7.0/10
36,757
168 user 265 critic

Behind the Candelabra (2013)

Trailer
1:57 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
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 »
Reviews
Popularity
4,656 ( 433)
Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 41 wins & 49 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During the 2018 Live from the TCM Film Festival special, Douglas revealed that Steven Soderbergh first brought up that Douglas should play pianist Liberace while they were filming the movie Traffic (2000) together. Douglas later played the real life person in a 2013 HBO telefilm. See more »

Goofs

In the movie both Liberace and his mother claim that his first name was "Walter". In fact Liberace was born "Wladziu Valentino", but used only his last name as his stage name for most of his career. See more »

Quotes

Liberace: I want to be everything to you, Scott. I want to be father, brother, lover, best friend.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chelsea Lately: Episode #7.165 (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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Liberace the Legend is served well
27 May 2013 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

The film is based on the autobiographical novel of the same name by Scott Thorson (with Alex Thorleifson) adapted for the screen by Richard LaGravenese about the tempestuous 6- year relationship between Liberace and his much younger lover Scott Thorson. This film along with SIDE EFFECTS are purported to be Steven Soderbergh's last films he will direct.

The cast is very solid. Matt Damon embodies the role of Scott Thorson well - a young apparently bisexual man who has been tossed from foster home to foster home while he does odd jobs (he is 17 years old) tending to animals. In a gay bar he meets Bob Black (Scott Bakula) who takes Scott to a Liberace concert (his first exposure to the mega-star) and to meet Liberace afterwards. There is tension in the air with Liberace's current paramour and performing partner Billy Leatherwood (Cheyenne Jackson) and we soon discover that Liberace (impeccably played by Michael Douglas) only keeps his 'boys' around for a while before his manager Seymour (Dan Ackroyd) gets rid of them with a check. Liberace and Scott find common ground in being needy people without confidants and soon Scott becomes Liberace's next lover. All goes swimmingly until Liberace sees himself on a TV show and sees how aged he has become. He engages plastic surgeon Dr. Jack Startz (Rob Lowe in a very fine performance) to perform a youthful face lift and at the same time convinces Scott to undergo plastic surgery to make him look more like Liberace! And here begins the downfall: Dr. Startz prescribes pain meds to Scott who becomes addicted and moves into heavier drugs, and his behavior, along with Liberace's need for a 'new face' (Boyd Holbrook), signals the breakup of a 6 year relationship - the best relationship either has ever had.

There are excellent cameos by Debbie Reynolds as Liberace's mother, Paul Reiser as Scott's lawyer, and others, but the star of the film is in all ways the flamboyant showman Liberace in some of the most interesting outfits ever created. The on screen relationship between Michael Douglas and Matt Damon is entirely credible and neither of these fine actors has a problem with being sexually physical without seeming to be a parody. There are moments that could have been cut, but as Liberace says, less is more and more is wonderful.

Grady Harp


35 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 168 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed