This film is the story of the spectacular life and violent death of British playwright Joe Orton. In his teens, Orton is befriended by the older, more reserved Kenneth Halliwell, and while ...
See full summary »
Sammy and Rosie are an unconventional middle-class London married couple. They live in the midst of inner-city chaos, surround themselves with intellectual street people, and sleep with ... See full summary »
An aimless young man, Johnny (Gary Oldman), is sent to prison. He entrusts his beloved dog, Evie, to the care of his former lover and best friend, Frank (Sir Alan Bates). When he gets out ... See full summary »
A group of Devonport-based Royal Navy ratings, due to sail to America for a six-month NATO exercise, go out on the town on their last night in port, hitting Plymouth's notorious Union ... See full summary »
A doctor's wife tires of his obsession with model trains, and spends her days wondering about the son she gave up for adoption at birth. While eating at a roadside café, she encounters a ... See full summary »
Ten years later, after ratting on his old mobster friends in exchange for personal immunity, two hit men drive a hardened criminal to Paris for his execution. However, while on the way, whatever can go wrong, does go wrong.
This film is the story of the spectacular life and violent death of British playwright Joe Orton. In his teens, Orton is befriended by the older, more reserved Kenneth Halliwell, and while the two begin a relationship, it's fairly obvious that it's not all about sex. Orton loves the dangers of bath-houses and liaisons in public restrooms; Halliwell, not as charming or attractive as Orton, doesn't fare so well in those environs. While both long to become writers, it is Orton who achieves fame - his plays "Entertaining Mr. Sloane" and "Loot" become huge hits in London of the sixties, and he's even commissioned to write a screenplay for the Beatles. But Orton's success takes him farther from Halliwell, whose response ended both his life and the life of the up-and-coming playwright.Written by
Gary Dickerson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Joe's agent first meets him in 1964, she asks him how he's been supporting himself. He tells her he's on public assistance, getting £3.10 per week. New pence weren't introduced until 1971. However, in the pre-decimal era, "Three pounds ten" would have been understood as "Three pounds and ten shillings", the present-day equivalent being £3.50. For example, "Maggie Mae", recorded by the Beatles in 1969 but based on a much older traditional song, includes the line "Two pounds ten a week, that was my pay." See more »
[Orton is having his portrait painted, naked]
When I die I want people to say, 'He was the most perfectly developed playwright of his day.'
See more »
Movie about gay London playwright Joe Orton (Gary Oldman) who was killed by his lover Kenneth Halliwell (Alfred Molina) in 1967. It's done with Vanessa Regrave as Orton's agent and Wallace Shawn as an investigative reporter piecing together Orton's life and his relationship with Halliwell. It shows how it started out great but Halliwell's reputation went nowhere while Orton wrote some very dirty (and funny) plays. This upset Halliwell and shows how he finally cracks.
This isn't for everybody. This shows a VERY graphic and unflinching view of gay life in London in the 1960s (when it was against the law). It seems Orton was very sexually active with others (that probably didn't help his relationship with Halliwell) and we're shown a few acts (all within an R rating). Oldman is just great--he LOOKS like Orton and gives a wonderful performance. Molina is good but he doesn't look a thing like Halliwell. Halliwell was about the same size and shape as Orton--Molina is tall and hulking--all wrong for the role. Shawn is lots of fun getting into Orton's life and Redgrave is just superb as his agent--who ever knew she could do comedy so effortlessly? She casually throws out some wonderful lines with a little smile on her lips. Also Julie Walters has a very very good scenes as Orton's sister.
The only thing this lacks is some insight into HOW Orton wrote his plays and why he was thinking certain things. However it could be nobody knows. A great film--Oldman and Redgrave's show all the way. Again, not for people that have trouble with gay scenes or dialogue. I remember quite a few gasps from the audience when I saw it in a theatre in 1987 during the scene where Oldman french-kisses another guy. I give this an 8.
13 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this