5.3/10
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30 user 14 critic

Staircase (1969)

Charles Dyer and Harry Leeds are a couple that have been living together for nearly 20 years. Both earn a living as hairdressers in the West End of London and both care deeply for their ... See full summary »

Director:

Stanley Donen

Writers:

Charles Dyer (screenplay), Charles Dyer (play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rex Harrison ... Charlie Dyer
Richard Burton ... Harry Leeds
Cathleen Nesbitt ... Harry's Mother
Beatrix Lehmann ... Charlie's Mother
Stephen Lewis ... Jack
Neil Wilson ... Policeman
Gordon Heath Gordon Heath ... Postman
Avril Angers Avril Angers ... Miss Ricard
Shelagh Fraser ... Cub Mistress
Gwen Nelson ... Matron
Pat Heywood Pat Heywood ... Nurse
Dermot Kelly Dermot Kelly ... Gravedigger
Jake Kavanagh Jake Kavanagh ... Choirboy
Michael Rogers Michael Rogers ... Drag Singer (as Rogers)
Royston Starr Royston Starr ... Drag Singer (as Starr)
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Storyline

Charles Dyer and Harry Leeds are a couple that have been living together for nearly 20 years. Both earn a living as hairdressers in the West End of London and both care deeply for their mothers, but not each other as time apart takes its toll on their relationship when Harry has to care for his invalid mother who snips at him every chance she gets. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Third Great Attraction in 20th Century-Fox's PREMIERE PRESENTATION PLAN See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

20 August 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L'escalier See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Stanley Donen Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "Staircase" by Charles Dyer opened at the Biltmore Theater in New York on March 2, 1968 and ran for 61 performances. See more »

Quotes

Charles Dyer: [after Harry hits Charles in the groin] You hurt me! You hurt me! A nice kick in the whatzits.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are repeated over and over, getting smaller at the top of the screen to give the image of a staircase. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sex at 24 Frames Per Second (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

All Things Bright and Beautiful
(uncredited)
Music by William H. Monk and lyrics by Cecil F. Alexander
[Incorrectly credited as 'Traditional hymn']
Performed by Jake Kavanagh & Dermot Kelly
[The choirboy and the gravedigger sing the hymn while Harry is at the churchyard]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not bad and performances by Rex Harrison & Richard Burton worth seeing.
18 November 2004 | by tsch875125See all my reviews

The film came out in 1969 and was based on a popular play by Charles Dyer. The Great Stanley Donen got a hold of it and decided to bring it to the big screen with two BIG stars! The only flaw is it's not really big screen material. Please let me make it clear I enjoyed the film . I'm just not sure even with it's two great stars it was a film for one and all - It's appeal was too limited. That being said it is definitely worth watching for the stars alone. Try to see it in it's wide screen format. Stanley Donen (as always) does a beautiful job directing a story about two gay middle-aged barbers in the back streets of seedy old London. Richard Burton is excellent as the more quite one - His Harry is very sympathetic - Taking care of his bed-ridden mother as well as his long time mate, Charlie (Rex Harrison). He keeps his bald head wrapped in a towel turban to protect his business and is also self-conscious about his weight ( Watch as he tugs at his clothes throughout the film - Nice touch!)which, Charlie loves to tease him about. It's one of Mr. Burton's overlooked roles - Too bad! Now for Rex, I'm biased because he's my favorite actor (Please read my comments on the original Doctor Dolittle) - Rex Harrison does an outstanding job as his role of Charlie - The more showier of the two he really stands out. Things to watch for are his excellent body language - Watch his sway in walk and pulled back shoulders, yet this is a very insecure man. The emotional scenes are right on the money - and he has several of them throughout the film! Donen the director gets a performance out of Rex I've never seen and it's impressive. Remember this is the same man who gave us Caesar in the Burton/Taylor Cleopatra, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady & the lovable Doctor Dolittle to name a few. Charles Dyer (Screenwriter) gave the character of Charlie this trait in his speech pattern, where he always repeats himself. Normally this would drive me up the wall and to be honest I don't think it was needed. But Rex makes it work - another less seasoned actor (Or any modern actor living today) would not be able to pull it off. The music by Dudley Moore is interesting, It now comes off dated. I'm not saying it doesn't work for the film, I just think I would have liked a more sympathetic score - maybe something from Michel Legrand. I think another reason I enjoy this film is because in 1969 two leading men took a BIG chance going against type and actually pulled it off.

As a film on a whole it's not bad and if your a fan of either star all I can say is - WATCH IT! If your gay - You'll say "Damn, we've come a long way" - If your straight you'll say "Huh?" Just kidding - actually you might say "Not Bad"


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