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Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998)

Unrated  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  7 October 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 2,371 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 50 critic

Biography of British painter Francis Bacon focuses on his relationship with his lover, George Dyer, a former small time crook.



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Title: Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Isabel Rawsthorne
Daniel Farson
John Deakin
Annabel Brooks ...
Henrietta Moraes
Richard Newbould ...
Blonde Billy (as Richard Newbold)
Ariel de Ravenel ...
French Official
Tallulah ...
Ian Board
Andy Linden ...
Ken Bidwell
Joe Furneval
Gary Hume ...
Volker Dix
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In the 1960s, British painter Francis Bacon (1909-1992) surprises a burglar and invites him to share his bed. The burglar, a working class man named George Dyer, 30 years Bacon's junior, accepts. Bacon finds Dyer's amorality and innocence attractive, introducing him to his Soho pals. In their sex life, Dyer dominates, Bacon is the masochist. Dyer's bouts with depression, his drinking and pill popping, and his satanic nightmares strain the relationship, as does his pain with Bacon's casual infidelities. Bacon paints, talks with wit, and, as Dyer spins out of control, begins to find him tiresome. Could Bacon care less? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Study for a portrait of Francis Bacon.


Biography | Drama


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


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Release Date:

7 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£46,077 (UK) (18 September 1998)


$343,023 (USA) (17 December 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Malcolm McDowell was once interest for the part of Francis Bacon. See more »


Francis Bacon: Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends.
See more »

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User Reviews

Visual nightmare
15 March 2005 | by (The land of the Bunyips) – See all my reviews

This movie is a portrait of British painter Francis Bacon (played by Derek Jacobi) in the 1960s. In the beginning of the movie, a young man named Dyer (Daniel Craig), intent on burglarizing Bacon's flat, has a misstep and falls into his art studio. Bacon approaches him and...asks him to come to bed with him! Dyer agrees and this is the beginning of their tumultuous romantic and complex sexual relationship.

This movie is really a focus on a relationship between people that are polar opposites. Bacon is a slightly mad artistic genius in his 50s, with snobby pretentious friends. Dyer is a naive 20 something working-class man who drinks too much. The only thing they have in common seems to be that Dyer's horrifying and bloody nightmares are very similar to Bacon's twisted paintings. As Bacon becomes more involved with his work and their differences become more pronounced, Dyer finds himself in a dark downward spiral. The scenes in this work like little vignettes. They are simultaneously visually stunning and repulsive--it is often like watching a painting that moves. The story is rather boring, but this movie is definitely worth seeing for its fantastic cinematography and frightening visuals. It looks like a nightmare come to life.

My Rating: 6/10.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Bacon was not British ghf23
Is this film accurate to Bacon's real life? onefineday36
First Post? Bacon's Paintings. jasonsiques
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Francis Bacon of today, would be sad I think..... amgorman

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