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Behind the Candelabra (2013)

TV-MA | | Biography, Drama, Romance | 7 June 2013 (UK)
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A chronicle of the tempestuous six year romance between megastar singer, Liberace, and his young lover, Scott Thorson.

Director:

Steven Soderbergh

Writers:

Richard LaGravenese (screenplay), Scott Thorson (book) | 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 41 wins & 49 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Damon ... Scott Thorson
Scott Bakula ... Bob Black
Eric Zuckerman ... Lou
Eddie Jemison ... Assistant Director
Randy Lowell ... Director
Tom Roach Tom Roach ... Stunt Actor
Shamus Cooley Shamus Cooley ... Camera Assistant
John Smutny John Smutny ... Sound Mixer
Jane Morris ... Rose Carracappa
Garrett M. Brown ... Joe Carracappa
Michael Douglas ... Liberace
Pat Asanti ... George Liberace
Debbie Reynolds ... Frances Liberace
Casey Kramer ... Dora Liberace
Cheyenne Jackson ... Billy Leatherwood
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Storyline

Scott Thorson, a young bisexual man raised in foster homes, is introduced to flamboyant entertainment giant Liberace and quickly finds himself in a romantic relationship with the legendary pianist. Swaddled in wealth and excess, Scott and Liberace have a long affair, one that eventually Scott begins to find suffocating. Kept away from the outside world by the flashily effeminate yet deeply closeted Liberace, and submitting to extreme makeovers and even plastic surgery at the behest of his lover, Scott eventually rebels. When Liberace finds himself a new lover, Scott is tossed on the street. He then seeks legal redress for what he feels he has lost. But throughout, the bond between the young man and the star never completely tears. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"Too much of a good thing is wonderful"


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 June 2013 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Liberace See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Costume designer Ellen Mirojnick and her team had to reproduce a large number of Liberace's iconic stage outfits for this film. These included a copy of Liberace's 16 foot-long white virgin fox fur coat, which, though made of synthetic fur, was nonetheless, like the real coat, studded with $100,000 worth of Austrian crystals. The originals were too valuable to alter to fit star Michael Douglas, and were used only as set dressing for Liberace's walk-in closet. Many were also extremely heavy due to the large quantities of rhinestones: each original suit weighted upwards of 60 pounds. See more »

Goofs

At the funeral Mass at the film's end, the congregation's response to the priest's opening liturgical greeting "The Lord be with You" is .."and with your spirit". This is a well known change made recently. The funeral takes place in 1987 where the liturgical response would still have been, "And also with you." See more »

Quotes

Scott Thorson: I can't believe you're so Catholic.
Liberace: Devout.
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Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.197 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

I Feel Love
Written by Pete Bellotte (as Peter Bellotte), Giorgio Moroder, and Donna Summer
Performed by Donna Summer
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enteprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Michael Douglas And Matt Damon As You Never Thought You'd See Them
5 May 2014 | by sddavis63See all my reviews

I can't honestly say that I know very much about Liberace. I was a teenager in the 70's - Liberace really wasn't my cup of tea. Still, I know about him. His flashiness, his sexuality, his ability with the piano - and I'm familiar with the "palimony" suit launched against him by his much younger lover, Scott Thorson. "Behind the Candelabra" is the movie adaptation of Thorson's book about the relationship, so it needs to be viewed with a grain of salt; it's hardly unbiased. But unbiased or not, it is a fascinating look into the glitzy, showy, and sometimes degenerate world inhabited by Liberace and Thorson, who was almost 50 years younger than Liberace when the relationship began.

The "world" is fabulously portrayed. The costumes and sets seem very authentic, and - with the above note about bias being kept in mind - the basic story of the relationship is believable enough. Liberace and Thorson were together for four years, and in those four years, things got weird. Liberace supposedly promised to adopt Thorson; and Thorson was given a part in Liberace's show. The movie portrays the relationship's breakup (due to Liberace's infidelities) and the final reunion between the two, as Thorson visits Liberace on his deathbed. It all seems very realistic, and provides an almost voyeuristic experience into the relationship between the two.

The highlight of the movie, though, has to be the performances offered by Matt Damon (as Thorson) and - especially - Michael Douglas as Liberace. Both were brilliant and totally believable in the parts. These must have been difficult roles. Two guys - both obviously straight - playing these parts in a movie which includes a lot of very passionate scenes between them could have come across as awkward, but credit goes to both of them for the fact that it never seemed awkward. They came across as natural together in what must (at times) have been very uncomfortable roles for them. I gained a new appreciation of the talents of both from this movie.

It's very enjoyable and it certainly offers a glimpse into a world that the vast majority of us will never see - and that the vast majority of us probably wouldn't want to see. (8/10)


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