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Behind the Candelabra (2013)

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A chronicle of the tempestuous six year romance between megastar singer, Liberace, and his young lover, Scott Thorson.



(screenplay), (book) | 1 more credit »
2,151 ( 58)
Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 41 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Bob Black
Assistant Director
Tom Roach ...
Stunt Actor
Shamus Cooley ...
Camera Assistant
John Smutny ...
Sound Mixer
Rose Carracappa
Joe Carracappa
George Liberace
Dora Liberace
Billy Leatherwood


Scott Thorson, a young bisexual man raised in foster homes, is introduced to flamboyant entertainment giant Liberace and quickly finds himself in a romantic relationship with the legendary pianist. Swaddled in wealth and excess, Scott and Liberace have a long affair, one that eventually Scott begins to find suffocating. Kept away from the outside world by the flashily effeminate yet deeply closeted Liberace, and submitting to extreme makeovers and even plastic surgery at the behest of his lover, Scott eventually rebels. When Liberace finds himself a new lover, Scott is tossed on the street. He then seeks legal redress for what he feels he has lost. But throughout, the bond between the young man and the star never completely tears. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"Too much of a good thing is wonderful"


TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 June 2013 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Liberace  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$23,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Robin Williams was originally set to play Liberace. See more »


Liberace played the piano while tapping his right foot. The piano is normally played while engaging the pedals to enrich the music produced, so ignoring the pedals is something a pianist would not do. See more »


Liberace: All of a sudden we're sounding like a gay Lucy and Ricky. "Oh, Ricky, you wouldn't fuck me up the ass if you loved me!"
Scott Thorson: Why am I the Lucy?
Liberace: Because I'm the bandleader with the nightclub act.
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References A Song to Remember (1945) See more »


Déjà Vu
Written by Adrienne Anderson and Isaac Hayes
Performed by Dionne Warwick
Courtesy of Arista Contemporary/RCA Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Master Class
27 May 2013 | by See all my reviews

By sheer coincidence, just two nights prior to the debut of 'Behind the Candelabra', I had the pleasure of viewing one of my favorite films, 1965's 'The Loved One', in which Liberace played 'Mr.Starker', a casket salesman. So it was with Liberace's voice, image and mannerisms fresh in my mind that I encountered Michael Douglas' portrayal of the man and boy, did he nail it.

The story itself is pretty much by the numbers with the kind of shorthand one expects from a TV movie bio; it's the performances that bring this to a certain level of greatness. Douglas all but disappears into the role, right from the start. It's truly an amazing thing to watch, and considering the subject, a brave and unapologetic performance. Matt Damon is equally impressive and while I have no idea if he does the real Scott Thorson justice, his transformation from an eager and innocent young man to a jaded, coked-up and surgically altered paranoid boy-toy is stark and convincing. Add to these chameleon-like performances an unrecognizable Debbie Reynolds and a truly unnerving Rob Lowe and you have two hours of truly compelling, master-class performances.

Highly recommended.

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