Great Performances: Season 20, Episode 17

The Lost Language of Cranes (24 Jun. 1992)

TV Episode  -   -  Biography | Drama | Music
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 485 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 2 critic

When a young gay man comes out of the closet. His friends support him, but when he comes out to his parents, he stirs up a wealth of hidden feelings and secrets in their relationship.



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Title: The Lost Language of Cranes (24 Jun 1992)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Owen Benjamin
Rose Benjamin
Philip Benjamin
Elliot Abrahams
Geoffrey Lane
Derek Moulthorpe
Cathy Tyson ...
Jerene Parks
Richard Warwick ...
Nicholas Le Prevost ...
Robin Bradley
Frank Middlemass ...
Winston Penn
Edmund Kente ...
Paul Cottingham ...
Porno Boy 1
Tom Harden ...
Porno Boy 2


When a young gay may comes out of the closet. His friends support him, but when he comes out to his parents, he stirs up a wealth of hidden feelings and secrets in their relationship. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

24 June 1992 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Honesty has a Language of its own
8 February 2003 | by (Munich, Germany) – See all my reviews

The film offers two metaphors for the suppression of expression - young twins, who have never been taught an established language, and hence create one of their own; and a neglected child, who's only company is the view it has of a building site with several large cranes from the window: the child begins to imitate the cranes' movements and noises in an attempt to communicate with them. No fear - the symbolism is kept to a minimum.

At the film's core, are three people, all of whom have been suppressing their real feelings (their real selves) from the others for fear of change - for fear of disrupting the balance of their existence. This lack of expressing themselves in language, causes them to create their own "language of cranes".

They're terrified that the truth will rip apart the world as they know it, which it does. The viewer is left with their loose ends, wondering if honesty really was the best. Everything they feared about honesty comes to pass. The family is torn apart without a way back. The mother is left feeling like the punch line of a bad joke and the father will be left with 30 years of remorse and guilt. But they're free. They're alive and free - and they still have time to take advantage of their second chance at life.

There are no action scenes here, but this film is more suspenseful than a thriller. If you have ever kept a secret from someone you loved - beware - this film might make you feel very uncomfortable.

Bottom line: a wonderful script, excellent acting and well directed on a small budget. A must see!

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