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Staircase (1969)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  20 August 1969 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 456 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 12 critic

Charles Dyer and Harry Leeds are a couple that have been living together for nearly 20 years. Both earn a living as hairdressers in the West End of London and both care deeply for their ... See full summary »

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Title: Staircase (1969)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Charles Dyer
...
Harry Leeds, Owner of Chez Harry
Cathleen Nesbitt ...
Harry's Mother
Beatrix Lehmann ...
Charlie's Mother
Michael Rogers ...
Drag Singer
Royston Starr ...
Drag Singer
Jake Kavanagh ...
Choirboy
Dermot Kelly ...
Gravedigger
Gordon Heath ...
Postman
Avril Angers ...
Miss Ricard
Neil Wilson ...
Policeman
Shelagh Fraser ...
Cub Mistress
Gwen Nelson ...
Matron
Pat Heywood ...
Nurse
Stephen Lewis ...
Jack
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Storyline

Charles Dyer and Harry Leeds are a couple that have been living together for nearly 20 years. Both earn a living as hairdressers in the West End of London and both care deeply for their mothers, but not each other as time apart takes its toll on their relationship when Harry has to care for his invalid mother who snips at him every chance she gets. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A sad gay story See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

20 August 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'escalier  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Elizabeth Taylor was shooting The Only Game in Town (1970) at the same time as this film was in production. While that film is set in Las Vegas, Taylor demanded that director George Stevens shoot in France so she could be close to her husband, Richard Burton, who was filming Staircase (1969) with director Stanley Donen. This caused the budget of The Only Game in Town (1970) to grow higher than most large-scale, high-profile films that Fox was producing at the time. Ironically, the production of Staircase (1969) was moved to France to save money. See more »

Quotes

Charles Dyer: Oh, she IS frail today.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are repeated over and over, getting smaller at the top of the screen to give the image of a staircase. See more »

Connections

Featured in A Bit of Scarlet (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Staircase
Written by Dudley Moore and Stanley Donen
Performed by Michael Rogers and Royston Starr
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Two great actors and a bit of sensibility
25 July 2010 | by (jersey shore) – See all my reviews

I can see why this might have been disappointing from a 1969 perspective, especially if it was the first relatively mainstream gay couple movie. They behave like an old embittered married couple, hardly promoting the concept of gay relationship harmony. If you're gay, you may have hoped for people with more obvious emotional strength and dignity, to start things off.

But from this end, nearly 40 years later, there's a great deal to admire. Most of us can see them as just people, yes, suffering the issues of the day in certain respects, but otherwise going through the same relationship struggles experienced by any two people who've been together for a very long time.

With only a few mild changes, this movie could be set today, because it's confronting the aging process, a somewhat unequal relationship, the problem of elderly parents—just plain real life stuff told with pathos and humor.

As to the swishiness of either character, say all you want about the womanizing ways of these two actors, they both swished and preened through many of their other previous roles as well. It was enhanced in this movie, but not unnaturally so. There's now enough water under the bridge for us to understand this isn't the Singular Gay Trait, but it certainly does exist, and it's not necessarily the evidence for self-loathing by these two characters. Anyone can have doubts about themselves, and most of us do, in one way or another.

It's not a great movie, because it moves in fits and spurts and there are moments that seem a little emotionally vacant. But it's a decent movie because the characters are believable and you do grow to care for and about them.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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