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:

, (book)
Reviews

WAYS TO
WATCH:

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

People who liked this also liked... 

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

A young man discovers his homosexuality and begins a relationship with a manipulative huster/petty criminal that he meets at a train station.

Director: Patrice Chéreau
Stars: Jean-Hugues Anglade, Vittorio Mezzogiorno, Roland Bertin
Drama | Music | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In Nazi-occupied Paris, a young accompanist named Sophie Vasseur gets a job with famed singer Irene Brice. As Irene's husband Charles, a businessman collaborating with the Nazis, wrestles ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Miller
Stars: Richard Bohringer, Elena Safonova, Romane Bohringer
Nijinsky (1980)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Set in the early 1910s at a time of passionate artistic experimentalism, and based on biographical fact, this is the story of Vaslav Nijinsky, the young and brilliant but headstrong premier... See full summary »

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Alan Bates, George De La Pena, Leslie Browne
Swann in Love (1984)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Elegant and educated bachelor, Charles Swann, moves in the most powerful and fashionable circles of Paris in the 1890's. When he falls in love with Odette de Crecy, a courtesan, his friends... See full summary »

Director: Volker Schlöndorff
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Ornella Muti, Alain Delon
Le souper (1992)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

France, 1815. After his defeat at Waterloo, Napoleon heads for exile. Royalists occupy Paris and attempt to restore the monarchy. However, the battle doesn't seem to be over. On July 6, ... See full summary »

Director: Édouard Molinaro
Stars: Michel Piccoli, Claude Brasseur, Claude Rich
Dr. Petiot (1990)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Based on the real life of Dr. Marcel Petiot: During world war II Petiot, an MD living in occupied Paris, promised to help wealthy Jewish people among his patients to flee occupied France ... See full summary »

Director: Christian de Chalonge
Stars: Michel Serrault, Pierre Romans, Bérangère Bonvoisin
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In a vacation camp somewhere in the French country, 1960. Marc et Philippe are two of the counsellors. Marc is very virile, while Philippe is more reserved. A night, Marc surprises Philippe... See full summary »

Director: Claude Miller
Stars: Patrick Dewaere, Patrick Bouchitey, Christine Pascal
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young drifter meets up with a strange old man who claims that he has been taught to fly by birds.

Director: Alain Tanner
Stars: Trevor Howard, Mick Ford, Bernice Stegers
Abracadabra (1970)
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Frédéric Back
Inon (1972)
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Frédéric Back
Stars: Luc Durand, Budd Knapp
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Directors: Evelyn Lambart, Norman McLaren
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An experiment in abstract film-making, this short film (as it name implies) consists only of vertical lines, drawn directly onto each film frame, that change in response to music.

Directors: Evelyn Lambart, Norman McLaren
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

Plot Keywords:

playwright | writer | sex | death | love | See All (255) »

Taglines:

They shared everything - except success.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

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

Joe Orton: I think I'll retire. Lick my wounds. Or have them licked for me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Family Guy: Prick Up Your Ears (2006) 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

Essential Joe Orton Bio
23 September 1999 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

The single best biographical film I've ever seen. Gary Oldman, Alfred Molina, and Vanessa Redgrave are all brilliant. (Check out Simon Callow's book "Love Is Where It Falls" for more information on the Vanessa Redgrave character.) Much of the last third of the film is difficult to take, but it is nevertheless essential viewing for anyone interested in Joe Orton. And it needs to be said that there is real joy in the film as well -- particularly in the mischievous looks that cross Oldman's face while cruising tea rooms. Has any other het actor played gay so utterly convincingly?


12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
*falls over* Scarlett_Avenger
Gary Oldman's Ass jrswing80
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:
?