February 6th, 2014, 04:02 PM
Here is a review from the New York Times dated June, 18, 1968!
"THE QUEEN" is an extraordinary documentary about the Miss All-America Camp Beauty Pageant held at Town Hall in 1967. The contestants were transvestites from all over the country—some of them winners in regional contests—judged for walking, talking, bathing suit, makeup, hairdo and, of course, beauty. The star and the winner was Harlow, a frail, blond, pouting young man, formerly Miss Philadelphia. The director was Frank Simon (his first feature film), and the movie itself is funny—not tactless—and inspired the way "The Endless Summer," of surfing, was inspired. It shows us another America.
It is good to watch for about an hour these colorful human beings whose entire self-image is a put-on, in their Atlantic City of Genet, in their Forest Hills of drag. The drag queens are, of course, perfectly aware that they are not women, and even their mannerisms—the flatted vowels, the relaxed wrist, the gait of the homosexual who wants it known—are not female imitations at all, but parodies. Very witty, detailed parodies at that. The question of invasion of privacy does not arise; one is watching actors, very conscious actors, at work. They may be absolutely miserable (like others) in their private lives, but in their costumed appearances they enrich the landscape enormously.
At times, Miss Sabrina, Miss Crystal and Miss Harlow and the rest seem to have taken Hollywood's old message very much to heart: Both the two-fisted gunfighter and the sex queen could find stardom, but the sex queen really had all the lines. The cosmetic idea was bound to spill over a bit. So here are all these gentlemen in bras, diaphanous gowns, lipstick, hairfalls and huffs—discussing their husbands in the military in Japan, or describing their own problems with the draft. One grows fond of all of them. They are much more entertaining than the conventional Miss This or Miss That.