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Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998)

Unrated | | Biography, Drama, Romance | 7 October 1998 (USA)
Biography of British painter Francis Bacon focuses on his relationship with his lover, George Dyer, a former small time crook.

Director:

John Maybury

Writer:

John Maybury
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7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Derek Jacobi ... Francis Bacon
Daniel Craig ... George Dyer
Tilda Swinton ... Muriel Belcher
Anne Lambton ... Isabel Rawsthorne
Adrian Scarborough ... Daniel Farson
Karl Johnson ... John Deakin
Annabel Brooks Annabel Brooks ... Henrietta Moraes
Richard Newbould Richard Newbould ... Blonde Billy (as Richard Newbold)
Ariel de Ravenel Ariel de Ravenel ... French Official
Tallulah Tallulah ... Ian Board
Andy Linden Andy Linden ... Ken Bidwell
David Kennedy ... Joe Furneval
Gary Hume Gary Hume ... Volker Dix
Damian Dibben ... Brighton Rent Boys
Antony Cotton ... Brighton Rent Boys
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Storyline

In the 1960s, British painter Francis Bacon (1909-1992) surprises a burglar and invites him to share his bed. The burglar, a working class man named George Dyer, thirty years younger than Bacon, accepts. Bacon finds Dyer's amorality and innocence attractive, introducing him to his Soho pals. In their sex life, Dyer dominates, Bacon is the masochist. Dyer's bouts with depression, his drinking, pill popping, and his Satanic nightmares strain the relationship, as does his pain with Bacon's casual infidelities. Bacon paints, talks with wit, and, as Dyer spins out of control, begins to find him tiresome. Could Bacon care less? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Study for a portrait of Francis Bacon.


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Strand Releasing

Country:

UK | France | Japan | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

7 October 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,202, 11 October 1998

Gross USA:

$354,004

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$354,004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Discussing how well DVD copies of this movie (about a gay British artist) were still selling in 2012, Sir Derek Jacobi commented, "that's because there are some scenes in which Daniel Craig is stark-bollock naked." See more »

Quotes

Francis Bacon: There's a fleeting substance to reality. Ghostlike deposits. Sometimes, a man's shadow is more in the room than he is. The void which spreads across his face as he daydreams is the void of death.
See more »

Connections

Features Battleship Potemkin (1925) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Sequins
Performed by Louis Voss & His Orchestra
Written by Kenneth Essex
courtesy Bosworth & Company Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Never quite rises above the callousness of its subject
23 March 2005 | by paul2001sw-1See all my reviews

Francis Bacon was one of the most acclaimed artists of his generation, and Derek Jacobi is one of the finest actors of his, but even this combination can't make 'Love is the Devil', John Maybury's biopic of Bacon's life, especially interesting. The problem is that the film lacks a central point of sympathy: Bacon comes across as selfish and spoilt, while his hapless lover (the film's other central character) is too clearly out of his depth from the start, and never manages to become someone in whom one can invest any hopes. In terms of its overall feel, the film tries to reflect Bacon's artistic sensibility; in this it is partially successful, although the odd decision to fade to black between practically every scene grows tiresome. Unless you're a particular fan of Bacon, you can afford to miss this film: Stephen Frears' 'Prick Up Your Ears' (a biopic of Joe Orton) explores similar themes with more humanity.


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