7.4/10
4,554
26 user 26 critic

Prick Up Your Ears (1987)

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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (based on the biography by)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A fictionalized account of what may have happened when John Lennon and Brian Epstein went on holiday together to Spain in 1963.

Director: Christopher Munch
Stars: David Angus, Ian Hart, Stephanie Pack
Transfixed (2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Bo is a transexual prostitute in Brussels who left home after being abused by her father. She's now in an abusive relationship with a neighbor and suspected by the police in a series of ... See full summary »

Director: Francis Girod
Stars: Richard Bohringer, Robinson Stévenin, Stéphane Metzger
Walang kawala (2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Joaquin (Polo Ravales), an unassuming fisherman, is forced to confront his homosexuality when his sex-starved wife Cynthia (Althea Vega) returns from her overseas job eager to get pregnant.... See full summary »

Director: Joel Lamangan
Stars: Polo Ravales, Joseph Bitangcol, Emilio Garcia
Vera II (1986)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Young girl spends her adolescence in an institution for minors, developing some masculine traits in her personality. In this hostile environment, she can only find some sympathy in a ... See full summary »

Director: Sergio Toledo
Stars: Ana Beatriz Nogueira, Adriana Abujamra, Cida Almeida
41 Seconds (2006)
Short | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

What do you do when your girlfriend tells you, your best friend kisses better than you? A young man decides to settle the matter once and for all.

Directors: Tobias Martin, Rodney Sewell
Stars: Alexander Kaffl, Amir Arul
Yeladim Tovim (2005)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Two rent boys, hired by a trick to perform together, develop a relationship.

Director: Yair Hochner
Stars: Daniel Efrat, Dana Balalti, Michael Hamel
Jet Lag I (2011)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A couple of gay men must break up due the impossibility of one of them to accept his homosexual condition. The farewell gets very difficult when the other one tries to convince him to accept himself and not to leave him.

Director: Sergio Tovar Velarde
Stars: Andrés Negrete, Enrique Villanueva
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An ambitious Asian Briton and his white lover strive for success and hope, when they open up a glamorous laundromat.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Saeed Jaffrey, Roshan Seth, Daniel Day-Lewis
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Alfie Byrne is a middle-aged bus conductor in Dublin in 1963. He would appear to live a life of quiet desperation: he's gay, but firmly closeted, and his sister is always trying to find him... See full summary »

Director: Suri Krishnamma
Stars: Albert Finney, Brenda Fricker, Michael Gambon
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Karl Foyle and Paul Prentice were best mates at school in the Seventies. But when they meet again in present-day London things are definitely not the same. Karl is now Kim, a transsexual, ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Spence
Stars: Steven Mackintosh, Rupert Graves, Miriam Margolyes
Princesa I (2001)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Fernando, a.k.a. Fernanda, a 19-year-old Brazilian transvestite, travels to Milan and becomes a prostitute to finance sex-change surgery. Fernanda dreams of becoming a "real" woman, but in ... See full summary »

Director: Henrique Goldman
Stars: Ingrid de Souza, Cesare Bocci, Lulu Pecorari
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Sebastien is a small town boy who moves to Paris and begins to explore the gay night life there. When a friend from back home calls to announce he's coming to Paris, Sebastien confronts some unrequited feelings.

Directors: Bernard Alapetite, Cyril Legann
Stars: Benoît Delière, Johnny Amaro, Thibault Boucaux
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Peggy Ramsay
...
John Lahr
...
Anthea Lahr
...
Elsie Orton
James Grant ...
William Orton
...
Leonie Orton
Janet Dale ...
Mrs Sugden
Dave Atkins ...
Mr Sugden
...
Madame Lambert
Eric Richard ...
Education Officer
William Job ...
RADA Chairman
Rosalind Knight ...
RADA Judge
Angus MacKay ...
RADA Judge
Edit

Storyline

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 <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They shared everything - except success.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 May 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ciuliti-va urechile  »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,654,743 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Kenneth Halliwell created the title "Prick Up Your Ears" for Orton's (never produced) film for the Beatles, "Up Against It", but Orton said, "But this is much too good a title to waste on a film." See more »

Goofs

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. But new pence weren't introduced until 1971. See more »

Quotes

Counsil: [at Joe and Kenneth's trial] This is the novel "Clouds of Witness" by the noted authoress Dorothy L. Sayers. Could you read what the accused have written on the flap of the jacket?
Policeman: "When little Betty McDree says that she has been interfered with, her mother at first laughs. It is only something the kiddy has picked up off the television. But when, on sorting through the laundry, Mrs McDree discovers that a new pair of Betty's knickers are missing, she thinks again. Her mother takes little Betty ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References My Favorite Brunette (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

Dancing Hearts
Music by Stanley Myers
Lyrics by Richard Myhill
Arranged by Richard Myhill
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Very good
9 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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.


10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Gary Oldman's Ass jrswing80
*falls over* Scarlett_Avenger
Joe Orton rahrare
Why No Kenneth Williams? scarlet1881
violence etc. bunglelivesinwoolpit
Why isn't this more of a cult film? Shilpot7
Discuss Prick Up Your Ears (1987) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?