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 481 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

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Release Date:

24 June 1992 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

2 November 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Story about two young men in England--Philip (Angus Macfayden) and Eliot (Corey Parker)--falling in love. Philip tells his parents--his mother thinks it's a disaster--his father (Brian Cox) remains strangely quiet. It turns out HE'S gay too and his sons coming out is forcing him into a decision.

Low-key drama. I caught it on PBS (slightly edited) and then saw it complete on VHS in the early 1990s. I liked it but can't say I was too impressed. For starters the low-key aspect of the story was TOO low-key. Everything seemed muted. Macfayden and Parker were (surprisingly) terrible in their roles. I never believed these guys even liked each other, let alone love each other. So a crucial turn halfway through didn't carry the emotional weight it should have. The happy ending all around seemed too pat for me also.

Still it was brave to make a movie like this back in 1991 AND get it distributed. It was well-directed and well-written. Also Cox was excellent in his role. So, it IS interesting in terms of gay cinema--it portrays gay men in a realistic manner (especially having hunky, masculine Macfayden play one) but it just doesn't come across strongly enough. Worth a viewing but don't go out of your way.

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