6.7/10
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79 user 166 critic

Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (2017)

Trailer
2:04 | Trailer
A romance sparks between a young actor and a Hollywood leading lady.

Director:

Paul McGuigan

Writers:

Peter Turner (based on the book "Films Stars Don't Die in Liverpool" by), Matt Greenhalgh (screenplay by)
Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Annette Bening ... Gloria Grahame
Jamie Bell ... Peter Turner
Kenneth Cranham ... Joe Snr
Julie Walters ... Bella
Jodie McNee ... Jessie
Stephen Graham ... Joe Jnr
Joanna Brookes Joanna Brookes ... Didi
Pete Lee-Wilson ... Barman
Jay Villiers ... Georgie
Marina Bye Marina Bye ... PR Person
Vanessa Redgrave ... Jean
Frances Barber ... Joy
Pandora Colin ... Surgeon
Alexander Arnold ... Anaesthetist
Gemma Oaten Gemma Oaten ... Patient
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Storyline

Real life proves to be just as dramatic off-screen as it does on it for aging Hollywood superstar Gloria Grahame (Annette Bening) and her much younger lover, Peter Turner (Jamie Bell). As their mismatched romance waxes and wanes over time, events conspire to keep them in each other's lives even when it proves to be difficult and demanding. Ultimately, they find that they must each come to terms with whatever fate they face in the future whether they are together or apart. Written by AnonymousB

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A True Story of What Happens When a Hollywood Legend Discovers Romance See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexual content and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Shakespeare at the end of this movie is Romeo and Juliet ( Act 1 Scene 5). See more »

Quotes

Peter Turner: Has anyone ever told you that you look like Lauren Bacall when you smoke?
Gloria Grahame: Humphrey Bogart. And I didn't like it then either.
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Connections

References Rebel Without a Cause (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Song for Guy
Written by Elton John
Performed by Elton John
Published by Universal Music Publishing Ltd
Courtesy of Virgin EMI Records Ltd
Under license from Universal Music Operations Ltd
See more »

User Reviews

 
a gentle tribute to a former starlet
25 January 2018 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Old Hollywood glamour is merely something we read about or reminisce about these days. Part of the reason is that we are almost as likely to see a favorite star on TV as in a new movie, and a bigger cause is that we simply know too much about them as people ... the mystique has been replaced by (too many) personal details and divisive political influence.

Classic movie lovers always have favorite performers, and there were certainly some great ones in the Golden Era: Bogart, Gable, Hepburn, Davis, etc; however, I've always felt there was one actress who time seems to have forgotten. Gloria Grahame never seemed to choose the easy route (either on screen or real life), and she turned in some terrific performances in the 1940's and 50's. You might only know her as Violet in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, but she was also an Oscar winner for THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952), and had standout roles in OKLAHOMA! (1955), THE BIG HEAT (1953), and IN A LONELY PLACE (1950). Her talent allowed her to fit as well for a musical or family film, as in the Noir Thrillers for which she seemed to thrive.

So why all the background on a mostly forgotten actress from a bygone era? Because Annette Bening magically channels the late actress in her role as Ms. Grahame in the final stages of her life. Director Paul McGuigan's film is based on the memoir of Peter Turner, a young man who had a relationship with the actress in her later years. Turner is played here by Jamie Bell (BILLY ELLIOT) and he and Ms. Bening are so believable, that we are fully drawn in by their characters and their touching story.

Opening with the actress in her dressing room prepping for a dinner theatre version of "The Glass Menagerie", the film conveys much in these few minutes. Clearly, this is an actress far removed from the Hollywood spotlight. We also sense her immense pride is still present, and the glass of milk is for relief from her discomfort ... later self-diagnosed as "gas".

We start in 1981 and flashback to 1979. Creative transitions between scenes and times add a stylish element to a story that is ultimately about human relationships, aging and loneliness. The need to be cared for when sick is as crucial as the importance of being a dependable caregiver for loved ones. The film's script from Matt Greenhalgh allows for an empathetic look at these topics through the eyes of people we quickly care about.

Julie Walters (Bell's dance teacher in BILLY ELLOT) is exceptional as Turner's mother and Ms. Grahame's caregiver. Other supporting roles include Kenneth Cranham as Turner's dad, Stephen Graham as his fiery brother, and Vanessa Redgrave as Ms. Grahame's mother. We never get the back story on why Ms. Grahame feels so connected to the Turner family - only that the 28 year age difference between herself and Peter didn't much matter to either of them.

There is a sexually-charged disco dance with Ms. Grahame and Peter in her hotel room that makes clear why any young man might fall for her, but it's really in the quieter moments where the film and Ms. Bening and Mr. Bell shine. The emotions and pain are palpable, and yet neither her spirit nor his devotion will quit. The music from Jose Feliciano and Elvis Costello is terrific and comfortably fits a story of love and aging and illness, while also reminding us ... once a starlet, always a starlet, even when the star has faded.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 November 2017 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$36,048, 31 December 2017

Gross USA:

$1,026,124

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,047,917
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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