THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT (1994)
Few films delight more than the fun, frisky and poignant tale of three drag queens on a road trip across Australia’s rough-and-tumble outback. Terence Stamp, the film’s only well-known star at the time, gives a master-class performance as the den mother with a cool, bitchy streak that would make Bette Davis blush and Joan Crawford wet her panties. Priscilla would launch the American careers of the bass-mouthed Hugo Weaving, who would later find fame as Agent Smith in The Matrix, and the dreamy Guy Pearce (L.A. Confidential, Memento). The trio are all sass and frocks, yet their performances are ablaze with honesty and conviction. The costumes are lavish and flamboyant (ostriches, anyone?) and the drag numbers off-the-charts over-the-top. And that scene with the pingpong balls? It remains one of the most unforgettable moments in any film, straight or gay. It’s all wrapped up in tenderness and friendship, proving that when gays stick together, the bond generated is as strong as any blood-related clan’s.