7.4/10
5,217
29 user 31 critic

Prick Up Your Ears (1987)

R | | Biography, Drama | 8 May 1987 (USA)
This film is the story of the spectacular life and violent death of British playwright Joe Orton. In his teens, Orton is befriended by the older, more reserved Kenneth Halliwell, and while ... See full summary »

Director:

Stephen Frears

Writers:

John Lahr (based on the biography by), Alan Bennett (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon

Gary Oldman Through the Years

Take a look back at Gary Oldman's movie career in photos.

See more Gary

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Sammy and Rosie are an unconventional middle-class London married couple. They live in the midst of inner-city chaos, surround themselves with intellectual street people, and sleep with ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Shashi Kapoor, Claire Bloom, Frances Barber
Track 29 (1988)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A doctor's wife tires of his obsession with model trains, and spends her days wondering about the son she gave up for adoption at birth. While eating at a roadside café, she encounters a ... See full summary »

Director: Nicolas Roeg
Stars: Theresa Russell, Gary Oldman, Christopher Lloyd
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An ambitious Pakistani Briton and his white boyfriend strive for success and hope when they open a glamorous laundromat.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Saeed Jaffrey, Roshan Seth, Daniel Day-Lewis
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An aimless young man, Johnny (Gary Oldman), is sent to prison. He entrusts his beloved dog, Evie, to the care of his former lover and best friend, Frank (Sir Alan Bates). When he gets out ... See full summary »

Director: Colin Gregg
Stars: Alan Bates, Max Wall, Liz Smith
Chattahoochee (1989)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In 1955 Florida, a Korean vet has a breakdown and is incarcerated in a "maximum security" mental health prison, where patients are abused.

Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: Gary Oldman, Dennis Hopper, Frances McDormand
Remembrance (1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A group of Devonport-based Royal Navy ratings, due to sail to America for a six-month NATO exercise, go out on the town on their last night in port, hitting Plymouth's notorious Union ... See full summary »

Director: Colin Gregg
Stars: Roger Adamson, John Altman, Dawn Archibald
Sid and Nancy (1986)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The relationship between Sid Vicious, bassist for British punk group Sex Pistols, and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen is portrayed.

Director: Alex Cox
Stars: Gary Oldman, Chloe Webb, David Hayman
The Hit (1984)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Ten years later, after ratting on his old mobster friends in exchange for personal immunity, two hit men drive a hardened criminal to Paris for his execution. However, while on the way, whatever can go wrong, does go wrong.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Freddie Stuart, Ralph Brown, A.J. Clarke
The Van (1996)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Set in the fictional Dublin suburb of Barrytown, Bimbo is a baker who loses his job after being made redundant. Bimbo then acquires the help of his best friend, Larry, to set up a successful burger van.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Colm Meaney, Donal O'Kelly, Ger Ryan
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Oldman ... Joe Orton
Alfred Molina ... Kenneth Halliwell
Vanessa Redgrave ... Peggy Ramsay
Wallace Shawn ... John Lahr
Lindsay Duncan ... Anthea Lahr
Julie Walters ... Elsie Orton
James Grant James Grant ... William Orton
Frances Barber ... Leonie Orton
Janet Dale Janet Dale ... Mrs Sugden
Dave Atkins Dave Atkins ... Mr Sugden
Margaret Tyzack ... Madame Lambert
Eric Richard ... Education Officer
William Job William Job ... RADA Chairman
Rosalind Knight Rosalind Knight ... RADA Judge
Angus MacKay Angus MacKay ... RADA Judge
Edit

Storyline

This film is the story of the spectacular life and violent death of British playwright Joe Orton. In his teens, Orton is befriended by the older, more reserved Kenneth Halliwell, and while the two begin a relationship, it's fairly obvious that it's not all about sex. Orton loves the dangers of bath-houses and liaisons in public restrooms; Halliwell, not as charming or attractive as Orton, doesn't fare so well in those environs. While both long to become writers, it is Orton who achieves fame - his plays "Entertaining Mr. Sloane" and "Loot" become huge hits in London of the sixties, and he's even commissioned to write a screenplay for the Beatles. But Orton's success takes him farther from Halliwell, whose response ended both his life and the life of the up-and-coming playwright. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They shared everything - except success.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 May 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das stürmische Leben des Joe Orton See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,654,743
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Kenneth Halliwell created the title "Prick Up Your Ears" for Orton's (never produced) film for The Beatles called "Up Against It", but Orton said: "This is much too good a title to waste on a film." See more »

Goofs

When Joe's agent first meets him in 1964, she asks him how he's been supporting himself. He tells her he's on public assistance, getting £3.10 per week. But new pence weren't introduced until 1971. See more »

Quotes

[Orton is having his portrait painted, naked]
Joe Orton: When I die I want people to say, 'He was the most perfectly developed playwright of his day.'
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Urinal (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Indian Dance
(uncredited)
Music by M. Kansara
De Wolfe Music Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A loving punch in the gut
25 November 2017 | by danielledecolombieSee all my reviews

Gary Oldman plays real life British 60's sensation Joe Orton, the author of "Entertaining Mr. Sloane". His performance, for me, goes at the very core of a gallery of real life characters who run the gamut from A to Z and then some. From Sid Vicious to Ludwig Van Beethoven, from Lee Harvey Oswald to Joe Orton and in 2017 Winston Churchill - not to mention fictional literary characters like Count Dracula. With Joe Orton, Gary Oldman reaches some kind of mountain top. He finds innocence in this emotional and sexual misfit and he projects Orton's genius with a profound flawed humanity. His tragic lover is played by another extraordinary actor, Alfred Molina - I've just seen him in "Feud" playing Robert Aldrich with such virtuosity that I have developed a personal relationship with Aldrich as if I knew him personally. Oldman and Molina create something we've never seen before and Stephen Frears know exactly how to capture it. As if this wasn't enough, Vanessa Redgrave play's Orton's agent. Even if you've never heard of Joe Orton, do yourself a favor, venture into this dark and human universe.


25 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 29 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed