MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 273 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 4,965 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...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 29 titles
created 20 Jun 2011
 
a list of 23 titles
created 16 Aug 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 33 titles
created 7 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... 

The Eagle (1925)
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A wanted Russian lieutenant becomes a masked vigilante seeking vengeance upon the man who stole his family's land, only to fall for his charming daughter.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Bánky, Louise Dresser
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 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
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
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Hazel Flagg of Warsaw, Vermont receives the news that her terminal case of radium poisoning from a workplace incident was a complete misdiagnosis with mixed emotions. She is happy not to be... See full summary »

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Carole Lombard, Fredric March, Charles Winninger
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Three women set out to find eligible millionaires to marry, but find true love in the process.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, Lauren Bacall
The Patsy (1928)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Director: King Vidor
Stars: Marion Davies, Orville Caldwell, Marie Dressler
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

To satisfy his nagging parents, a gay landlord and a female tenant agree to a marriage of convenience, but his parents arrive to visit and things get out of hand.

Director: Ang Lee
Stars: Winston Chao, May Chin, Ya-lei Kuei
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A fresh young beauty becomes an old maid waiting for her suitor to return from the Napoleonic wars. When he returns, clearly disappointed, she disguises herself as her own niece in order to test his loyalty.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Marion Davies, Conrad Nagel, Helen Jerome Eddy
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy
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
The Graduate (1967)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Recent college graduate Benjamin Braddock is trapped into an affair with Mrs. Robinson, who happens to be the wife of his father's business partner and then finds himself falling in love with her daughter, Elaine.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross
Annie Hall (1977)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditsy Annie Hall.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts
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:

Torch Song Trilogy  »

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

Arnold: [about his parents] It kills me to know that they look at me and all they can think is, "Where did we go wrong?"
See more »


Soundtracks

Maggie May
Written by Rod Stewart and Martin Quittenton
Performed by Rod Stewart
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.


5 of 6 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