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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.




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7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
... Francis Bacon
... George Dyer
... Muriel Belcher
... Isabel Rawsthorne
... Daniel Farson
... John Deakin
Annabel Brooks ... Henrietta Moraes
Richard Newbould ... Blonde Billy (as Richard Newbold)
Ariel de Ravenel ... French Official
Tallulah ... Ian Board
Andy Linden ... Ken Bidwell
... Joe Furneval
Gary Hume ... Volker Dix
... Brighton Rent Boys
... Brighton Rent Boys


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, 30 years Bacon's junior, 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 and 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


Study for a portrait of Francis Bacon.


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

Strand Releasing


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Release Date:

7 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£46,077 (United Kingdom), 20 September 1998, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,202, 11 October 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$343,023, 19 December 1999
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Cameo: Costume Designer Annie Symons is a patron of the Colony Room Club. See more »


Francis Bacon: Everybody, this is George. This is Muriel, Isabel, the beautiful Henrietta, and Deakin. Introduce yourselves. George is a little shy.
George Dyer: Hello...
John Deakin: So... who's Arthur and who's Martha?
Muriel Belcher: Oh, piss off, Deakin! I'm really sick of it!
John Deakin: I'll talk to you after you've had a shave...
See more »


Features Battleship Potemkin (1925) See more »


Just an Echo Down the Canyon
Performed by Bosworth's Dance Orchestra
Written by Montague Ewing (as Sherman Myers)
courtesy Bosworth & Company Limited
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User Reviews

The acting is so good particularly Derek Jacobi as Bacon
9 April 2009 | by See all my reviews

This is a film about relationships, relationships which flow over and between Bacon's life and work. I come away from the film knowing much more than I ever knew and felt about Bacon and his work, and also the period in which he worked. I would liked to have seen much more of the famous (or should that be infamous) "Colony Room" where Bacon done his drinking and socialzing. Daniel Craig is spot on as the East End spiv and petite crook. Tilda Swinton plays the hilariously foul-mouthed Muriel Belcher and I am sure that Belcher would make make a good central character in another film. The film is not about Bacon's paintings, but the man himself. His relationships his world. London could never ever been as seedy as this but what a great place to search out life.

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