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

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, 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

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:

£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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Several of the extras, including Daniel Farson and Sandy Fawkes, were real-life acquaintances of Francis Bacon. See more »

Quotes

Francis Bacon: Once a stone has been polished, you can't return it to the rough. A flower that has been picked has only one fate. That's why whores consider it bad luck to receive cut flowers. They know that they are going to die.
See more »


Soundtracks

Time On My Hands
Performed by Al Bowlly
Written by Vincent Youmans (as Youmans), Harold Adamson (as Adamson) & Mack Gordon (as Gordon)
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User Reviews

compelling character portrait
6 June 2004 | by didi-5See all my reviews

John Maybury's film presents artist Francis Bacon as an uncaring, disturbed, unhinged, genius who used people and life to feed his bizarre artistic talent. Even the way the film is shot (distorted images, odd angles, flashes of colour) shouts 'artist'. Against this backdrop the story of Bacon's life is secondary.

Derek Jacobi plays Bacon, in a radical departure from the work he is best known for - in fact, this film was completed while he was regularly on television as brother Cadfael. He is excellent in a deeply unsympathetic role. Daniel Craig, as his lover, nemesis, and muse, is also very good. Tilda Swinton is the best of a supporting cast of oddball characters.

This film is ultimately frustrating, difficult, and perhaps a pointless exercise as far as giving us any lasting impression of Bacon's character. But, like his well-known paintings, it is snatches of images you will remember.


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