hunt that lasts for forty years and ruins thousands of lives, while thrusting an unlikely hero into the forefront of what would become the modern LGBT rights movement.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Official Sites:

Official site | Official site





Release Date:

7 June 2019 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Full Exposure Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Color | Black and White (archive footage)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Features Boys Beware (1961) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An astounding warning for our times--and for all times
29 November 2017 | by perryjonatSee all my reviews

This film is beautifully constructed, with a strong narrative through-line composed of innovative and multi-faceted elements. Moreover, its subject-matter could hardly be more timely and relevant for today's LGBTQ community—and far beyond that, as it can be appreciated by any group that has been placed under the inquisitors' lens at any moment in history. The most creative aspect of this highly original production is the focus on the collateral damage of this governmentally directed purge—in the forms of shattered careers and, especially, broken families. It is a rare storyteller who can focus on the missed opportunities for career advancement as a significant loss for these individuals and for our country generally. (It would be really interesting, I think, to follow up this documentary with another that could assess the damage of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' on US national security in the past few decades, as, for one example, the firing of dozens of gay military linguists specializing in Arabic and Farsi in the years immediately preceding and following 9/11.) The film reaches its emotional height in the gripping stories of the suicide, likely as a direct result of a homophobic investigation, of Drew Ference, and then of the devastating toll this loss took on his family. The witness of Jen Stotka, Ference's niece, proves that the effects of this witch hunt have continued to ripple through the lives of thousands of American citizens, up to the present day of supposed 'equality'. The film concludes with a direct and prescient warning about the potential backlash facing this community in today's America, namely the removal of Secretary of State Kerry's apology to those damaged by the Lavender Scare from the Department's website within the first week of the Trump presidency. This move comes in the same year as Prime Minister Trudeau's formal apology and offer of compensation to Canadian citizens who were similarly targeted in his country. This breathtaking and bracing film perfectly demonstrates the validity of a statement on Peggy Guggenheim's property in Venice: "Savor kindness, because cruelty is always possible later."

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed