MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,631 this week

Torch Song Trilogy (1988)

7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 5,048 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 8 critic

Tony Award-winning actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein re-creates his role as the unsinkable Arnold Beckoff in this film adaptation of the smash Broadway play TORCH SONG TRILOGY. A very ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(play), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb: What to Watch - The One I Love

Interview with Charlie McDowell and Mark Duplass


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 43 titles
created 19 Apr 2011
 
a list of 27 titles
created 29 Apr 2011
 
a list of 42 titles
created 25 May 2012
 
a list of 35 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Torch Song Trilogy (1988)

Torch Song Trilogy (1988) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Torch Song Trilogy.

User Polls

1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Matt Mulhern stars as an out of work sit-com actor visiting his empty childhood home on the Jersey shore while struggling to make sense of the loss of his father, his past, and, for one funny and heartbreaking week, himself.

Director: Matt Mulhern
Stars: Hallie Foote, Matt Mulhern, Kara Silver
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Sam has a problem with his roommates: they are disgusting, and don't seem to share his views on responsibility, privacy, and basic hygiene. Such is his discomfort with his living ... See full summary »

Director: Warren Leight
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Annabella Sciorra, Tim Guinee
Out on a Limb (1992)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Matthew Broderick goes Out on a Limb in this surprising adventure about a financial whiz who takes a wild detour to come to the aid of his kid sister in the small logging town of Buzzsaw.

Director: Francis Veber
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Jeffrey Jones, Heidi Kling
1918 (1985)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

It's 1918, the height of United States involvement in World War I - Liberty Bonds are sold, German immigrants are suspected as traitors or saboteurs, young men everywhere succumb to the ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Harrison
Stars: William Converse-Roberts, Hallie Foote, Matthew Broderick
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In a suburb of London, young Jamie is escaping sport hours, to avoid being the victim of his comrades. Young Ste, his neighbor, is beaten by his father, and comes to sleep overnight. They discover new feelings, sleeping in the same bed.

Director: Hettie Macdonald
Stars: Glen Berry, Linda Henry, Meera Syal
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Gregory invites seven friends to spend the summer at his large, secluded 19th-century home in upstate New York. The seven are: Bobby, Gregory's "significant other," who is blind but who ... See full summary »

Director: Joe Mantello
Stars: Jason Alexander, Stephen Spinella, Stephen Bogardus
Biloxi Blues (1988)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A group of young recruits go through boot camp during the Second World War in Biloxi Mississippi. From the play by Neil Simon.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Christopher Walken, Matt Mulhern
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
Latter Days (2003)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A promiscuous gay party animal falls for a young Mormon missionary, leading to crisis, cliché, and catastrophe.

Director: C. Jay Cox
Stars: Wes Ramsey, Steve Sandvoss, Mary Kay Place
Touch of Pink (2004)
Drama | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A gay Canadian living in London has his perfectly crafted life upset when his devoutly Muslim mother comes to visit.

Director: Ian Iqbal Rashid
Stars: Jimi Mistry, Kris Holden-Ried, Suleka Mathew
The Trip (2002)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When 19-year-old gay-rights activist Tommy and 24-year-old Alan first meet in 1973, they find themselves on the opposite sides of the political coin. Despite their many differences, they ... See full summary »

Director: Miles Swain
Stars: Larry Sullivan, Steve Braun, Ray Baker
A Life in the Theater (TV Movie 1993)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A veteran actor who's seen it all and a young, up-and-comer join for a season of reperatory theatre.

Director: Gregory Mosher
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Jack Lemmon
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Eddie Castrodad ...
...
Charles Pierce ...
Axel Vera ...
Benji Schulman ...
Nick Montgomery ...
...
Kim Clark ...
Stephanie Penn ...
Geoffrey Harding ...
Edit

Storyline

Tony Award-winning actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein re-creates his role as the unsinkable Arnold Beckoff in this film adaptation of the smash Broadway play TORCH SONG TRILOGY. A very personal story that is both funny and poignant, TORCH SONG TRILOGY chronicles a New Yorker's search for love, respect and tradition in a world that seems not especially made for him. From Arnold's hilarious steps toward domestic bliss with a reluctant school teacher, to his first truly promising love affair with a young fashion model, Arnold's greatest challenge remains his complicated relationship with his mother. But armed with a keenly developed sense of humor and oftentimes piercing wit, Arnold continues to test the commonly accepted terms of endearment--and endurance--in a universally affecting story that confirms that happiness is well worth carrying a torch for. Written by Michael Braem

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It takes a lot of guts and a helluva sense of humor to live life in Arnold's shoes.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 December 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Kuckucksei  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$4,865,997 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Estelle Getty originated the role of Ma Beckoff on Broadway. She was unavailable filming The Golden Girls (1985) to reprise the part for the movie. See more »

Quotes

Ed: Why don't you ask Arnold? I'm sure he has lots to say on the subject.
Alan: He says you're a boring, self-centered, insensitive old fool who wouldn't know love if it wore wings, diaper, and shot heart-shaped arrows at your butt.
See more »

Connections

References What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

What's New?
Music by Bob Haggart'
Lyrics by Johnny Burke
Performed by Billie Holiday
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
No Regrets Or Apologies From Arnold Beckoff
19 March 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I was fortunate enough to see one of the 1222 performances of Torch Song Trilogy when it was on Broadway, a show written and starring Harvey Fierstein who with this success becomes a Brooklyn Jewish version of Noel Coward. Sad to say Torch Song Trilogy was tragically dated when it got to the screen because the AIDS epidemic had not occurred when Fierstein wrote this bittersweet tale of a gay life, and a man who refuses to conform to anyone else's ideas including his all powerful Jewish mother. And we know how formidable those folks can be.

Fierstein is Arnold Beckoff who knew from early childhood he was a gay kid and took life as it came. In fact he became a drag entertainer of note and seems to be doing quite well at it, making a living, much to the consternation of his mother Anne Bancroft. I saw Estelle Getty do this on Broadway and I wouldn't want to split hairs on the differences between the two actresses. Like so many of her generation, Bancroft just thinks being gay is a phase that her son will grow out of. Of course by his mid thirties you'd think she would have a clue. As on Broadway the scenes between Mrs. Beckoff and her son have the real meat of the play.

As you might have guessed Torch Song Trilogy had its beginnings in the gay cabaret scene and through the persistence of Harvey Fierstein it got to Broadway. On stage the various scenes which are more segmented than in the film version are punctuated by a cabaret singers doing various torch song ballads to put a coda on what the audience had just seen. Here the torch songs are relegated to background music, the best kind of background music to be sure. Harvey himself however does perform in his drag character.

The one true love of his life is Brian Kerwin who can't quite accept himself as gay. He's comfortable being 'bisexual', but as Fierstein so accurately points out, he'd like to meet just one bisexual who is open with his boyfriends, but keeps his women a big old secret.

Kerwin is always an interesting player to watch. He got his first notice as the hayseed deputy on the Sheriff Lobo series and he's spent the rest of his career making sure he was NEVER cast in that kind of part again. As the troubled love of Harvey's life, Kerwin certainly proves he's more than a hayseed. Because Kerwin won't be true to himself, Harvey looks for love elsewhere. Harvey's not capable of closeted behavior, the closet would be death for him.

Matthew Broderick plays Alan the young male model who Harvey falls for and he's as winning here as he is in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. In fact he's a gay Ferris Bueller who probably did spend time trying to get into adult gay clubs and knew all the places where they'd wink and let him in. His tragic end at the hands of a gang of homophobic street thugs is something I saw all too much of in my working life at Crime Victims Board.

Torch Song Trilogy transfers quite well from the stage to the screen and with Harvey Fierstein helping with the transfer, we'd expect nothing less. He kept the film true to the vision of gay male life that he saw and lived. I still remember he and I were both witnesses at the gay rights hearings in New York City back when Torch Song Trilogy had just finished its Broadway run. His words there were among the most inspiring.

So this review is dedicated to the author and star of Torch Song Trilogy who has never slackened in his dedication for Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Rights and gives of himself and his talents to his people. From your fellow Brooklynite Harvey, with love.


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
This movie holymonkey1313
question for those that listened to the DVD commentary heberald26
DVD campanologist
Torch Song Stage Play Video - Does it Exist in Full? workgjt
Slightly Confused secretstud
Just wondering..... charlenelv
Discuss Torch Song Trilogy (1988) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page