The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

  • BY Jennifer Kroot | IN LGBTQ
    Premiered January 1, 2018

About the Film

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin examines the life and work of one of the world's most beloved storytellers, following his evolution from a conservative son of the Old South into a gay rights pioneer whose novels have inspired millions to claim their own truth. Jennifer Kroot's documentary about the creator of Tales of the City also gets by with some help from the author's friends — including Neil Gaiman, Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis, Sir Ian McKellen and Amy Tan — along with Maupin himself to offer a disarmingly frank look at the journey that took him from the jungles of Vietnam to the bathhouses of ‘70s San Francisco to the frontlines of America’s ongoing culture war.  MORE

Maupin was born in Washington, D.C., in 1944 but grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. A graduate of the University of North Carolina, he served as a naval officer in the Mediterranean and with the River Patrol Force in Vietnam. Maupin then worked as a reporter for a newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, before, as fate would have it, he was assigned to the San Francisco bureau of the Associated Press in 1971. In 1976, he launched his groundbreaking Tales of the City serial in the San Francisco Chronicle, and his world and ours were never again the same. Maupin became one of the first gay writers to attain crossover status, authoring nine novels, including the six-volume Tales of the City series, as well as a memoir, Logical Family. Untold Tales is his own tale told in both playful and poignant fashion, reflective of the author himself.

The Filmmaker

Jennifer M. Kroot (Director) is a seasoned documentary filmmaker. Her feature-length documentary, To Be Takei, a portrait of actor/activist George Takei, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was released theatrically by Starz Digital in August 2014 to critical acclaim. Her feature documentary It Came From Kuchar, following cult filmmaking duo George and Mike Kuchar, premiered at the 2009 South by Southwest Film Festival.

Kroot brings a background in underground filmmaking to her documentaries and uses that sensibility to create surprises within her stories. Her tales incorporate shifts in pace and tone that allow a fluid and engaging structure. Kroot focuses on the humanity of her subjects, keeping their stories accessible and unpretentious. She has received grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation, Creative Work Fund, Frameline, the Pacific Pioneer Fund, California Civil Liberties Public Education Program, and the Fleishhacker Foundation. Kroot is a Bay Area native and studied film at The San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), where she taught film. She has been a guest lecturer at Stanford and Denver University.

Bill Weber (Co-Director/Editor) is a San Francisco-based documentary editor. He directed and edited the documentary feature The Cockettes which premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and 2002 Berlinale. Weber co-directed and edited the documentary feature We Were Here, which played at the 2011 Sundance and Berlinale festivals, and To Be Takei, which premiered at Sundance in 2014.

As an editor, Bill’s work includes A Revolution in Four Seasons (2016 HotDocs), Feelings Are Facts: The Life of Yvonne Rainer (2015 Berlinale), The Galapagos Affair (2013 Telluride Film Festival and 2014 Berlinale), and the Oscar-nominated documentary short film, The Final Inch. He also edited the award-winning documentaries Last Letters Home and The Alzheimer's Project. LESS

Film Credits

Written and Directed by
Jennifer M. Kroot

Edited and Co-Directed by
Bill Weber

Produced by
Gerry Kim
Jennifer M. Kroot
Mayuran Tiruchelvam

Director of Photography
Shane King

Michael Hearst

Sound Edit & Mix
Lora Hirschberg

Animation and Design
Grant Nellessen

Consulting Producer
Jeffrey Schwarz

Associate Producers
Lotti Knowles
Tina S. Kroot
Lewis Gillian

Matt Bockelman
Frazer Bradshaw
Gregg Conde
Matt May
Chris Million
Christopher Turner
Saro Varjabedian

Production Sound Recordists
Lauretta Molitor
Mark Whelan

Additional Production Sound Recordists
Gerry Berkowitz
Pablo Diez
Jack Flachsbart
Alberto Leon
Chris White

Post Production Supervisor
Bill Weber

Additional Animation
Akemi Abe

Bill Georgiou

Color Correction
Chris Martin

Still Photography
Will Zang

Production Assistants
Will Zang
Val Castro
Arianna Fujimoto Harris
Taylor Whitehouse

Data Manager
Wes Gathright

Jon Glover
Michelle Silva

Editorial Assistance
Val Castro
Jessica Sison
Taylor Whitehouse
Will Zang

Archival Producer
Gerry Kim

Archival Research
Rosalia Valencia-Tow

Video Post Facility  
ZAP Zoetrope Aubry Productions

Digital Transfers
Movette Film Transfer

Heather Larsen

Production Counsel
Donaldson + Callif LLP

Archival Materials Courtesy Of
Alan Poul
Armistead Maupin
Art Frisch
Associated Press
Aya Brackett
Barbara Falconer Newhall
Barney Peterson
Bay Area Reader
Bob Olynger
Brant Ward
Bruce Glikas
Christopher Turner
CNN Collection
Critical Past
Ed Kashi/VII/Redux
Elliott Erwitt
F.I.L.M. Archives
Getty Images
GLBT Historical Society
Historic Films Archive
Jane Maupin Yates
Jewelle Gomez
Jonathan Groff
Kate Bornstein
Kim Komenich
Library of Congress
Liz Mangelsdorf
Magnum Photos
Michael Ochs Archives
National Archives
NBCUniversal Archives
New York Daily News Archives
Oddball Films
One Archives at USC Library
Peggy Knickerbocker
Periscope Film LLC
Randi Lynn Beach
Rink Foto
Ron Galella
San Francisco Public Library
San Francisco Chronicle
Ted Russell

Additional Materials Courtesy of
Bay Area Reader
Capitol Records
CBS Television
Duke University Archive
Harper Collins
Letters Live
National Enquirer
Pacific Sun
People Magazine
Portland’s Gay Men Chorus
Time Magazine
Universal Pictures
Universal Television
Warner Brothers
Working Title Films
Village Voice

Additional Audio Materials Courtesy Of
Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin, performed by Frances McDormand.
Text copyright 1978 by The Chronicle Publishing Company, production copyright 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers.

Further Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin, performed by Frances McDormand.
Text copyright 1982 by The Chronicle Publishing Company, production copyright 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers.

Babycakes by Armistead Maupin, performed by Alan Cumming.
Text copyright 1984 by The Chronicle Publishing Company, production copyright 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers.

Sure of You by Armistead Maupin, performed by Eric McCormack.
Text copyright 1999 by Armistead Maupin, production copyright 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers.

The Night Listener written and performed by Armistead Maupin.
Text copyright 2000 by Literary Bent LLC, production copyright 2000 by HarperCollins Publishers.

Bell Note Lullaby
Written by Harold Geller
Atmosphere Music Ltd PRS
Courtesy of Killer Tracks

Dream Sequence
Written by Piero Piccioni
Universal Music Publishing Ricordi srl [SIAE]
Courtesy of Killer Tracks

Planet 54
Written by Dave Ruffy [PRS], Gary Tibbs [ASCAP], Peter Glenister [PRS]
Soundcast Music SESAC

Courtesy of Killer Tracks
"Tres Pasajeros"
Written by Joshua Camp
Performed by Chicha Libre
Courtesy of Barbes Records

"San Francisco (You’ve Got Me)”
Performed by Village People
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises and Scorpio Music, S.A.

Additional Musicians
Ben Holmes - trumpet
Beth Meyers - viola
Sam Sadigursky - clarinet and flute

Special Thanks
Don Bachardy
Salvatore Botti
Marcus Chan
Alex Cherian
The Crown and Anchor
Alan Cumming
Gus D'Angelo
Koko D'Angelo
Pele D'Angelo
Christine DiCrocco
Dog Eared Books
Patrick Fairy
Joseph Ferrucci
Lewis Gillian
Rachel Gordon
Dena Hammerstein
Todd Hargis
Gladys Helzberg
Yvonne Israel-O’Hare
Rachel Klyce
Jeff Kroot
James Lecesne
Mark Garrett
Michael Michaud
Pat Montandon
Ellen Moore
Raymond L. Mulliner
Kevin O’Connell
Dave O’Hare
Florence Pak
Abigail Reider
David Sarno
Adrian Smith
Eric G. Smith
Tom Spitz
Aaron Starr
Angie Thieriot
Trent Thornley
Junia Tiruchelvam
Vasudevan Tiruchelvam
Philo Turner
Trip Weil

In Loving Memory of
Steve Beery
Michael Cooper
Gail “Anni Abbi” D’Angelo
Randy David
Art Holman
Richard Ideamon
George Kuchar
Elender Wall

Fiscal Sponsors
International Documentary Association

Funding Provided by
Alvin Baum & Robert Holgate
James Hormel
The Rogovy Foundation
The Fleishhacker Foundation
Frameline Completion Fund

This program is a production of Tigerlily Pictures LLC, which is solely responsible for its content.

© 2017 Tigerlily Pictures LLC. All rights reserved.

Have you, like Armistead Maupin, ended up in a different place than you started? What has been your own journey of self-discovery? Did you read Maupin's books and/or watch the original series, and if so did it change your perspectives?


  • 2017 SXSW Film Festival
    Audience Award
  • Napa Valley Film Festival
    Special Jury Award for Depth and Grace in Documentary Filmmaking
Please review our comment guidelines.
Have you, like Armistead Maupin, ended up in a different place than you started? What has been your own journey of self-discovery? Did you read Maupin's books and/or watch the original series, and if so did it change your perspectives?