Tiffi Lightfoot

Written by Tiffi Lightfoot

Modified & Updated: 23 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

Source: Disneyplus.com

Boys Don’t Cry is a groundbreaking film that captivated audiences with its raw and compelling story. Released in 1999, it is based on the tragic true story of Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was brutally murdered in Nebraska in 1993. Starring Hilary Swank in an Academy Award-winning performance, this movie delves deep into the themes of identity, discrimination, and the struggles faced by the LGBTQ+ community. Directed by Kimberly Peirce, Boys Don’t Cry manages to navigate the difficult subject matter with sensitivity and depth, shedding light on the importance of acceptance and understanding. In this article, we will explore 41 fascinating facts about the making of Boys Don’t Cry, revealing behind-the-scenes details, casting choices, and the impact it had on society. So, grab your popcorn and get ready to dive into the world of this groundbreaking film.

Key Takeaways:

  • Boys Don’t Cry” is a powerful movie based on a true story, shedding light on the struggles of transgender individuals and the need for acceptance and understanding in society.
  • The film’s impact led to increased dialogue about LGBTQ+ representation and rights, inspiring a new wave of diverse storytelling in the entertainment industry.
Table of Contents

“Boys Don’t Cry” was released in 1999.

This critically acclaimed film directed by Kimberly Peirce captivated audiences with its compelling narrative and exceptional performances.

The movie is based on the life of Brandon Teena.

Brandon Teena was a transgender man who lived in Nebraska and tragically lost his life due to a hate crime in 1993.

Hilary Swank portrayed the lead character, Brandon Teena.

Swank’s remarkable performance earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress, solidifying her as a rising star in the industry.

The screenplay was co-written by Kimberly Peirce and Andy Bienen.

Peirce and Bienen crafted a gripping script that sensitively depicted the complexities of gender identity and the challenges faced by individuals like Brandon.

Chloë Sevigny played the role of Lana Tisdel.

Sevigny’s portrayal of Lana, Brandon’s love interest, garnered critical acclaim and added depth to the film’s emotional core.

Peter Sarsgaard portrayed the character John Lotter.

Sarsgaard’s chilling performance as one of the individuals responsible for Brandon’s tragic fate showcased his versatility as an actor.

“Boys Don’t Cry” was praised for its realistic depiction of rural America.

The film captured the essence of small-town life in Nebraska, evoking a sense of time and place that drew audiences into the story.

The movie explores themes of identity, gender, and societal prejudice.

Boys Don’t Cry” delves deep into the struggles faced by marginalized individuals and highlights the need for acceptance and understanding.

The original title of the film was “Take It Like a Man.”

The title was later changed to “Boys Don’t Cry” to better reflect the essence of Brandon’s story.

The movie was based on a documentary of the same name.

Kimberly Peirce was inspired to create the fictional adaptation after watching the documentary about Brandon Teena’s life.

The film’s soundtrack features songs from various artists.

The music in “Boys Don’t Cry” complements the narrative and adds depth to the emotional journey portrayed on screen.

“Boys Don’t Cry” received critical acclaim.

The film was praised for its powerful performances, nuanced storytelling, and sensitive portrayal of a tragic true story.

The movie shed light on hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community.

Boys Don’t Cry” sparked important conversations about violence and discrimination faced by transgender individuals.

The film was shot on a modest budget.

Despite the limited resources, the dedicated cast and crew brought the story to life with remarkable authenticity.

“Boys Don’t Cry” was a breakout role for Hilary Swank.

Swank’s transformative performance garnered international recognition and catapulted her career to new heights.

The film showcases the resilience and strength of the human spirit.

Brandon’s journey serves as a powerful reminder of the indomitable human will to live authentically, even in the face of adversity.

“Boys Don’t Cry” is considered a landmark LGBTQ+ film.

The movie played a crucial role in raising awareness and fostering understanding of gender identity and sexual orientation.

The film has gained a cult following over the years.

Its impact continues to resonate with audiences, solidifying its status as a timeless piece of cinema.

Several scenes in the movie were highly emotional and intense.

The raw performances and realistic depiction elicited strong emotions from both the cast and the audience.

The real-life events depicted in the film occurred in the early 1990s.

Boys Don’t Cry” offers a glimpse into a significant period in LGBTQ+ history.

The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

Its debut at such a prestigious festival further cemented its standing as a powerful cinematic achievement.

“Boys Don’t Cry” was critically acclaimed at numerous film festivals.

The movie received numerous accolades and accolades, solidifying its place in film history.

The film’s success helped raise visibility for LGBTQ+ stories.

“Boys Don’t Cry” paved the way for more inclusive storytelling and increased representation in the film industry.

The production team worked closely with Brandon Teena’s mother during the making of the film.

Her involvement ensured that the story was told with respect and authenticity.

The film’s cinematography captured the essence of the Nebraska landscape.

The stunning visuals added depth to the storytelling and further immersed the audience in the world of the film.

“Boys Don’t Cry” portrays the protagonists’ journey towards self-discovery.

Brandon’s quest for identity and acceptance is a central theme that resonates with audiences on a profound level.

The film highlights the importance of empathy and compassion.

“Boys Don’t Cry” serves as a reminder that understanding and accepting others’ differences is crucial for a more inclusive society.

The script underwent several revisions before finalization.

Kimberly Peirce and Andy Bienen worked tirelessly to ensure that the narrative was sensitively and authentically portrayed.

The film garnered numerous award nominations.

Its impact was recognized by various award ceremonies, further solidifying its place in cinema history.

“Boys Don’t Cry” was an independent film.

The movie’s success demonstrated the power of independent cinema to tell important and impactful stories.

The film’s hauntingly beautiful score added to its emotional impact.

The music perfectly complemented the tone and mood of the film, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

“Boys Don’t Cry” tackles themes of toxic masculinity as well.

The film prompts discussions about societal expectations and the harmful effects of rigid gender norms.

The film’s honest portrayal of the LGBTQ+ community helped dispel stereotypes.

Boys Don’t Cry” challenged preconceived notions and humanized individuals who may not fit into traditional gender binaries.

The film’s title reflects the societal pressure to conform to gender norms.

It symbolizes the struggle that many individuals face when their true identities do not align with societal expectations.

The movie emphasizes the importance of self-acceptance.

“Boys Don’t Cry” encourages viewers to embrace their authentic selves, regardless of societal prejudices.

The film’s impact led to increased dialogue about transgender representation in media.

It marked a turning point in the industry, prompting a more inclusive approach to storytelling.

“Boys Don’t Cry” received widespread acclaim for its performances.

The outstanding acting showcased the talent and dedication of the cast, further enhancing the film’s impact.

The movie’s release sparked discussions about hate crime legislation.

It shed light on the lack of legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals and the urgent need for change.

“Boys Don’t Cry” remains an important cultural touchstone.

Its enduring legacy is a testament to the film’s influence and significance in cinema history.

The film inspired a new wave of LGBTQ+ storytelling in film and television.

Boys Don’t Cry” opened doors for more authentic and diverse narratives to be explored in the entertainment industry.

The movie serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ+ rights.

Brandon’s story continues to inspire advocacy and calls for a more inclusive and accepting society.

These 41 facts about the movie “Boys Don’t Cry” showcase the film’s impact, its cultural significance, and the lasting legacy it has left behind. Through its compelling storytelling and exceptional performances, this movie has not only entertained but also educated and moved audiences around the world.


Boys Don’t Cry is a powerful and impactful movie that tells the true story of Brandon Teena, a transgender man who faced prejudice and violence in a small Nebraska town. With brilliant performances by Hilary Swank and Chloë Sevigny, the film sheds light on issues of gender identity, discrimination, and the struggle for acceptance.

The film’s director, Kimberly Peirce, expertly navigates the sensitive subject matter, creating a thought-provoking and emotional viewing experience. Boys Don’t Cry won critical acclaim and several awards, including an Academy Award for Hilary Swank’s breathtaking performance as Brandon Teena.

Through its compelling storytelling and exceptional performances, Boys Don’t Cry continues to be an important and relevant film that raises awareness about the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community.


1. Is Boys Don’t Cry based on a true story?

Yes, Boys Don’t Cry is based on the real-life story of Brandon Teena, a transgender man who tragically lost his life due to transphobia.

2. Who stars in Boys Don’t Cry?

Hilary Swank delivers a stunning performance as the lead character, Brandon Teena. Chloë Sevigny also stars in the film as Brandon’s love interest, Lana Tisdel.

3. What awards did Boys Don’t Cry win?

Boys Don’t Cry received critical acclaim and won several awards, including an Academy Award for Best Actress for Hilary Swank and numerous accolades for its screenplay and direction.

4. What is the significance of Boys Don’t Cry?

The film addresses important themes such as gender identity, discrimination, and the struggle for acceptance. It serves as a powerful reminder of the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community and the need for equality and understanding.

5. Are there any trigger warnings for the movie?

Yes, Boys Don’t Cry contains graphic depictions of violence and sexual assault. Viewer discretion is advised for sensitive audiences.

After learning about Brandon Teena's powerful story in "Boys Don't Cry," continue exploring compelling true stories brought to life on the big screen. Dive into the surprising facts surrounding Nick Stahl's career and personal life, uncovering the triumphs and challenges faced by this talented actor.

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