This film is part of Rentals

Tall Dark Stranger

Are you ready to strut your stuff? Take a bracing, sexy cruise around the diverse 1980s gay scene.

1986 48 mins

Director: Paul Oremland


After a gentle opening in which a gay schoolboy explains his love of cruising, we hear a number of older, wiser male voices who reveal their youthful experiences of dipping a toe into London’s gay scene. From drag routines from David Dale to clone queens discussing the AIDS crisis, this 80s TV programme offers an unusually vivid and poetic look at queer lives.

This episode of the LGBT documentary series Ace of Hearts was later criticised by director Paul Oremland, who regarded it as a flawed experiment, but its meandering guide through clubs and cruising grounds - some long gone - make for a heady viewing experience. Unlike the other episodes, which focused exclusively on gay figures, it includes an interview with a bisexual man. Before it had even been broadcast, Six of Hearts was a target of protest from Mary Whitehouse. Thankfully, Channel 4 ignored her concerns and these remarkable snapshots of gay culture are available to view for the next generation.