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Staircase (1969)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  20 August 1969 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 478 users  
Reviews: 27 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

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was widely denounced as homophobic. See more »

Quotes

Charles Dyer: Oh, blood, bowels, and beastiality.
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

 
"God help us all...and Oscar Wilde."
25 June 2007 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Playful, occasionally moving, often funny comedy about a gay hair-stylist and his lover/business partner living in London, an aging couple going on 30 years together, who each jab at the others' ego like two bitchy woodpeckers--but who consistently lean on each other (and feed off each other) like two halves of the same person. Richard Burton and Rex Harrison were reportedly unhappy making this film, and perhaps were only present for their large-for-1969 salaries, but they actually get a rhythm going that is rather infectious. Charles Dyer adapted his own "intimate" British play--and was probably reeling once his quaint, humble material got blown up on the big screen with major stars--yet his theatrical and literary pretensions are worked out charmingly, and some of his lines get big laughs. There are times when Burton seems more apt to go the distance personally with his character than Harrison is; then, in the very next scene, they flip and it's Harrison who takes off. The "plot" doesn't amount to much (Harrison's Charlie must attend court after being caught in lascivious garb at the same moment his estranged daughter is planning a visit), but to director Stanley Donen's credit the focus of the piece seldom wavers--we never even meet the daughter, which in this case is a blessing. The gay text is not handled madly or foolishly; Donen pairs the scenes down to quick, efficient little episodes, and this keeps the pacing brisk and gives the lead performances a nice edge (we never tire of them). Much ballyhoo was made over two heterosexual stars "camping it up" on screen, but I saw very little swishing. Dyer gets a few dramatic moments perfectly right, and he's written some good lines (such as when Harrison tells Burton, "I need someone new now and then"). The finer sequences are not trampled on by Donen, nor by his editor. "Staircase" is pithy and beguiling and should resonate with audiences who don't mind a tentative mix of sassy humor, self-pity, impatient wisecracks, and a tearing down of vanity. **1/2 from ****


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