11 user 66 critic

Tom of Finland (2017)

2:14 | Trailer

Get Showtimes & Tickets

In 1 theater near Ashburn VA US [change]

Award-winning filmmaker Dome Karukoski brings to screen the life and work of one of the most influential and celebrated figures of twentieth century gay culture.



(screenplay), (story by) | 6 more credits »
3,298 ( 406)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Spring. Yorkshire. Young farmer Johnny Saxby numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker for lambing season ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path.

Director: Francis Lee
Stars: Josh O'Connor, Gemma Jones, Harry Lister Smith
Beach Rats (2017)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A Brooklyn teenager spends his days experimenting with drugs and looking online for older men to meet with.

Director: Eliza Hittman
Stars: Harris Dickinson, Madeline Weinstein, Kate Hodge
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Members of the advocacy group ACT UP Paris demand action by the government and pharmaceutical companies to combat the AIDS epidemic in the early 1990s.

Director: Robin Campillo
Stars: Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Arnaud Valois, Adèle Haenel
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Tom of Finland is one of the gay world's few authentic icons. His drawings have had an enormous influence on gay identity. Tom's ultimate leather men are known and seen everywhere. They are... See full summary »

Director: Ilppo Pohjola
Stars: Tom of Finland
Inxeba (2017)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Xolani, a lonely factory worker, travels to the rural mountains with the men of his community to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood.

Director: John Trengove
Stars: Nakhane Touré, Bongile Mantsai, Niza Jay
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A poker-playing restaurateur and former traveling salesman befriends a group of refugees newly arrived to Finland.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Ville Virtanen, Dome Karukoski, Tommi Korpela


Credited cast:
Kaija Laaksonen
Tom's man
Editor of the Physic Pictorial Office
Moustache Man
Tom's man


Touko Laaksonen, a decorated officer, returns home after a harrowing and heroic experience serving his country in World War II, but life in Finland during peacetime proves equally distressing. He finds peace-time Helsinki rampant with persecution of the homosexual men around him, even being pressured to marry women and have children. Touko finds refuge in his liberating art, specializing in homoerotic drawings of muscular men, free of inhibitions. His work - made famous by his signature 'Tom of Finland' - became the emblem of a generation of men and fanned the flames of a gay revolution. Written by Helsinki-filmi

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They called it filth. It became a revolution. See more »


Biography | Drama


See all certifications »


Official Sites:


| | | | |


| |

Release Date:

24 February 2017 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Tom od Finske  »


Box Office


€5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,524, 15 October 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$276,636, 14 December 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Finnish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film competition at 2018 Academy Awards. See more »


Referenced in Tähdet, tähdet: Elokuvamusiikki (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

a well-made bio pic of the artist who transformed gay identity
29 October 2017 | by See all my reviews

Australia is on the verge of a social milestone in the gay rights movement as it awaits the result of the marriage equality survey. This makes the historical bio-pic Tom of Finland (2017) a timely reminder of the dark history of homophobia and the liberating power of equality. It is a true story of an artist whose work became the rallying iconography for gay pride.

We meet Touko Laaksonen, aka Tom of Finland (Pekka Strang), at the end of his Finnish military service just after World War II. The army was an oppressive environment for a gay man at a time when homosexuality was a crime. Inspired by the machismo of military uniforms, Tom secretly developed what became a universal artform that became emblematic of gay culture. His sketches depicted the exaggerated muscularity and sexual power of a social underclass that was regularly lampooned as effeminate, passive and weak. Leather-clad riders on powerful bikes with bulging genitals were regarded by authorities as pornographic but they became iconic self-identity images for the gay community. His early work was dangerous: while being interrogated under suspicion of being gay, a policeman tells him "we used to throw scum like you into concentration camps". While he was an underground criminal in Finland, he was a hero in America. When he arrived in California he was overwhelmed by the openness of America's gay culture, and throughout the 60s and 70s sexual revolution his work was widely exhibited and published. Today he is lauded as one of Finland's heroes.

This story engages at several levels. It is a tale about a gay man's coming out in a repressive society and the global impact he had on the recognition of the LGBTI community. That alone is a big story. But beyond the bio-pic narrative, there is a larger story about the power of art to transform the human condition. Across millennia, art has objectified physical beauty for visual pleasure. Tom's creative sketches beautified the male body in a way that re-defined gay masculinity, empowering those suffering from persecuted sexuality. The strength of the film is in its capture of the mood, fashion, and upheaval of the times. In its two hours spanning four decades of change, it leaps across time and space with editing that can feel disjointed. The cinematography is excellent and the filming palette portrays the gloom of repressive Finland, brightening into the kaleidoscopic colours and music of free America. Key performances are played with understated realism to emphasise the role of Tom's art in social change rather than Tom as a person.

If you have ever wondered what inspired the butch styles made famous by the Village People, now you know. Regardless of where this film is seen, Tom of Finland (2017) is a reminder of just how long it has taken for the gay community to enjoy equal rights and the struggles that still remain. This interesting well-made film sheds a warm light on an artist whose work has left a lasting impact on the creation of a more inclusive society.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

What Is Katee Sackhoff Watching?

Katee Sackhoff shares her Watchlist and love for the CW drama "Reign" with "The IMDb Show." Plus, we take a look at the top 10 TV Shows of 2017.

Watch now