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Torch Song Trilogy (1988)

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 »

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Airs Fri. Jun. 30, 3:15 AM on TCM

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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

14 December 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Kuckucksei  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross:

$4,865,997 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Pierce's drag name is Bertha Venation, a pun on the classic silent film The Birth of a Nation (1915). See more »

Goofs

Arnold hires a car service to take him and Ma to the cemetery, and the car is seen waiting for them. But when Ma storms off and leaves in the car, it's not the same driver that brought them to the cemetery. See more »

Quotes

Arnold: I know you'll find this hard to comprehend, but I want more out of life than meeting a pretty face and sitting down on it.
Murray: Graphically put!
See more »

Connections

References Beauty on Parade (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Body and Soul
Music by Johnny Green
Lyrics by Edward Heyman, Robert Sour and Frank Eyton
Performed by the Charlie Haden Quartet West
Also Performed by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra
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User Reviews

 
A film to watch time and time again
25 November 2004 | by (Stockholm, Sweden) – See all my reviews

I discovered the play "Torch Song Trilogy" on stage in Stockholm 1986. I immediately fell in love with it and saw it five times (even though it was 5 1/2 hours long). When I realized that they've made a film out of it I was delighted. The sad (and exciting) thing about stage productions is that once they're not playing anymore, you can never see them again. But in this case this film gave me the chance to revisit the wonderful world of Arnold!

I found it on VHS maybe 12 years ago and I have no idea how many times I've watched it. All I can say is that my copy is all but unwatchable by now. Once in a while I get the urge to "visit old friends" and I just have to see the film again. To say it in a few words: I love it I love it I love it! Harvey Fierstein is fantastic and unique! Anne Bancroft is a mother that sends chills along your spine - but you can't help loving her just the way Arnold does. Don't miss this film!


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