A 1961 documentary called The Rejected, produced by San Francisco PBS affiliate KQED and funded by New York PBS station WNET, was thought by LGBT scholars to be lost to history. That is until an archivist went on a six-year hunt, only to find the only known copy under his nose at the Library of Congress.
As KQED reports, we have the hunting and detective work of their staff archivist Robert Chehoski as well as American University professor Bob Connelly (who’s been teaching The Rejected to classes for 14 years via only a transcript) to thank for the find.
They struck a deal with the Library of Congress to take the film, clean it up as much as possible, and upload it for the public, and you can now watch the whole thing here, via a San Francisco State film archive website.
There’s a lot of talk of the Kinsey Scale, and the Kinsey Reports which were at the time of filming just a decade old. There’s a whole section of discussion at the beginning with anthropologist and big old lez Margaret Mead, in which she basically says homosexuality is everywhere in human society and totally awesome. And there’s a wildly progressive table discussion 20 minutes in with three openly gay men who were members of San Francisco’s pioneering chapter of the Mattachine Society, basically America’s first gay rights organization.
Sadly, though, some incredibly rare footage inside a circa-1961 gay bar may be lost to history, and only existed in a longer cut of the film, which may or may not exist somewhere.
Anyway, it’s an hour long, black and white, and kind of dry, BUT TOTALLY AMAZING if you have the time to watch it. You’re welcome.