7.3/10
5,484
31 user 33 critic

Prick Up Your Ears (1987)

R | | Biography, Drama | 8 May 1987 (USA)
Biographer John Lahr is writing a book about playwright Joe Orton. Joe and Kenneth meet at drama school and live together for ten years as lovers and collaborators. Both want to be writers, but only one of them is successful.

Director:

Stephen Frears

Writers:

John Lahr (based on the biography by), Alan Bennett (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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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 ... RADA Judge
Angus MacKay Angus MacKay ... RADA Judge

Gary Oldman Through the Years

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

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Storyline

This movie is the story of the spectacular life and violent death of British playwright Joe Orton (Gary Oldman). In his teens, Orton is befriended by the older, more reserved Kenneth Halliwell (Alfred Molina), 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 environments. 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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Wallace Shawn (John Lahr) is, in addition to being an actor, an acclaimed playwright and screenwriter. Until her 1991 death, his play agent was Margaret Ramsay, who was also Joe Orton's agent and who appeared in this movie as the character played by Vanessa Redgrave. 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. New pence weren't introduced until 1971. However, in the pre-decimal era, "Three pounds ten" would have been understood as "Three pounds and ten shillings", the present-day equivalent being £3.50. For example, "Maggie Mae", recorded by the Beatles in 1969 but based on a much older traditional song, includes the line "Two pounds ten a week, that was my pay." See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
George Barnett: [as Joe's sister mixes his and Kenneth's ashes] I hope nobody gets to hear about this in Leicester.
See more »

Connections

References Some Like It Hot (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Vivat Regina
(uncredited)
Music by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry
See more »

User Reviews

Essential Joe Orton Bio
23 September 1999 | by MaharisSee all my reviews

The single best biographical film I've ever seen. Gary Oldman, Alfred Molina, and Vanessa Redgrave are all brilliant. (Check out Simon Callow's book "Love Is Where It Falls" for more information on the Vanessa Redgrave character.) Much of the last third of the film is difficult to take, but it is nevertheless essential viewing for anyone interested in Joe Orton. And it needs to be said that there is real joy in the film as well -- particularly in the mischievous looks that cross Oldman's face while cruising tea rooms. Has any other het actor played gay so utterly convincingly?


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 May 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Prick Up Your Ears See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$38,643, 19 April 1987

Gross USA:

$1,654,743

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,672,927
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 »

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