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Behind the Candelabra (2013)

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Based on the autobiographical novel, the tempestuous 6-year relationship between Liberace and his teenage lover, Scott Thorson, is recounted.

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Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 40 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

"Too much of a good thing is wonderful"


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

7 June 2013 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Liberace  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a January 2013 interview with the New York Post, director Steven Soderbergh said that this movie was originally planned for a theatrical release but was ultimately produced by and aired on HBO instead because the story was "too gay" for Hollywood movie studios: "Nobody would make it, We went to everybody in town. They all said it was too gay. And this is after Brokeback Mountain (2005), by the way, which is not as funny as this movie. I was stunned. It made no sense to any of us." Despite this, the movie was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where it received its worldwide premiere. It was also theatrically released in Europe/rest of world. See more »

Goofs

The tailor uses the wrong end of the tape to measure Scott's waist during the montage where Liberace takes him shopping for a suit. See more »

Quotes

Liberace: What a story. It's got everything but a fire at the orphanage.
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2013 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Nola
Written by Felix Arndt
Piano Performed by Liberace
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Master Class
27 May 2013 | by (New Jersey) – 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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