7.4/10
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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 »

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Writers:

(screenplay), (based on the biography by)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Joe Orton
... Kenneth Halliwell
... Peggy Ramsay
... John Lahr
... Anthea Lahr
... Elsie Orton
James Grant ... William Orton
... Leonie Orton
Janet Dale ... Mrs Sugden
Dave Atkins ... Mr Sugden
... Madame Lambert
... Education Officer
William Job ... RADA Chairman
Rosalind Knight ... RADA Judge
Angus MacKay ... RADA Judge
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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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 May 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das stürmische Leben des Joe Orton  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,654,743
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first film of Steven Mackintosh. 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

Joe Orton: [accepting a drama award] My plays are about getting away with it, and the ones who get away with it are the guilty ones. It's the innocents who get it in the neck. But that all seems pretty true to life to me. Not a fantasy at all. I've got away with it *so far*
[hoisting trophy]
Joe Orton: and I'm going to go on.
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Connections

Referenced in Urinal (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Indian Dance
(uncredited)
Music by M. Kansara
De Wolfe Music Ltd
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User Reviews

A Great Combination Between Alfred Molina and Gary Oldman
17 August 1999 | by See all my reviews

Its films like these that make you wonder why stars like Gary Oldman(Immortal Beloved) and Alfred Molina(Boogie Nights) aren't noticed as much as the awful actors that plague our screens(see Mark Wahlberg or Ray Liotta).

Prick Up Your Ears is a wonderful film about the writer Joe Orton(Oldman) and his lover Kenneth(Molina). The dialogue is smart and the acting is incredible. Rating=4/5

In addition, I would just like to say that teenagers can enjoy decent films. I was twelve when I watched this, and I found it amazing. Its the film that sparked off my fascination with Gary Oldman films.


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