Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Bizarre Movie Posters: Staircase

"A marriage made in hell", "a sad gay story" ! STAIRCASE was a film made in hell - Paris actually, for the stars' tax reasons, though set in a seedy barber shop in rundown Brixton in South London. It was actually a well-regarded play with Paul Scofield and Patrick Magee at the Royal Shakespeare Company theatre The Aldwych in London, but the usually astute Donen came a cropper here, as the film was practically laughed off the screen back in '69. Rex and Burton camping it up just didn't work and was very dated even then - Whoops indeed! as they swished around their seedy home with their decrepit mothers. You would imagine with all their years in theatres and soundstages they would be able to do camp better than that - but of course back then gays were seens as freaks to laugh at and who usually killed themselves when they realised their true nature (THE CHILDRENS HOUR, THE SERGEANT (its unwatchable now - as Pauline Kael said why couldn't the movie be about something once John Philip Law rebuffs Rod Steiger's advances rather than Steiger rushing off to shoot himself in disgust), THE FOX, ADVISE AND CONSENT (with that first gay bar in mainstream movies, as Don Murray reels back in horror), THE DETECTIVE, THE BOYS IN THE BAND, THE GAY DECEIVERS etc).

I will be tackling Burton's worst (probably) BLUEBEARD next !

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