The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

We Who Have Friends
We Who Have Friends

We Who Have Friends 1969


This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.


We Who Have Friends 1969

49 mins United Kingdom Director. Richard Woolley, Richard Reisz

A pioneering documentary in 1969, looking at the situation of gay men in the UK two years after the 1967 Reform Act, and revealing how attitudes have changed. It includes unique interviews with the Bill's initiator, Leo Abse; Peter Manolt, the Editor of the bi-sexual/gay magazine 'Jeremy'; social workers who regard 'gayness' as something to be 'cured'; the only gay man found willing to appear on camera at that time, and members of the public on the streets of London and Leeds.

Richard Woolley started out in music and theatre before making fictional and experimental films from the late 1960s, this being his second one. Richard has gone on to have a highly successful career, writing scripts for cinema and TV, running film schools and publishing several novels. Richard Reisz went on to work for the BBC, amongst other things as Producer of Tomorrow’s World. As well as legalising homosexuality between men over 21 in private, the 1967 Act also allowed for openly gay media for the first time. Yet despite a wide advertising campaign for candidates, only one gay man came forward to be filmed. Not surprising when even Leo Abse opined that, “public flaunting would be utterly distasteful”.

Yorkshire Film Archive collects, preserves, and shows film made in, or about Yorkshire. Our collections are non-fiction, dating from the 1890s to the present day, and providing a rich and visually compelling record of all aspects of lives, cultures, landscape, industries, major events and everyday activities, many of which are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.

Directed by

Richard Woolley

Richard Reisz




Gay people Homosexuality Gays (male) Homophobia Sexual Offences Act (1967)


LGBT Britain




United Kingdom

Read lessRead more
Part of

1,000s of beautifully preserved films, capturing 120 years of Britain on Film

The map


View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts

Never ask | Ask me later